All Hands on Deck: Hiring Seasonal Workers for Your Busy Season
Each season brings something new such as warmer temperatures or changing leaves. When it comes to owning a small business, that something new may be your busy season. Two of the most common busy seasons are summer and holidays. For some businesses, these seasons are crucial to their success, such as a summer only lakefront restaurant, or a wintertime ski resort. During your busy time, you may be struggling to manage everything solo. In these cases, seasonal employees can be a major asset to your business. These seasonal employee hiring tips are bound to set your business up for success before the crowds start pounding down your door.
Don’t be Late
There is some planning that goes into being staffed for your busy season. Evaluate your business and think about where you may need some extra help. Perhaps you could use more bussers for your restaurant, some people to help in your stockroom, or even somebody to help manage the front of your business while you work on your books. If your peak season is the summer months, it might be a good idea to start looking in April for help. If you are busy during the holidays, you may want to start thinking along the back to school timeframe and start looking in September.
How to Hire
Hiring can be complicated, and you may not know where to start. One great place to start is with your current employees. For the employees you already trust, ask them if they know of anybody looking for work. One way to get even more participation would be to offer some type of reward if their referral is hired. Another idea is to take a look at high school or college students. Students are always looking to make some extra money and would likely be eager to have a short term position to fill up their breaks or downtime from school. An unlikely source is hiring school teachers. While they can’t help you during weekday shifts, most school days end before night shifts and they have weekends available. One business owner said he enjoyed hiring schoolteachers because they learned the job quickly and were eager to help or teach other employees.
Keep an Open Mind
Even though you are just hiring these employees for a few months, there may be a time where you are looking to bring in some extra help during other busy seasons or to permanently expand your employee base. Keep this into consideration as you work through the hiring process. You may even want to ask if the candidate would be interested in a longer run with your company if that opportunity presents itself. Build relationships with these seasonal employees and really get to know them. This is also helpful to re-hire these seasonal employees at a later date because they have already learned the ropes and would be able to teach any new employees too.
Seasonal employees can be valuable during your busy season. Their fresh perspective may even give you some ideas for growing or changing your business. Just be sure to properly categorize these employees on your payroll so they get paid the proper amount.