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What Is The Difference Between a Temporary and a Seasonal Employee?

A seasonal employee has a wreath held in front of him

Now is the time of year many businesses hire seasonal employees. But what makes them different from temporary employees?

As we move into the busiest shopping season of the year, your small business may need to take on temporary or seasonal employees to keep up with high customer demands. While both of these employees can help your business during peak seasons, there are differences between these classifications that may make a difference to your business. 

Temporary Employees


Also known as “temps,” temporary employees are usually hired to cover for absent employees or to fill gaps in a workforce. During peak seasons, you may need to hire temp workers to ensure all bases are covered or to cover an employee who may be on a leave of absence (because of maternity leave or illness). 

Hiring Practices

You can employ temps yourself or through a staffing agency. If you do use a staffing agency, the workers do not technically work for you. Instead, they are on lease with the company, and you must pay the agency fees for placement. Temp workers can be hired for full-time or part-time work, but they are not often eligible for benefits. Sometimes businesses will hire temp workers for permanent employment if they turn out to be a good fit. The industries which often hire temp workers are healthcare, IT, clerical, and labor.


  • Fill workplace gaps
  • Can fill permanent positions


  • Staffing agency fees
  • Few or no employee benefits

Seasonal Employees


Seasonal employees are often those employees that are brought on to a business to help during specific busy seasons, like the upcoming holiday shopping season. Retail, sales, and shipping companies often rely on seasonal hires.  

Hiring Practices

Seasonal employees are most often hired on a part-time basis, which reduces payroll costs. Seasonal workers are also often expected to work irregular hours, like very early or late shifts, depending on the business’s needs. When you hire a seasonal worker, however, you still need to meet minimum wage requirements and follow seasonal employment labor laws. 


  • Lower payroll costs
  • Less risk in hiring for short-term
  • Provides you with a flexible workforce


  • Less time to train your employees, who often start right away
  • Employees hired for a limited period may be uncommitted to the company
  • Employees may also lack company loyalty

trust the professionals at the harding group

Unlike other accounting firms, The Harding Group, located in Annapolis, MD, will never charge you for emails or phone calls and will strive for open communication with our clients. Whether you are interested in business advising, tax preparation, bookkeeping and accounting, payroll services, Training + support for QuickBooks, or retirement planning, we have the expertise and years of experience to help. We serve clients in Annapolis, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore, Severna Park, and Columbia. If you are ready to take the stress out of taxes, contact us online or give us a call at (410) 573-9991 for a free consultation. For more tax tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 31st, 2019 at 10:20 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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