HR advice for hiring seasonal workers during the holiday season

By HR and health & safety consultancy Peninsula Canada

As retailers prepare for the busy holiday season, all indicators point toward shoppers returning to in-store shopping while also enjoying the convenience of online retail. If you plan to hire seasonal employees this winter, we recommend you keep the following in mind to protect your business.

Hire staff for online sales

This season, you may need additional staff to handle, pack, and ship or deliver online orders and manage curbside pickups. For in-store operations, too, you may need extra staff to implement health and safety measures, such as physical distancing and disinfecting sales counters and pin pads.

Provide transparency in hiring

Your job posting must communicate clearly what the role requires and the job schedule. Be honest about any physical requirements, such as heavy lifting, and schedule requirements, such as working late or on the weekends. Making your expectations clear at the outset will help you find the right candidates.

Draw up employment contracts for seasonal staff

Though you’ll need temporary staff only for a few weeks or months, it’s a good practice to sign job contracts with your seasonal employees. The work contract lays down the job duties and entitlements for both the employee and the employer. It will also shield you from any potential legal claims.

Offer health and safety training

Besides training on how to safely do their job, temporary staff must also receive COVID-19 health and safety training. It should include your daily screening procedure, how to self-monitor for the flu and COVID-19, and next steps in case they experience symptoms while at work. A good response procedure will help employees navigate through this.

In preparation for increased foot traffic, employees should also be trained on the workplace harassment policy. Training employees on de-escalation techniques may also prove helpful in protecting them from harassment if a conflict arises.

Peninsula is an HR and Health & Safety consulting firm serving over 80,000 small businesses worldwide, including dealers in home improvement. Clients are supported with ongoing updates to their workplace documentation and policies as legislation changes. Additionally, clients benefit from 24/7 employer HR advice and are protected by legal insurance.