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Hiring Short-Term Employees – What You Need to Know

By Drew Fortin

When you’re a small business hiring a short-term employee – whether it’s for a season, a particular project, or as a fill-in – it’s more important than ever to understand the difference between hiring independent contractors and part-time employees, and your legal obligations to both.

For starters, contractors don’t work for you, they work for themselves, so different rules apply.

Caron Beesley, author of 5 Things to Know Now about Hiring Temporary or Seasonal Workers, recently updated her five “rules of the road” for getting it right.

“Many of the laws and regulations that apply to full-time employees also apply to seasonal or part-time employees,” she says. These include labor laws such as harassment and discrimination as well as minimum wage and overtime pay. She details which benefits you need to offer part-time employees from a legal standpoint, information about taxes and other things you need to consider.

If you’re ramping up for the holiday rush or just trying to keep up with your daily workload, make sure you understand the legal requirements of hiring short-term employees before bringing anyone on board.

Once you know those, you can focus on getting the right person with the right skill set and behavioral characteristics in the door.


Drew is a PI Certified Partner, and the Founder & CEO of Lever Talent.

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