Hiring Seasonal Employees

hiring summer employees
Workers In Family Business Standing Next To Van

In many industries, summer means a rush of new hires. Many businesses, however, don’t realize the importance of properly screening all new hires, not just long-term ones. Business owners think that, because seasonal employees will only be in the workplace a short amount of time, the cost of screening doesn’t seem worth it.

However, employees, seasonal or non-seasonal, always carry with them some amount of risk.

Workplace Violence

Employees with criminal backgrounds could be potentially harmful to your staff or your customers. Employers whose industries include work with vulnerable staff or employees, such as minors, the elderly, or the disabled, should especially consider employment screening.

Employee Theft

A study performed by Jack L. Hayes revealed that employees steal almost 6 times the amount as a shoplifting customer would ($706.21 vs. $130.89). Employment screening may show if a candidate has a history of shoplifting, fraud, or theft in the past.

High Turnover

While some employees have no criminal records, they may not be a good fit for the position. Employment screening can include employment verifications and reference checks, as well as degree and certification verifications, if necessary. Employment and education checks help to uncover dishonesty on a resume or a history of poor job performance.

Best Practices

Beginning an employment screening process can help ensure you are hiring workers who are fit for the job. We’ve put together some best practices for you to use when you begin screening employees.

Hire and screen early

Begin your seasonal hiring process early so you have plenty of time to screen. Some checks, such as statewide criminal checks or employment reference checks can take several days, in some cases a week or two to perform. Planning ahead and hiring early will ensure you have plenty of time to properly vet your candidates.

Establish a clearly outlined procedure.

Develop a screening process and stick with it. Your employment screening should be the same no matter if an employee is seasonal or long term. Determine ahead of time if you plan to do employment checks, reference checks, or criminal history checks, among others.

Use a consumer reporting agency (CRA).

Employment screening is a highly regulated industry, and wading through all the legal jargon and applicable laws can be baffling. A good CRA will be up-to-date on new laws governing background checks and can help you learn about laws in your specific state.

Hire previous seasonal employees.

If possible, hire employees who have worked seasonally for you in the past. College students and older high school students can be great for this—they look for jobs every summer, and they’d probably be happy to work a summer job they could go back to every year. Hiring previous employees means a simpler screening process for you. You’ll still want to run a criminal history check, to make sure no felonies have been committed in the time lapse, but employment verifications and reference checks probably aren’t necessary.


Choosing the right employees, seasonal or long term, can help your business maintain a high level of customer service.

What’s your employment screening process?


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