WARNING: Read This Before You Recruit Seasonal Workers

Seasonal Workers

Recruit Seasonal Workers - AIP Safety Calgary

In many fields, seasonal workers are an essential component for completing certain tasks and objectives. Industries such as manufacturing, retail, and construction all require seasonal workers at various times of the year.

When it comes to finding these kinds of workers, there are many options. There are internship programs, local colleges, temp agencies, even online job boards. But however you decide to go about finding temp workers for your particular job site, there are a few things you should keep in mind in regards to the recruitment process.

Training Matters

It’s important to provide the same safety training courses to your seasonal workers. Just because they are only temporary doesn’t mean that their training or education should be omitted. Training in regards to how to perform tasks to complete the job, as well as how to properly use their PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) are both important and necessary.

Many times, employers want to skim over the details of the hiring process and get the temps in the field quickly. And this is understandable, after all, why invest the time and money to train someone when they’re only going to be there for a couple of weeks or months, right? As tempting as that may be, it’s important to refrain from that urge and properly train your seasonal workers, just like you would anyone else.

Think of it this way, if your temp workers aren’t trained to do their job right, or they lack the knowledge in regards to the safety regulations, this ignorance will most certainly cause them to make errors on the job. And some of these blemishes can be quite costly and time-consuming if they happen frequently enough.

And worst of all, without proper training, these seasonal workers could unintentionally cause harm to themselves or other workers due to their lack of training. This entails that the investment is worth it, even if the seasonal employee will only be with you for a short period of time.

Now, there are certainly ways to reduce the time spent in training while still giving temp workers the education they need to do the job safely. Some considerations to think about include:

Provide the seasonal workers with easy tasks: Give temp workers jobs that are easy to perform and require minimal training. This gives your permanent workers the opportunity to broaden their skill sets in other areas. Many organizations tend to hire seasonal workers for the more risky jobs, no good. This is an error in judgment if you haven’t properly invested in your seasonal workers by training them appropriately.

  • Minimize the workload: Keep the tasks and work sites as small as you can. This means you won’t need as much training because there are fewer safety concerns to stress over.
  • Think about the workspace of your seasonal employee: If the job site in question is small with minimal or no safety hazards, then training may not be necessary. Or perhaps a modified version of the training program will suffice. Additionally, you could train your temp worker to do a specific task (rather than a plethora of tasks that a typical training course will teach), and then have them perform that one activity. However, if you use this method, it’s important to ensure that that particular worker doesn’t get caught in more danger-prone spots of a job site.
  • Give them a guide: If possible, give the temp worker a superior to look after them for a couple of days or a week. They will learn while in action as the more experienced employee can show them the ropes, give them tips and feedback, and provide them with details on all the safety best practices.
  • Safety list and job duties: By providing an index of jobs as well as safety obligations, the temp workers can pick up pretty quickly what they need to do and what their scope of work happens to be.

Add Your Seasonal Workers to the Team

A couple of common issues with temp workers is first; because they don’t feel committed to the company, oftentimes they will drag their feet, putting in a half-hearted effort on the job. And secondly, some of them may even cease showing up to work altogether after only a few weeks (or in some cases, days).

To prevent this, ensure that you (as well as your permanent workers) are doing all you can to make your temps feel included -- like they’re appreciated and a valuable part of the team. You can do this by:

  • Offering decent pay rates
  • Providing incentives and other perks for employee engagement
  • Earmarking a friendly and helpful mentor to provide them with guidance and assistance while they learn all the functions of the job
  • Being open about pay raises after a certain amount of time and commitment to the job/company