5 Key Points to Consider When Hiring Employees

The fourth quarter is here and many enterprises are evaluating ways to handle the extra business during the holiday season and the necessary coverage for employees who will take vacation during that period. Despite happening every single year, the hiring seasonal staff is often done as a last-minute item .

To help you strategize your upcoming seasonal hiring needs and evaluate your currently implemented ones, here are five key potions to consider when hiring seasonal employees.

1. Review Data from Previous Years

It’s important to base your decision off hard numbers instead of pure hunches. By comparing projections against actual numbers from at least three previous years, you’ll have a more accurate picture of the accuracy of your projections and develop a sense for trends.

A margin of error is expected in any estimate but it’s a best practice to learn from past mistakes in order to minimize that margin of error. During the review of data from previous years, you may find that you may not even need to hire any seasonal worker this season and just cover the additional hours with overtime from current staff.

2. Establish Which Type of Seasonal Employee You Need

Once you have determined that you do need to hire seasonal staff, take the time to establish which type of seasonal worker you need. The three main types of seasonal employees that you could hire are part-time, contract, or temporary employees.

There are advantages and disadvantages to hiring each one of these types of seasonal employees. Some important points to consider are:

  • Necessary Training: While you still need to provide some initial guidance to all employees, contract employees generally have extensive experience and be able to hit the ground running.
  • Length of Employment: If employment is for less than 90 days, temporary workers through a staffing agency can be a good option to minimize the necessary paperwork for your HR department.
  • Budget: When you have a very tight budget, hiring temporary and contract employees allows you to have better control on applicable expenses and minimize health benefits.
  • Post-Season Employment: Depending on your projections for the first two quarters of next year, part-time workers may be more motivated to excel in order to qualify for potential full-time employment.

3. Keep Your HR Department in the Loop

An accelerated timeline can tempt you to avoid HR protocols as much as possible to accelerate the on boarding of your seasonal employee. Resist that urge and keep your HR department informed at all times because this can actually save you time.

By taking the guesswork of what paperwork to use, evaluating whether or not a staffing agency is needed, and suggesting potential candidates from pools of existing resumes, your HR department has a better grasp of how to accelerate the hiring processes of your seasonal employees.

For example, the HR department needs to be aware of all seasonal workers in order to properly report the wages of seasonal employees using IRS Form 941. Your company needs to fill out this form every quarter and is important to declare to withhold the right amount of applicable taxes.

4. Revise Library of Contract Templates and Clauses

Your contract managers should have access to the latest contract templates and forms that they need to hire employees. By preparing a package of necessary contracts and forms to hire each type of seasonal employee in the library of your contract management system, you can minimize the lead time for onboarding employees and minimizing potential mistakes.

By centralizing the library of forms and clauses, your team can have access to the most up-to-date forms, such as the state tax withholding forms. Also, managers can have access to a pre-approved set of clauses in the event that those managers need to modify the language of a contract.

5. Set Clear Expectations for Evaluation and Future Employment

Two common questions from seasonal employees are:

  • What benchmarks are used to evaluate my performance?
  • How can I extend my employment after the season is over?

Your contracts have to provide as much information as possible as what the responsibilities of your seasonal employees are. Assigning a specific person in case of any questions is a good way to set a friendly atmosphere for the new hire and encouraging that questions are indeed asked.

Having a clear set of evaluation guidelines in contracts is also useful in case the conversation of future employment comes up. A performance review for every seasonal employee can save time in identifying potential candidates for part-time or full-time employment much faster.


By reviewing company data from previous years, establishing which type of seasonal employee is required, keeping your HR department in the loop at all times, revising the library of applicable contracts and clauses, and setting clear expectations for evaluation and future employment, you are taking important steps to optimize the hiring processes for bringing a seasonal employee into the team.