Published: May 14, 2019

Businesses that go through busy seasons might feel increased pressure in the months leading up to the inevitable influx of seasonal staff members. There are lots of people involved in the hiring, training and directing of seasonal workers, from HR professionals to managers to executives. With so many hands on deck, it can be easy to allow certain parts to get somewhat convoluted. Payroll, for instance, is a high-stakes function that businesses must stay accountable for when bringing on and working with seasonal workers.

But don’t worry – we've got the tips you need right here for how to best manage payroll for seasonal workers:

Woman looking up from crowd seasonal workforce payroll concept

Set aside budgets for seasonal influxes

Is there a time of year when business gets crazy? For retail companies, the holiday and back-to-school seasons are two of the most hectic times of the year. For hospitality businesses, the best time for additional hands on deck depends on the peak travel months. A ski resort will have a completely different peak season than the waterpark down the road. When business leaders have been working in the sector for a decent amount of time, they understand when their industries' busy seasons fall every year.

Organizations should set aside a predetermined budget to use in the recruitment, onboarding, and training of seasonal staff members. Even though some spending goes into the talent acquisition process, businesses should plan to dedicate some of this funding to ramping up payroll resources. Automation can be a big help here too – we’ll talk more about that in a little bit.

Evaluate what your seasonal staff needs

Before you bring on seasonal staff for this year's busy season, it's important to decide if there are any extraneous issues or factors that might get in the way of business operations. As important as it is to keep your business ahead of the curve during its peak months, it's just as crucial to establish exactly what your seasonal staff needs and expects from you.

There are plenty of factors to take into consideration when figuring out what your seasonal staff members need. First, their employment schedule is a significant determinant. Part-time seasonal employees may not have the same regulations as their full-time co-workers. For instance, it might be easier for part-time staff members to take time off as needed and for this time to be recorded clearly in their pay stub. There are also typically less deductions to calculate for with part-time staff, as things like benefits don’t play as heavily into their paychecks.

You'll need to consider whether your state or industry has specific requirements regarding whether seasonal staff members are entitled to overtime. This is where payroll’s impact on compliance can be clearly seen. An HCM platform that accounts for the compliance requirements in your area or sector can take a lot of weight off the payroll team’s shoulders, and could even be the difference between a properly run workplace and a costly lawsuit.

Speak to your system capabilities

Before crafting your execution plan, you might want to take a look at your current capabilities and make any adjustments as you see fit. Upgrading to a sophisticated HCM system can be the difference between sinking and swimming this busy season. Consider upping your system's capabilities to improve productivity, quality, and accuracy through the following functions:

Automate the compliance process

The days of manually inputting data are – thankfully – coming to an end as companies are starting to get more onboard with automating various business processes, including payroll. By automating this process, as we mentioned earlier, payroll professionals can save plenty of time while staying on top of important compliance measures. The American Payroll Association reported that automation reduces the costs associated with payroll processes by approximately 80%. When they switch to an automated compliance process, businesses can drastically reduce the amount of issues with paychecks. Because they are eliminating opportunities for human error, these organizations stand out from the pack when handling hectic payroll changes resulting from a seasonal workforce.

Take advantage of position templates

Position management is an important practice in HCM where HR teams build out templates of the jobs they're hiring for. These profiles include certain components, such as time rules, pay rules, benefits, and job duties. Once these templates are in place, HR can assign positions to incoming employees, aligning them with clear responsibilities and setting them on the right onboarding tracks. Establishing your different job profiles so they automatically sync with the right pay rules, benefits, and responsibilities can save the payroll team a lot of time on top of the advantages it gives HR. This speedier process especially comes in handy when you're hiring a bunch of new seasonal workers.

Also, remember when we were talking about budgets earlier? Well, a good position management solution can also assign budget targets to the different position templates you set up, so it becomes a breeze to track where you’re at with the funds you’ve allocated for seasonal hiring and keep spending under control.

Human capital management for seasonal payroll

HCM software can help businesses stay on top of their payroll goals during the busiest times of year. It can help leaders stay ahead of payroll issues that can create major problems in their organization, such as noncompliance, delays and inaccuracies. Ultimately, this type of platform can keep business running smoothly no matter how hectic payroll systems get with the revolving door of seasonal workers. If you’re a payroll professional trying to become more strategic about your processes, get in touch with the executives at your business and see how investing in HCM can improve your organization's payroll operations during peak season and all year round.