Many businesses focus only on offering benefits to permanent team members, while temporary employees or those who step in to fill roles that are dictated by seasonal demand are overlooked.

Indeed the latest BLS stats show that while at least two thirds of people in permanent public or private sector roles have core benefits like healthcare available to them, the same is not guaranteed for those with non-permanent positions. As such it’s useful to consider if it makes sense to incentivise loyalty in temp workers by bringing them into the fold with a benefits package akin to their full-time counterparts.

The question, then, is what types of benefits are suitable for temporary employees, and why should you provide them at your organization?

temporary employees
Photo by Yan Krukau

Paid Time Off for Temporary & Seasonal Staff

First off, it’s worth providing paid time off to your temporary and seasonal staff. This is a great way of showing appreciation for their contributions while also increasing employee satisfaction and loyalty.

With the right policies in place, this benefit delivers much-needed flexibility to team members, letting them plan vacations or tend to personal needs that arise during employment periods.

Of course it’s important to consider how these benefits will be structured when dealing with non-permanent staff, who often move from job to job more frequently than regular full-time workers. While vacation days are typically earned on an accrual basis over long durations of employment as part of regular benefits packages, for temporary staff it makes sense to set out a clear, consistent policy that applies to each one equally.

This means making sure that PTO is limited for non-permanent employees, so as to avoid an overly generous or flexible policy being abused, to the detriment of your bottom line.

Temping Agencies May Cover Specific Benefits

When dealing with temporary employees, employers should be mindful of the fact that many temps are sourced through agencies who may have their own benefits packages in place as part of a job offer from the agency itself.

This is particularly relevant when considering travel nurses and other medical professionals, where one-off or short-term assignments can often be found via dedicated agencies or travel nursing job boards which provide additional healthcare coverage options, or financial incentives to attract quality talent.

In such cases it’s important to ensure that any pre-existing benefits provided by an agency are not compromised if taking on staff directly, rather than working through an external provider. This will help you maintain good relationships with your chosen vendors, while also ensuring that all potential employees receive equitable remuneration regardless of how they were hired into your organization.

Provision of Training Resources for Longer Duration Assignments

For any temporary or seasonal employee who is likely to be with your organization for an extended period, providing access to additional training resources can help ensure that they are able to make the most out of their contract, and develop valuable skills which may benefit them in future roles.

This could take the form of more formalized educational opportunities such as online courses or attending seminars, but it’s also important not to overlook offering internal mentoring programs and job shadowing experiences which give employees a greater insight into how other departments within your organization work.

Furthermore, by allocating specific budgets towards these initiatives, you can demonstrate commitment from both sides – showing potential candidates that you value their individual growth while also highlighting just how much impact a brief stint at your company could have on someone’s career trajectory.

Other Financial Incentives to Attract Quality Talent

Another option that you might consider is offering bonuses or cash rewards for reaching specific milestones within assignments involving temporary employees.

Such incentives are often used as a means of attracting high quality employees in competitive markets, but it’s important that these benefits also take into account what would be suitable compensation for shorter contracts, so as not to discriminate against those who only remain employed through your organization briefly.

Clearly these incentives should be performance-related, and must be designed to both win over non-permanent workers, while also not being so significant as to match or eclipse the rewards provided to full time employees. It’s all part of the balancing act that makes a well-crafted benefits scheme so important to offer, yet so fraught with potential pitfalls.

Healthcare and Insurance Coverage Options For Non-Permanent Employees

When hiring temporary or seasonal staff, employers should also consider the healthcare and insurance needs of these employees.

As non-permanent workers may not be eligible for the same benefits packages as regular full-time staff, it’s important to provide adequate coverage in case of any accidents that might occur during their assignment. This could include offering access to health plans or other types of insurance policies which are tailored specifically towards short term contracts, so as not expose your organization to unnecessary liabilities in the event that something goes wrong.

In addition, you may want to extend similar levels of safety net protection for those working overseas. This will ensure they have access to appropriate medical services, without having an undue financial burden placed on them or their families if disaster strikes.

To be clear, the coverage only needs to last for the duration of their working contract. This means you don’t need to incur ongoing costs for insurance and healthcare provision once their time at your organization has come to an end.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are a variety of reasons to think about what benefits are a good fit for temporary and seasonal workers. It’s advantageous not only to the employees, but also to your business’ ability to attract top talent.

That said, you have to be tuned into the need to balance the expense of providing benefits in this context, against the costs involved.

As discussed, putting stricter limits on things like PTO, insurance and financial incentives is sensible. You don’t want to go overboard in the hope of bringing the best of the best onboard, only to be burned by less scrupulous temporary employees.