Summer will be here soon and for many small businesses, summer is a time to hire seasonal help. Whether the help comes in the form of local teens or college students to help with stocking or work behind the counter, or from an adult labor pool for work that can only be done in the summer months, hiring is hiring. You must have a plan to acquire, train, and utilize summer help just as you do for regular full-time employees.
To that end, here are some tips to help you construct that plan.
Attract Qualified Applicants
Rob Wilson, president of Westmont, Illinois Employco USA, Inc., told Monster.com that it is important to sell your small company brand in a way that is attractive to job seekers. “Is your workplace a great place to work?” Wilson says, “What’s the work environment like?” Would be summer employees, especially the most qualified ones, care about the environment for their temporary job as much as full-time workers.
Whether you advertise in the local newspaper or depend on word-of-mouth and referrals to fill your temporary positions, make sure the word that gets out paints a positive picture of your business.
Fast-Track Employee Orientation
When you make a normal hire, you probably have an orientation process that might take weeks or even months. You don’t have that kind of time with summer employees. It’s important for new, but temporary hires to get up to speed as quickly as possible. You don’t want to skip any important steps, but efficiency in training and orientation is key.
Fill Out Tax Paperwork
Online accounting firm, Kashoo reminds that while temporary, seasonal employees come and go, at the end of the year, there will be tax consequences. If you failed to have them fill out all paperwork, tracking them down after they have gone back to school, for example, could be a real chore. Don’t forget to get all paperwork squared away right away – to avoid embarrassment or tax problems later.
What’s the Pay Scale?
Unless you are exempt due to the type of business you own, or because you hire certain types of workers, you are probably subject to minimum wage. Make sure you know what it is for your location. It varies by province, ranging from $9.75 in Alberta to $10.54 in the Yukon.
What Type of Help Are You Hiring?
Are your seasonal employees independent contractors, part time-employees, or full-time employees (for the duration of their employment)? Status makes a difference, especially when it comes to taxes and insurance matters. Be familiar with laws regarding employee status and what works best for your business.
What Do You Want Me to Do?
If your summer help is asking this question on a regular basis, your training/orientation has not been sufficient. Develop a job description for seasonal help, just like for other employees. If seasonal help are expected to be more “Jack of all trades” than “Master of one,” you need to have a written job description providing a basic explanation of what each “covered” position does.
If seasonal help is there for tasks regular employees never have to do – such as landscaping, mowing grass, etc., there’s even more reason for a written job description.
To Learn More
Almost anything you might want to know about the Canada Labour Code is available on this website. This extensive and excellent resource goes well beyond the hiring and treatment of seasonal employees.