Best practices for seasonal hiring
Summer is when most people want to take a break from the routine and spend time enjoying warm weather activities. Hiring seasonal employees for your healthcare practice can alleviate those workforce shortages left by staff members who may be taking some well-deserved vacation time. Even if it’s a short-term arrangement, you’ll want to be sure to hire the best summer help for your business, be it administrative support staff or healthcare providers. There are a few considerations to make including the type of temporary seasonal employees to hire, how you’ll find the best candidates, how to onboard and train them quickly and efficiently, and how much to pay them. Here are some tips for recruiting and hiring the best seasonal employees:
1. Company Culture
The identity of your company is known as company culture. It’s your mission, vision and values. It’s how you treat your patients and conduct your business. It’s the representation of your brand. John Keyser, Founder and CEO of Common Sense Leadership, defines company culture this way: “Company culture, in essence, is the spirit of our people.”
When considering hiring seasonal employees, it’s important to think about the ideal candidates for your business. You’ll want to be sure that the person(s) who fills the seasonal position will represent your business the same way your permanent employees do.
2. Customize Job Descriptions
How old are your seasonal employee job descriptions? If they are more than a year old, consider customizing them. These job descriptions can be the basis for advertising and recruitment and employees who are hired on a seasonal basis will most likely have limited responsibilities since they won’t be employed by your business long-term. Expectations by the seasonal candidate will also be different. That’s why these descriptions should never be adapted versions of a permanent position.
When writing and customizing job descriptions for seasonal employees, be sure to include at the very minimum, the following elements:
Job responsibilities and duties – clearly define the expectations and essential functions of the job including specific duties, technical responsibilities, communication skills, etc. Use bullet points. Non-essential functions can be described in an “additional responsibilities” section if needed.
Immediate supervisor – indicate to whom this person will report (do not include personal names, only titles). An immediate supervisor may be an office manager, department supervisor, or an owner.
Required skills – list the essential required skills necessary to perform the job. This could include computer skills (indicate specifically the skill level required and/or specific software skills experience required), customer service skills, writing skills, front office or telephone skills, specific therapy skills, or physical requirements such as lifting or pushing.
Days and hours – outline the specific hours, days, or shifts that the employee will be required to work.
Education and experience – List the minimal acceptable as well as the preferred qualifications, education and experience needed for this position. Also list any certifications or licenses that are required to perform the job.
Equal opportunity employer statement – Also known as EOE, this is a short paragraph that indicates a business’s commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. It is a statement of compliance with the federal anti-discrimination laws that require employees of their right to be free from workplace discrimination and retaliation. Employers should always include this statement in their job listings. This resource provides examples of EOE statements.
Background, drug or credit checks – Indicate your policy on conducting pre-employment background, drug or credit checks.
Perks or benefits – List any special perks or benefits you are willing to offer to seasonal employees. If your clinic offers free employee parking, is located on a bus or subway line, or near a shopping mall, or within walking distance to shops and restaurants or other medical facilities, it may help to attract candidates who would find those perks beneficial.
If you need help with drafting job descriptions, Monster.com offers sample job descriptions in a variety of positions and industries.
Asking for a salary history is outlawed in many states. Before requiring your seasonal (or permanent) employees to list their salary history, you should check to make sure it is legal to do so in your state or local city.
Determine the compensation you will pay your seasonal employee. Keep in mind that when the economy is strong, competition to hire the best seasonal employees increases as supply is less than demand. In a strong economy, hiring a candidate may come down to the amount of compensation you are willing to pay.
Be sure to check with your state and federal labor and hiring laws to determine what the minimal amount of compensation you are required to pay for hourly employees. If you’re looking to hire therapy providers or assistants, check with national and local chapters of professional associations for guidance on compensation for new employees. There are also online salary tools that can provide you with a ballpark figure on what the going pay rates are in your city and state.
4. Advertise the position
Depending on the type of seasonal employee you are hiring will determine where you should advertise the opening. If you work with recruiters, start there. Or check out some of the online job boards and choose one to post your seasonal position. Facebook also has a hiring tool that gives employers the ability to post on their platform. And don’t forget about LinkedIn when seeking professional seasonal employees.
If your website has a “careers” section, be sure to post the job there. You can direct candidates on social media to your “careers” section with links to that website page.
If your business is in a community with a lot of local foot traffic, you may want to post the position in a visible office window.
If applicable, contact schools, universities or technical colleges and ask if they have a list of students looking for seasonal employment or if they will post your job.
5. Onboarding and Training
Last but certainly not least is employee onboarding and training. Even though your new hire may be a seasonal employee, it’s important to invest the time and resources to properly onboard and train them to be successful in their new role with your clinic. Proper onboarding and training will help ensure consistency in workflow and productivity. Invest in the time to develop an onboarding and training program – not only for seasonal employees – but for each and every employee you hire for your business.
By following these tips for hiring seasonal employees, you’ll be ready for a streamlined and rewarding hiring experience.
Editor’s Note: This post originally appeared on our blog on June 11, 2018 and was titled, “5 Tips for Hiring the Best Temporary Summer Help for your Business.” It has been retitled and updated with new information.
This article is brought to you by PREFERRED Therapy Providers Inc. PREFERRED is the nation’s leading payor management services network. Our expertise is working with physical, occupational and speech therapy practices – from single clinics to multiple clinic locations.