If your company is experiencing a spike in workload or you’re operating with fewer workers, bringing aboard seasonal employees is a smart solution. In fact, in a Robert Half survey, 74% of senior managers said they are bringing on contract professionals to support year-end initiatives.
Here’s a look at just a few situations when hiring seasonal employees can be particularly helpful to your business:
Many employees use their vacation time during the summer and the holidays, like the ones we have coming up. When several team members are out of the office at the same time and for an extended period, stress levels can rise for remaining employees who are tasked with keeping projects moving forward.
Classrooms and meetings
Many schools have reopened, but educational institutions may still need contract workers to provide reliable IT infrastructure and tech support for online instruction. The shift toward virtual learning programs has also increased the need for designers, developers and video production professionals. And administrative and customer service support may be needed in human resources (HR) and admissions departments.
Local governments are also using looking for more tech help as they accommodate both remote and in-person attendance for public meetings.
Open enrollment periods
During open enrollment periods, employees throughout the United States sign up for health insurance plans and other benefit programs for the year ahead.
Amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, companies may be evaluating benefits and fielding questions from employees as they consider changes to their plans. Companies need to coordinate and communicate the policies, practices and procedures, all while making sure data-entry tasks and day-to-day operations aren’t neglected.
The looming tax season
No matter what time of year it is, businesses, both large and small, feel the pressure of tax season, with its piles of paperwork, inevitable changes and impending deadlines. Accounting and finance professionals often face the prospect of working long hours to keep pace with heavy workloads, and contract professionals can serve as invaluable reinforcements.
Read these tips for how to hire a senior accountant.
When you find yourself in need of extra help, you need an effective strategy to find, hire and onboard seasonal employees quickly. Here are three critical steps:
1. Connect with top recruiting experts
A good relationship with a recruiter is essential to successful seasonal hiring. A specialized talent solutions firm like Robert Half knows the job candidate marketplace in your industry and city. We have a database of job seekers, including many that you and other companies wouldn’t have access to on your own.
Moreover, it can be challenging to evaluate a large number of people in a short amount of time when you and your team are already stretched thin.
An employment agency can make this process much easier and help you identify and bring on board lots of seasonal employees at once. Whether you need on-site or remote workers, we can help — and fast.
2. Be ready to make an offer
Just as you would with a job candidate for a full-time position, assess potential seasonal employees based on the required skills and experience, performance expectations and work style. Conduct reference checks too.
But before you do all that, find out what range you should expect to pay. If a recruiter is helping you hire seasonal help, they can work with you so that you offer compensation that meets the market standard.
You also can consult resources such as the Salary Guide from Robert Half.
3. Set clear expectations with seasonal employees
Even with a seasonal contractor, you need to have a strong sense of the specific duties and responsibilities of the job you’re filling. If you’re working with an employment agency, inform the recruiter of the time frame and key expectations, and make sure they are communicated to job candidates during the interview.
It’s a worthwhile exercise to write a detailed job description before you bring the interim worker on board — and go over it on the first day. Then stick with it, avoiding the temptation to give the seasonal employee whatever random assignment needs doing. One of the advantages is that in the event the contract position becomes full time, you’ll be able to accurately determine how well the person fulfilled the job. Seasonal employees often make great candidates for permanent placement.
Whether you’re burdened by time-consuming open enrollment periods or talent shortages, a little preparation can go a long way. Apply the strategy outlined above to find the best seasonal employees who can provide extra support when there is a temporary increase in workload — and take the load off you and the rest of your team.