As the summer approaches, many businesses are preparing to hire seasonal workers to deal with the resulting increase in customers and orders. Before you begin the hiring process, take some time to consider each of the important issues below.
- Seasonal workers need to know that their position is temporary.
One of the most common problems employers with seasonal workers face relates to workers' understanding of their positions. If you don't make it clear that seasonal workers are being hired on a temporary basis, you may find yourself dealing with an angry or belligerent employee when the season ends. Likewise, if the employee takes the job without knowing it is temporary and finds out a few weeks later, he or she may become less productive and/or quit altogether. To prevent these problems, make sure that every temporary employee you hire is aware of the end date of his or her position.
- Seasonal employees should still be vetted.
When you are hiring an individual for a short time only, you may consider saving some money by reducing the amount of work you put into the hiring process. However, each seasonal employee you hire represents your business and will have an impact on its profitability. To ensure that you hire reliable employees that won't put your company in jeopardy, take the time to vet each candidate thoroughly. Be sure to review applications carefully, conduct comprehensive interviews and perform background checks before you bring anyone new on staff.
- Seasonal workers are often considered "employees," regardless of how long they remain on staff.
Because seasonal workers are part of your company for only a limited time, it may be tempting to view them as non-employees. However, unless they meet the qualifications of independent contractors, these workers are still considered employees in the eyes of the law. Thus, you must provide them with certain benefits when required, such as workers' compensation insurance, minimum wage, overtime pay and more.
- You must still withhold taxes.
Like all other employees, seasonal workers are subject to tax withholding and reporting requirements. To avoid penalties and other problems, make sure you are in compliance with all of these regulations.
If you are hiring independent contractors instead of employees, you don't usually need to withhold taxes unless special circumstances apply. However, you must report each contractor's earnings to the Internal Revenue Service if they exceed $600.
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