Small businesses often need to consider all expenses that they incur to ensure that the budget is well utilized. One aspect of business practices where a small business could save a significant amount of money is the hiring of seasonal employees. If your business has peak seasons where you conduct most of your benefits, like the holidays for a retail store or summer months for a pool cleaning service, then you could benefit from hiring seasonal employees.

Hiring and training a part-time seasonal employee over permanent employees will save you the cost of full time benefits and paying full time hours when the season is slow.  Another perk of using seasonal employees is that it provides a probational period of sorts, if you are considering keeping on some of the employees after the busy season, to see if they are a good fit for your company.

When you should hire a seasonal employee

In addition to seasonal peaks in business, other things to consider before hiring a temporary employee is the tasks and responsibilities that they will be assigned. Job tasks that require a significant amount of training are not usually the best suited for temporary employees since they have a high rollover rate. You don’t want to waste time and money training an employee that is not intended to last past the season.

The best positions for season employees are retail clerks, customer service representatives, delivery driver, cooking or wait staff, front desk clerk, and small machine operator.

You should also check the United States Department of Labor website to ensure that you are in compliance with all fair wage, minimum wage and child labor laws. It is also important to note the difference between seasonal, or temporary, employees and freelance, or independently contracted, employees as wage and labor laws may vary for the two types of employees.

Where to find a seasonal employee

It is most common for teenagers and young adults to fill the roles of seasonal employees. Their hours of availability typically coincide with common seasonal hours such as holiday breaks and summer leaves. Retail stores or restaurants may have an easier time of hiring seasonal employees from walk in applicants. Other businesses looking for seasonal help may have a more difficult time.

Advertising on the local college campus or through a campus’ recruiting office may increase the number of applicants for the positions you need filled. You can also reach out to different departments to narrow down the field of applicants based on their area of focus. For example, a doctor’s office looking for seasonal help could reach out to the medical and science offices on campus for recruitment opportunities.

Utilizing a staffing agency is another viable option that can help in numerous ways. Staffing agencies list the job opening and perform the initial interview and vetting process. Once a viable candidate is located, the staffing agency will send you the prospective employee’s details. As another added bonus, if it turns out that the employee is not a good fit, all you have to do is notify the staffing agency and they will send a replacement.

You don’t have to focus on the younger generation to get seasonal help either. Another avenue is retirees looking to stay active or fill their time or hiring veterans looking for work post-active duty.