Many sectors of the UK economy rely on seasonal recruitment in order to develop their businesses and satisfy consumer demand. Agriculture, tourism and hospitality are just a few examples of industries that can only function efficiently as a result of seasonal recruitment.
Use a reputable agency for your seasonal recruitment needs
There is nothing wrong with placing an advertisement in a local newspaper when you need to recruit. The problem arises when you have to sift through the myriad of applications and then assess which candidates you should interview. You should ask yourself whether you can really afford the time to go through the recruitment process. Often, it’s much easier and efficient to engage the services of an experienced recruitment agency, for example, The SmartList, that will be able to weed out candidates on your behalf.
If you are using a temporary workforce, the agency will be also able to act as the employer, rather than you having to satisfy cumbersome HMRC demands.
Checking your candidates
If you do decide to recruit your staff directly, rather than using an agency you must be aware of your legal responsibilities. In May 2015 the government introduced the Employer’s Guide to Right to Work Checks, and any employer who fails to follow the terms and conditions of this regulation, will find themselves in trouble. These checks have to be carried out before your hire the employee. So, farmers looking to harvest crops or a restaurant that employs extra staff during the Christmas rush will have to factor this legal obligation into their hiring process.
Speaking about the need for applying checks to all immigrant workers, the immigration minister, James Brokenshire, stated that, ‘rogue employers who give jobs to illegal migrants are denying work to UK citizens and legal migrants.’ According to the BBC website fines of up to £20,000 or even prison sentences will be imposed if employers don’t follow these rules.
Coping with fluctuating needs
The needs of businesses that employ seasonal workers may fluctuate on an annual basis. This is especially relevant to those who work within the agricultural sector. Many farmers use Gangmasters in order to cope with seasonal demand and as long as the Gangmaster can show that they hold a Gangmaster’s Licence, this might be an employment solution for a busy farmer.
Make sure your business is up to date with insurance
A seasonal workforce means that business owners will have to check that they have the right health and safety practices in place. As well as being a legal requirement, your insurers will have to be informed if your workforce expands from just a few members of staff to additional teams of contract workers during busy periods.
As long as you follow the government guidelines on employment, pay a decent wage and learn how to deal with some of the problems that may arise with a larger workforce on your premises, a seasonal workforce can help you grow and make the most from your business.