How to Navigate Hiring Seasonal Workers for the Holidays

By Katherine Muniz
November 1, 2016

Many businesses are staffing their teams in preparation for the busy holiday season. If you’re considering hiring extra help but don’t know where to start, these steps can help.

Figure out the basics

If you’re pressed for time, it’s tempting to start your holiday hiring as quickly as possible. But before you do that, it’s important to determine your hiring budget, your needs, and the length of employment you’re hiring for. Are you looking to hire employees that will be terminated at the end of the busy season? Or temporary employees who have room to grow? Decide what you want early on and be transparent during the interviewing process. Most holiday workers expect that the position will be temporary, but make it clear to them if you plan on letting them go.

Get all employee agreements in writing

Whittled down, you prospective candidates? Time to reach out and inform them of your decision ASAP. Prepare a job offer and employment agreement that states all the need-to-know information, such as the position’s end date, rate of pay, employee rules/policies, and any other parameters that need to be communicated upfront. Most holiday workers expect that the position will be short-term, but it’s important that you put together documentation that outlines the terms of employment. To protect yourself, make sure new hires sign the agreement stating that they finally understand and accept the terms of employment.

Classify seasonal employees according to state and federal laws

After the agreements are signed, you’ll need to prepare the right paperwork and tax forms. Take a look at the job description — is your worker an employee or an independent contractor? Worker classification dictates what tax forms need to be completed and the forms you hand out during tax time. During tax time, an independent contractor receives a 1099 tax form in place of a W-2 form.

Classifying independent contractors

Unlike bonafide employees, independent contractors are responsible for submitting their own income taxes to the IRS. Employers aren’t subject to paying payroll taxes for them. Independent contractors are viewed as self-employed, so for that reason, they are usually not eligible for employee benefits such as health insurance, paid time off and, overtime pay. For those reasons, many employers label workers this way just for the benefits alone. But the determination has to fit or you could be slapped with a wage and hour lawsuit.

Keep proper time records

With the holiday rush and pressure on, it’s likely that you won’t have the time or attention to devote to counting the work time of all your employees. Instead, consider investing in an efficient, user-friendly automated timekeeping system. You can learn the ropes, get started, and master time tracking by the holidays. With a system that tracks and breaks down hours, payroll is always easy and accurate.

Some systems can streamline the process even more, such as FingerCheck360, a unique solution designed for time tracking and payroll. FingerCheck360 is built for businesses that want one software that allows them to do it all. It converts time data into payroll data and allows you to run payroll within minutes. FingerCheck360 automatically keeps proper timekeeping records for your employees so you can stay in compliance with recordkeeping requirements.

If you’re hiring for the holidays, you have zero time to waste. By efficiently navigating the hiring/onboarding process, your new and improved squad can confidently hit the floor running this season drama-free.

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