10 Things to Know About Hiring a Seasonal Workforce

12 Oct 2018, by Anthony in First Aid Training News, IOSH Training News

Many companies require a seasonal workforce. This is not limited to any one specific industry. Retail comes to mind whenever we think of the holiday season. The phenomenal increase in footfall demands more manpower at retail stores. However, hospitality, supply chain, logistics, order fulfilment and even manufacturing demand a seasonal workforce. There are some obvious and a few unobvious challenges of hiring and onboarding a seasonal workforce. Here are ten things you should know.

  1. The first cause of anxiety is the availability of job seekers. The job market is tight and there are job seekers. However, a seasonal workforce constitutes temporary employees. These employees are not bound by any contract or even a notice period following their resignation. Many temporary employees may simply not turn up at work because of some personal issues, they may not like the job or they may a better job elsewhere. You cannot have an unpredictable workforce, even if it is temporary or seasonal. You need the additional manpower to be reliably available throughout the peak season. Hire more than you need to manage expected and unexpected attrition.
  2. Companies are obligated to ask a few relevant questions at the time of hiring and they are also required to conduct background checks. You may hire an agency or a recruitment consultant company to complete this task which can help if management is pressed for time during the peak season.
  3. Always ensure the seasonal workforce has been hired in accordance to prevailing laws. You must ensure the relevant paperwork is in place. You should not pay unreasonable wages, definitely not less than the stipulated minimum and you must comply with labour laws. Avoid noncompliance with pertinent statutes of the law. A staffing or recruitment agency can easily ensure compliance when managements are busy with sales targets and operational challenges.
  4. You may want your seasonal workforce to sign confidentiality agreements. Peak season may not be different in terms of how you manage confidential information but since the temporary employees will get access to many aspects of your business, it is best to protect your trade. A confidentiality agreement is imperative to protect intellectual property, company financials and also data of consumers or clients.
  5. Provide your seasonal workforce with an employee handbook. Most companies will handhold their temporary employees for a while but it is not possible to do so throughout the season. A handbook is helpful and averts many avoidable problems.
  6. Train your seasonal workforce before they hit the floors so you can ensure efficiency. A handbook is not a substitute for extensive training. Product knowledge, customer service, compliance and domain-specific skills should be a priority, so should IOSH compliant training. Your temporary employees must be given first aid training to ensure they and others around them are aware of occupational safety and health standards. You may Pro Trainers UK for the purpose. Make sure your seasonal workforce is aware of the various company policies, especially pertaining to best practices in the workplace.
  7. Companies must have a separate system of tracking all relevant information about temporary employees. You should track their hours, eligible pay, benefits and everything else that matters. If there are incentives, make sure there is a proper mechanism to assess their performance. Some companies do not distinguish between permanent and temporary employees when it comes to incentives during the peak season. Regardless of that, you should have a reliable system in place to track every development.
  8. Be proactive with scheduling. Permanent employees may be familiar with your roster. A seasonal workforce may take some time to get used to the roster. You should have advance scheduling and be pragmatic with your expectations.
  9.  A seasonal workforce is temporary but new recruits should be made to feel like part of the team. The employees are still representatives of your company. They are working for your organisation and towards your objectives.
  10. Some industries require relevant skills training or even simulations. There are companies that can focus on these requisites of a seasonal workforce. Let your management and even the senior permanent employees to focus on sales and other important aspects that affect the bottom line while experts train your seasonal workforce.





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