Your Guide to Supporting Seasonal Employees This Year (When Nothing Else is Normal)

Whether it’s for baristas, retail workers, or supply chain associates handling extra inventory, the holidays are a time when many companies hire additional seasonal staff. Hiring seasonal employees has never been easy, but COVID-19 is only adding to the list of challenges. How can you attract and incentivize seasonal workers to your company during a pandemic? And what special considerations should you make this year when hiring temporary workers? We’ll explore these questions by taking a look at this year’s consumer trends and highlighting ways to support seasonal hires that can benefit them and simplify life for you.

2020 Holiday Consumer Trends

Consumer habits are just one of the many things COVID-19 has changed—possibly forever. Here are a few seasonal trends likely to ramp up this holiday season.

Buying Earlier—And Closer to Home

According to a survey from Google, 66% of shoppers will plan to shop more at small, local businesses this year; 70% of consumers will shop earlier than normal to avoid crowds; and 53% of shoppers will specifically seek out stores with contactless pickup options.

These statistics reflect changing consumer attitudes towards big box stores both for reasons pertaining to social responsibility and also an increased desire to seek out less-crowded experiences. In short: People are buying earlier—and closer to home. 

Surge in Online Sales

While people are planning to purchase more items than usual at local businesses, online retail will still be huge this year—especially with fears of the pandemic still lingering. With more of the world preferring online purchasing when possible, it makes sense that two jobs are in extra-high demand this season: delivery drivers and warehouse distribution workers. FedEx, for example, plans to hire 70,000 seasonal workers this year, which is a 27% increase from last year’s hires. 

How to support seasonal workers in 2020

So what does this data mean for you and your seasonal employees? It means that regardless of whether you’re a mom and pop shop or a major online retailer, you’ll need extra support earlier than ever this year. And in order to get extra support from your hires, you need to make sure you find ways to support them in return.

Because your seasonal employees will only be working for you for a short amount of time, making sure they get the most out of their experience is incredibly important. Ensuring they feel part of the team, paying them in a fast and safe way throughout COVID-19, and offering them instant payouts of tips or mileage reimbursements are all ways you can show your support. Plus, doing these things can make life simpler for you, too.

1. Help seasonal hires feel like part of the team

Although seasonal hires will likely only be with you for a short time, it’s important to treat them like you would any other employee and make them feel like part of the team. The more invested you are in them joining the team, the more invested they’ll be in helping keep business running smoothly. Plus, after their seasonal time is up, there may be the potential to hire them full time.

2. Move to contactless payments

You’ve likely already made contactless payments easier for your customers during COVID-19, but what about how you pay your employees? Paying seasonal employees has always needed to be as quick and effective as possible, but the current economic climate (and concerns over COVID) have created an increased need to pay people faster—and safer. These are all great reasons to switch to digital payments. Pay your seasonal hires digitally when possible, pushing funds to a debit card or direct deposit. This way, there’s no time to be wasted cutting paper checks and no need to handle unsanitary cash. It’s less work for you, faster for your employees, and safer for everyone involved. 

3. Allow for instant payout of tips or mileage reimbursement

Seasonal hires are working for you because they need extra money—the time between being hired and receiving their first paystub may feel like a long wait. If possible, find a way to pay your seasonal hires immediately—at least their tips and any mileage reimbursement after every shift if they're making deliveries.

With the Branch Card and Digital Wallet, we help you accomplish this. You can pay your employees instantly—even paying out tips and mileage after each shift. They get a fee-free debit card and checking account they can take with them for life, and you can give them their card on day one. But unlike pay cards that also traditionally offer that “day one” mentality, the Branch Card and Digital Wallet are both completely free for you and your employees. And they're no-sweat for you: We manage their accounts for your employees, meaning there’s no unnecessary HR or payroll burden on you. In fact, you might find life's a whole lot simpler without having to run to the bank to make change or process one-off payments all the time.

Whatever the holidays have in store for your business, supporting seasonal hires and simplifying how you pay them is a smart way to boost productivity and keep business running smoothly.

Simplify your seasonal payroll with Branch Cards today.

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