The weather is warming up, spring has nearly sprung, and people are doing more outside of their home again. Is this your business’s busy time of the year? If so, hiring a few seasonal workers may be a great way to help you get through it. Before you hire anyone, there are a few things you need to know first.
LABOR LAWS STILL APPLY
If your seasonal workers are classified as employees, meaning they work directly for you, all labor laws apply. This includes the requirements and regulations governing harassment and discrimination as well as workplace health and safety. You also have to follow minimum wage and overtime pay requirements as well as recordkeeping and child labor laws. Keep your seasonal hires by the books to avoid any problems later.
KNOW IF YOU’RE HIRING AN EMPLOYEE OR AN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR
An employee, seasonal or not, reports directly to you or your business and works for you. You have control over their schedule as well as the type of work they do for you. When someone is an employee, you’re required to provide unemployment benefits, withhold social security and Medicare taxes from their pay, and provide workers compensation coverage.
An independent contractor or freelancer works with you, not for you. They set their own hours and you hire them to do specific tasks for which they’re paid based on rates you negotiate. But they aren’t subject to the same policies or requirements you have for your employees. You also don’t have to provide unemployment or workers’ comp or withhold social security or Medicare from their pay.
DON’T SKIMP ON SALARY
Because you’re saving money with a seasonal worker by not having to pay benefits, it may be tempting to save even more and offer lower pay than you normally would. It’s better to offer the same amount you’d pay any other new hire, especially if it’s a competitive wage. When you pay more, you tend to have more applicants to choose from in the hiring process. This lets you pick the absolute best people who are worth the extra money.
HIRE GOOD CANDIDATES
Offering competitive pay isn’t the only way to get good candidates. You can work with a staffing agency who will look for people who match exactly what you need. What you spend in fees is more than made up for with the time you save and the speed in which they can fill your open positions. Whether you use a staffing agency or you do the hiring yourself, check references and hire the best people you can find. They may only be seasonal workers but poor employees can hurt your reputation with your customers and your business will suffer.
If this is the year you hire seasonal workers to get you through the busy season, make sure you do it right. Not only will it help your business grow and succeed, it’ll keep you out of legal and financial hot water later.
Once you make the decision for your first seasonal hire, contact Charlotte Insurance so we can make sure you have the right kind and amount of business insurance coverage.