4 tips for onboarding seasonal employees

During peak hiring periods — around the holidays and in the summer months — it’s critical that businesses can easily manage the addition of temporary employees and quickly get them up to speed. From recruiting to training to offboarding, seasonal employees can put your processes to the test.

Not only do you have to find and hire the right people, but you also have a very short time to train them and get them connected to your organization.

According to Forbes Woman columnist and onboarding expert Emily Bennington, every employee in an organization should be integrated into the company on several levels – regardless of the length of employment. But because of the time constraints associated with onboarding seasonal workers, you’re going to need a concentrated game plan.

4 Key factors to build a strong seasonal workforce

1) Tailor your recruiting strategies. Your recruiting efforts should be tailored to meet the specific needs of a seasonal workforce. It’s important to make the details of the opportunity clear from the beginning.

2) Perform due diligence. Don’t skimp on collecting legal papers and monitoring employees’ schedules. “A lot of people short-circuit processes like verifying work eligibility or tracking hours correctly. It should go without saying, but you really need to be sure you’re following the law,” says John Rossheim, a senior contributing writer at Monster.com.

3) Provide proper training. According to Bennington, onboarding should focus on integrating new employees in three areas:

  • Technical Skills: To what depth of expertise do seasonal employees need to be trained to perform their jobs?
  • Company Culture: How thoroughly do seasonal hires need to understand company policies and values?
  • Social Integration: In what ways can you connect seasonal employees to your organization so they feel like they are part of the team?

Furthermore, Rossheim suggests designing your seasonal workforce “to accomplish the task at hand, rather than haphazardly training everyone to do everything they may possibly have to do. Specialize rather than throwing everyone into the same bucket.”

4) Make them part of the team. Seasonal employees can easily feel isolated if an onboarding program doesn’t successfully connect them to the organization. According to Eddie Baeb of Target Corporate Communications, Target is focused on engaging seasonal employees and making them feel just as valued as anyone else from day one.

You may have discovered a few star performers you’d like to bring onto your team permanently. Seasonal hires can be a great way for finding permanent team members. For the rest, though, Bennington says “there’s definitely an opportunity to establish brand ambassadors.” Offboarding provides a chance to make a lasting positive impression while gaining insight into the worker’s experience.

Standard offboarding practices include surveying workers on their experience. Go beyond surveying and having one-on-one exit interviews with select employees to get more candid responses.

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