Businesses, both large and small, feel the pressure of tax season, with its piles of paperwork, inevitable changes and impending deadlines. Accounting and finance professionals often face the prospect of working long hours to keep pace with heavy workloads, and contract professionals can serve as invaluable reinforcements.
When you find yourself in need of extra help this time of year, you need an effective strategy to find, hire and onboard seasonal employees quickly. Here are three critical steps:
1. Connect with top recruiting experts
A good relationship with a recruiter is essential to successful seasonal hiring. A specialized talent solutions firm like Robert Half knows the job candidate marketplace in your industry and city. We have a database of job seekers, including many that you and other companies wouldn’t have access to on your own.
Moreover, it can be challenging to evaluate a large number of people in a short amount of time when you and your team are already stretched thin.
An employment agency can make this process much easier and help you identify and bring on board lots of seasonal employees at once. Whether you need on-site or remote workers, we can help — and fast.
Read these tips for how to hire a senior accountant.
2. Be ready to make an offer
Just as you would with a job candidate for a permanent position, assess potential seasonal employees based on the required skills and experience, performance expectations and work style. Conduct reference checks, too.
But before you do all that, find out what range you should expect to pay. If a recruiter is helping you hire seasonal help, they can work with you so that you offer compensation that meets the market standard.
You also can consult resources such as the Salary Guide From Robert Half.
3. Set clear expectations with seasonal employees
Even with a contract professional, you need to have a strong sense of the specific duties and responsibilities of the job you’re filling. If you’re working with an employment agency, inform the recruiter of the time frame and key expectations, and make sure they are communicated to job candidates during the interview.
It’s a worthwhile exercise to write a detailed job description before you bring the contract worker on board — and go over it on the first day. Then stick with it, avoiding the temptation to give the seasonal employee whatever random assignment needs doing. One of the advantages is that in the event the contract position becomes something more after all the taxes are filed, you’ll be able to accurately determine how well the person fulfilled the job. Seasonal employees often make great candidates for permanent placement.
Of course, tax time isn’t the only time companies can bring aboard seasonal employees. They can be particularly helpful when businesses experience a spike in workload or have lost workers.
Here are some of the other situations when hiring seasonal employees can be particularly helpful to your business:
- Hectic holidays — Many employees use their vacation time during the summer and the holidays. When several team members are out of the office at the same time and for an extended period, stress levels can rise for remaining employees who are tasked with keeping projects moving forward.
- Classrooms and meetings — Educational institutions and local governments have an ongoing need for contract workers to provide reliable IT infrastructure and tech support for online instruction and remote public meetings. The shift toward virtual learning programs has also increased the need for designers, developers and video production professionals.
- Open enrollment periods — During open enrollment periods, employees throughout the United States sign up for health insurance plans and other benefit programs for the year ahead. Companies need to evaluate benefits and field questions from employees as they consider changes to their plans. They need to coordinate and communicate the policies, practices and procedures, all while making sure data-entry tasks and day-to-day operations aren’t neglected.
Whether you’re burdened by tax time or talent shortages, a little preparation can go a long way. Apply the strategy outlined above to find the best seasonal employees who can provide extra support when there is a temporary increase in workload — and take the load off you and the rest of your team.