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‘Tis The Season for Seasonal Employees
With the holidays quickly approaching, many retail businesses may be scrambling to accommodate the hustle and bustle of frantic shoppers. In a report published by the National Retail Federation, research shows nearly 55% of consumers are planning to do their holiday shopping in physical shops and stores, with retail sales expected to be up between 4.3 and 4.8 percent from 2017. Most brick-and-motor stores combat the anticipated demand by hiring seasonal employees.
While the solution may seem quick and simple, the process by which HR managers and employers hire, train, and pay these temporary employees can sometimes be a bit challenging. Especially when other year-end tasks are preoccupying their workdays during the holiday season.
Seasonal Hiring Do’s and Don’ts
Due to the extremely busy time of year, seasonal hires may not receive the level of attention regular hires do. Cutting corners with new hire onboarding and training can result in under-performing, stressed employees- and disappointed employers. To avoid inefficiencies, employers should practice consistent hiring principles.
Do Hire Seasonal Employees Early
When it comes to hiring seasonal employees, it is essential to start the process as early as possible. Businesses should understand they are not alone in their search for seasonal staffing resources. CBS Money Watch forecasts 700,000 seasonal employees will be hired this 2018 holiday season. If your business has not already done so, now is the time to hire and utilize the additional manpower these temporary employees offer.
Do Use An Applicant Tracking System
Use an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) to promote your seasonal positions on multiple online job boards, as well as simplify the application process for both the applicant and your HR department. There’s no time to lose when recruiting seasonal help and using an ATS will help you hire seasonal workers quickly and efficiently.
Don’t Forget to Onboard
Once qualified candidates have been vetted and hired, set up a streamlined onboarding process. Provide seasonal hires and managers with an onboarding checklist that provides complete details around new hire forms and orientation. This sets a positive tone between your seasonal employees and managers, improving new hire management.
Moreover, a great onboarding process helps ensure every I-9, W-4, and state or company-specific new hire form is completed accurately, easing the burden of HR compliance.
Don’t Skimp on Training
While seasonal employees are meant to lend an extra hand, realize the services they provide will only be as good as their training. Expecting temporary employees to perform at a high level during high-volume seasons with little instruction will yield subpar results.
Temporary employees must be adequately trained in the company’s people, processes, and job duties. Furthermore, the training process implemented in the beginning can distinguish those employees who might prove to be beneficial team members on a permanent basis.
Classifying Seasonal Employees
Frequently asked questions regarding seasonal employees are not regularly answered; so, before hiring a supplemental workforce, let’s review some important aspects of part-time and temporary employees.
What is a Seasonal Employee?
According to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a seasonal employee is one who works 120 days or fewer a year. While the days worked don’t need to be consecutive, the total time worked is typically up to six months during a specified season. Supplemental retail workforce during the holidays or short-term hires during football season are examples of most commonly hired seasonal employees.
Employees with 50 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees are required to report employer-shared healthcare information under the ACA. An FTE is an employee who works 30 or more hours a week. Businesses must constantly be aware of their seasonal employment to ensure they maintain their pre-existing size and structure to avoid compliance issues within the health care law. Click here for compliance updates on ACA reporting.
Seasonal Wages and Tax Withholdings
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), seasonal employees must be paid minimum wage. In some cases, state and federal minimum wages may differ. Just as with regular, full-time employees, employers must pay seasonal employees whichever wage is higher. Visit our minimum wage page to find your state’s minimum wage requirements.
Seasonal employees are also subject to the same tax withholding rules that apply to full-time employees. Seasonal employees will need to fill out a Form W-4 as employers will still withhold the federal income tax calculated using the personal and financial information provided on the form.
You’re All Set for the Holidays
There are many aspects businesses must be aware of when bringing in seasonal employees. The hiring and recruiting processes, expedited training and onboarding, as well as labor and tax compliance for this classification of workers are all vital aspects in the quickly spinning HR wheel. Start your holiday recruiting process feeling prepared with these seasonal Do’s and Don’ts.
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