Seasonal vs Permanent Employee: Differences And Benefits

Seasonal vs Permanent
Outsourcing helps as you choose the right season to increase or decrease staff to have a steady payroll that suits your business.

You may not be able to immediately distinguish the workers who are seasonal workers from the traditional sales employee by definition, but we can find some significant differences between these two positions.

A seasonal employee is hired to perform certain tasks for an specific amount of time, most of them are in a contract agreement that specifies the job activities, the role description, the payment amount and method, the bonus and extra benefits, and also the period during which they will be working for the company.

A sales associate is hired with no time frame, often via an open contract that stipulates all the requirements, obligations and responsibilities of both the employee and the company contracting the services, but this contract is open, it has no predefined period of time. Permanent employees will also be eligible for other benefits that increase our payroll.

Seasonal Employees for Temporary Positions

Most of the working positions that fit the description of seasonal employees come in the form of a holiday employment. A seasonal employee is, just as the term implies, an employee who works for a company during high-volume seasons.

Most seasonal workers are often hired around the Thanksgiving-Christmas holiday season, as stores are very busy in this season and time of year. Seasonal employees are temporary, meaning they can be let go at the employers will, or at the moment the contract expires.

In some instances, seasonal employees are considered permanent employees who retain some rights, but will only be paid for an established period of time. When a seasonal employee has been classified by management as permanent, the employee must be given the right to return to work annually, as the busy season rolls around.

Because of the complications associated with this arrangement, very few employers opt to classify their seasonal workers as permanent.

Consistent Work Opportunities

Individuals in need of making a constant income during the year, will not be well suited for a seasonal employment position and should, instead, seek a sales associate position in which they are likely to receive more consistent work opportunities.  Seasonal opportunities are for those looking for a short burst of extra cash, may find the short-term nature and low expectations associated with seasonal employment suitable for their needs.


Just like sales associates, seasonal associates may be eligible for benefits.  Seasonal associates can be classified as permanent employees, but when they do, most of them exceed the sick, personal and vacation time while working, instead of in the periods of seasonal layoff.

If the company offers health insurance, seasonal associates may be eligible to participate if they meet the minimum requirements, and for most of the companies being classified as a full-time employee is necessary to acquire these benefits.

Trial Period

In many companies what starts as a seasonal employment relationship can grow into a full time job opportunity. Companies view the time that seasonal employees work for them as a trial period, during this period, they evaluate the employees closely. When employees do exceptionally well, the company may offer them to stay on past their season. 

These will happen only if it is suitable for the company, if they have a full staff or don’t have enough work for the seasonal workers to execute; the investment of time and resources to hire new employees should be done only if it is really necessary, so pay close attention and only hire seasonal employees when needed.   

Providing Options

Small business owners may experience ups and downs in their businesses. Even more so, if your company’s seasonal peaks are related to your work field. To make these fluctuations work better for your business, you may want to hire seasonal employees during your busy periods. By doing so, you will ensure that your staff needs are being met during the busy seasons without making it necessary to keep unnecessary workers during your slow periods.

So the great advantage is that seasonal hiring benefits the company when it needs it, you can hire seasonal employees to cover the desired tasks during high volume seasons without having to go through the overall hiring process that is necessary when hiring permanent personnel.

So hire as your business needs to, choose the high peak seasons to increase staff and lower the personnel during slow periods, to have a steady payroll that suits your business.

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