Business owners may have a love-hate relationship with their busy season.
On one hand, this time of year brings in a lot of business. July is the busiest time of year for Disney water parks, with locations sometimes reaching capacity by 11 a.m., according to USA Today. And the holiday season always shows leaps in retail industry sales. For jewelers, late-winter purchases accounted for about 30 percent of their annual revenue, according to the National Retail Federation
But busy seasons are also hugely stressful. If something goes wrong at a time when a company is expecting a large part of its annual revenue to come in, the impacts can be much greater than at another time of year.
Companies often use seasonal workers to improve their ability to meet consumer demands. During 2017’s holiday season, retailers hired more than 500,000 temporary employees, NRF reported. And Disney intends to bring on 3,500 new lifeguards, housekeepers, bus drivers and other workers to accommodate the influx of tourists visiting its parks during summer 2018, according to Time.
Here are a few important considerations our insurance experts recommend keeping in mind when temporarily expanding your workforce:
To efficiently bring in valuable seasonal workers, begin with a clear job description. Ambiguity may attract applications from people who aren’t quite sure what your needs are, leading to a candidate pool that might not fit your requirements. Your current employees could be a valuable resource, NerdWallet pointed out. These people already know what’s expected of the job, so they may be able to recommend good candidates to the position.
Putting on a job fair and using social media are also excellent strategies to reach a wide audience and bring in interested applicants.
Employers have certain responsibilities, like having adequate workers’ compensation, business vehicle and disability insurance plans. When hiring temporary employees to meet the demands of the season, companies need to be aware of their legal obligations. In some cases, as when working with independent contractors, companies aren’t required to provide benefits or insurance. This is because these workers aren’t employees of that business, but rather a separate entity with whom the company has a contract, the Small Business Administration explained.
Seasonal workers who do go through a hiring process and are legally considered employees of a company should be covered, though. Labor laws, such as those that protect against discrimination and harassment, still apply. Additionally, employers are expected to provide:
Remember, seasonal employees should be treated like regular employees, even though they’ll have a shorter tenure.
Are you hiring seasonal employees this summer, or anticipate needing to bring on additional workers later in the year? Reach out to one of our insurance agents in your area; our experts are happy to walk through the insurance-related nuances of seasonal hiring.