It’s good to have seasonal staff around during the busy months of your season. Seasonal workers (employees if are returnees that meet the requirements below) can help your business stay ahead of the rush, and maybe turn into some of your most valuable assets.

Seasonal Employees vs. Seasonal Workers

lifeguard seasonal employee

The major differences between seasonal employees and seasonal workers are the amount they are allowed to work. Workers worked no more than 120 days in the previous year, whereas a seasonal employee is expected to be somewhere for six months or less and then return the following year. Employees return around the same time each year.

When hiring seasonal workers it’s important to know that they will not impact whether or not you are an Applicable Large Employer (ALE). Additionally, they may not have more than 50 full-time employees for more than 120 day in the previous year. If an employer exceed 50 full time employees within that 120 days, the excess employees are considered seasonal workers.

Hiring Seasonal Employees & Workers

When it comes to hiring seasonal employees you need to start early, and spread work quickly. Seasonal employees will return to where they have previously worked before trying somewhere new, so if you spread the word early you’ll have reliable seasonal staff for years to come.

When going through applications and resumes for seasonal staff you should take consideration as you would during a regular hiring period. By glazing through applications and accepting anyone in a rush you might be hurting your business by hiring everyone and anyone. Know where you’ll need the help during your busy season and match applicants with those positions, just like you would for any other job.

Working with Seasonal Staff

It’s important to treat seasonal staff the same as you would treat any other employee. The key being they still must be trained. They need all of the regular training that any employee would receive, including any information on policies, procedures, and handbooks.

Be sure you help them feel like a valued member of your staff. During the busy season, they should feel the same as any employee, regardless of the length of time they will be working there. They should receive the same perks, for example discounts, and shouldn’t feel different just because they are a seasonal employee- especially if you’d like them to return for the next season.

Ending Seasonal Work

Many people who enter seasonal work recognize it’s for a limited time and usually have somewhere to be at the end of the season. Sometimes, people are looking for a little extra money for the holidays, or college students need something to do over the summer, they are looking to return to their everyday life once the employment season is over.

However, sometimes you may get employees looking and trying to stay on. If you do not have the resources to keep them onboard it may be good to conduct exit interviews explaining why it is not or cannot be extended. It’s also good to get an idea of what they did and did not like about the job. Thank them for working with you, and acknowledge if you’d like them to come back next time you are hiring for seasonal help.

seasonal worker statsYou do want to ensure that your seasonal staff knows that they were appreciated. It may be helpful to offer to write them a recommendation letter as well as staying in touch during the off season, especially if you’re looking to hire them back. As a last thank you, throw a going away party for all of your seasonal staff members. Celebrate the time they spent with you and your team!

88 percent of employers, according to Snagajob, hope to keep a portion of their seasonal staff onboard as either full or part time staff. If that’s the case, see who is interested in staying and keep those employees around for more than seasonal work.

Laws Surrounding Seasonal Staff

When classifying seasonal staff, it’s just as important as classifying your regular full-time and part-time staff. The Fair Labor Standards Act applies (unless local laws state otherwise) so they still must receive minimum wage and overtime. Additionally, Social Security and Medicare must be withheld.

When seasonal work ends be sure your state doesn’t have laws that unemployment benefits for seasonal workers. Many have clauses that if an employee works for less than 10 weeks they are not able to collect unemployment.

While no federal law requires you to provide seasonal workers the same benefits as full time employees, under ACA any employee working more than 120 days for more than 30 hours a week must be offered insurance benefits. However, for seasonal employees to be considered seasonal employees must work less than 120 days in a year.

When it comes to laws surrounding seasonal staff members, it’s best to treat them like any other staff member and ensure you are up to date on any localized laws.