It’s that time of year when high school and college students are out of school, and many are looking for summer work. It’s also the time when some seasonal businesses pick up, and many depend on solid summer help. Hiring seasonal workers?Here are 5 things you can do to make sure you’ve got your bases covered:
Determine your Real Needs:
Before you start posting on hiring boards, figure out what your needs really are. Do you need freelancers or employees? Is it OK to hire young, inexperienced workers, or do you need a team with expertise? Finally, make sure you know how many labor hours are truly needed, so you don’t over or under hire.
Know the Law:
Whether you’re hiring teenage workers, freelancers, or just short-term employees, there may be some different laws governing what you can and cannot do. For example, employees are entitled to certain benefits that don’t apply to independent contractors, and there are penalties for misclassifying workers for your own benefit. Similarly, if you’re hiring teens, you need to know specific age limits, which job tasks they can perform by law, and the number of hours they are allowed to work. These guidelines may vary from state to state, so check your local statute.
Get the Most out of your Staff:
If you regularly hire short-term employees, the first step is to stop thinking about them that way. Instead, work under the premise that you’re developing a loyal, trained, on-call workforce. After all, a great high school or college student can be an asset for a good four years, and may even come to you for a full-time job somewhere down the line. So don’t skimp on training, and have clearly written rules and regulations that all team members are required to follow. Take care of your employees, train them thoroughly, and treat them well, just as you would any other employee that you want to retain long term.
Get the Right Coverage:
If you’re legitimately hiring independent contractors, you don’t need to worry about benefits. But according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, employers are still required to pay into Social Security, Worker’s Compensation, and, in some cases, unemployment for seasonal workers.
Don’t Forget Health Insurance:
Under the Affordable Care Act, if you employ a workforce of 50 or more, you may be required to offer health insurance to seasonal employees who work more than 30 hours per week. If your workforce only exceeds 50 because you hire seasonal workers, however, the mandate may not apply. There are several different ways to measure your workforce and determine whether you’re required to offer healthcare options. If you’re unsure, seek legal counsel to help you understand what’s required of you as an employer.