Things go in and out of fashion, one minute Roseanne is on the air and then she’s racist, and as the earth spins around the sun gradually changing its tilt, the seasons change too. And so does the demand for your business.
For some businesses, things stay mostly static, but say you’re an ice cream shop. Or a restaurant with an outdoor garden featuring a second bar. Or a humble kiosk that sells lemonade. Whether you’re open year-round or only for the summer, the demand for your business may be higher in the summer, and with that demand, comes the need for more employees.
A seasonal employee is someone who is hired to join your staff temporarily. Typically, the two “seasons” they’re hired for are summer and then the winter holiday season. They may be students off from school, or someone in between jobs or in a pinch. All around, they’re just as amazing any other kind of employee you may hire—and are an amazing fit for your business’s seasonal needs!
Scope Out the Demand
As a business owner, you know your employees’ needs are important, so before you even commit to seasonal hiring, check in with them. Does anyone want more hours? Does anyone feel overwhelmed, or need more flexibility in their schedule? If you plan on bringing on someone seasonal, you need to make sure your year-round staff is happy first.
For the season or time period that you intend to hire for, review previous trends in your business’s demand. If there were ever days last summer where the line was out the door, that’s a good sign you may need an extra person or two during a shift.
Making sure you have your business in order before bringing in somebody new is not just a suggestion, it’s an obligation. You need your regular employees to feel happy and respected, and you need to make sure there are no issues in your business operations, too. Of course, that’s not just something that can be applied to seasonal hiring—you should always check in on these things!
Put a Bit of Prep in Your Step
Like any other employee, a seasonal hire needs just as much guidance and preparation to be a successful part of your business. Because their time is limited working for you, you may have to expedite the training process, but it doesn’t mean you have to become stressed out too.
If you typically have a training period for new employees, consider training seasonal hires earlier than usual. Whether it’s you or another employee who’s responsible for that, the same kind of diligence and care is needed to create a quality employee.
Furthermore, you’ll probably want to use your seasonal hires for the biggest demands in your business, like cleaning tables or working the register. Don’t step on any long-term employee’s toes by replacing their jobs; seasonal employees are best for the duties that sometimes are understaffed or require a bit of extra help.
A Reason for the Seasons
Depending on what kind of business you run, demand for extra help may not always be a thing, but you should always be grateful for whatever kind of help you can get. So when you do need to hire temporary staff, understand the mutual employer-employee relationship should be secure and respectful.
As someone who’s worked seasonally myself, I’ve always appreciated the work that I can get, and I understand that though I may be working for only a few weeks or months, my service is valued. Make sure your employees, long-term or seasonal, know that! Because who knows… those short-term employees may prove to be worth bringing on all-year round.