I spend a good amount of my time at work hiring seasonal staff, training seasonal staff, supervising seasonal staff and then repeat. I live a carousel work life; I keep going around and around on this ride but new people hop onto the ride every 6 months and after being on the ride for 3 months they hop off. And you guessed it, I keep on going around and around. I understand this description makes my job sound redundant and tiresome, but because of the constant change in staff my job is probably one of the more ever changing dynamic jobs.
It makes more sense in our line of work (experiential education) to have seasonal staff since we only have schools visit us during the fall and spring seasons (during the school year). There would be a lot of wasted work time if we had our instructors as permanent/full-time employees during the summer and winter months. However, I did begin to ponder if other businesses would benefit from having seasonal staff members versus permanent employees. When you start to job search you will at some point or another run into a staffing agency online who mainly find people for temp to hire positions. There must be some benefits to having temporary staff members if there are so many agencies that hunt for temporary workers.
Don’t you worry folks, I did my research and discovered quite a few pros and cons to hiring seasonal/temporary employees. One wonderful thing about temp work is that you are guaranteed to have staff during your busy time, but you will not have to worry about your down time and creating wasted work time. A study in 2008 proved that temp employees are more productive than full time staff. You can also benefit from using this temporary time as a trial period to determine whether or not you want that particular person on your team. However, a lot more training time goes hand in hand with temporary employees. Because employees come and go more frequently since they are temporary, it is necessary to train the new temp employees. This means that as the employer you’ll be performing frequent trainings for the new staff. Hiring a lot of temporary staff also means that your staff teamwork will not be as high quality since they are only there for a short period of time. It is also common to see low morale at times with the awkwardness of having a mix of temp staff and full time staff. Imagine being a temporary employee and finding out that the guy sitting next to you is doing the same work and they are receiving a higher pay with benefits….AWKWARD.
There are plus and minuses if you are the one considering to do the seasonal work. Seasonal work is great for building up your resume, gaining work experience, finding something to do during those gap years and so much more. The downside though is that it is seasonal work which means your job security isn’t quite there. Seasonal work does not pay too well either and benefits are not even an option most of the time.
These are just some things to consider if you are either an employer debating whether or not to implement some temporary positions OR if you are someone who just found a sweet position but it turns out it is merely a seasonal job. Feel free to read up on the topic yourself, below are the websites I got a lot of my information!
The Pros and Cons of Hiring Temporary Employees by Ryan Kohler, SPHR, 08/23/13
The Benefits and Drawbacks of Working a Seasonal Job by Christina Pomoni, 12/10/2010
8 Pros and Cons of Seasonal Positions by Brittany Schlacter, 11/26/2012
Pros and Cons of Seasonal Employment by Cindy Abbate, 12/2/2010