Crain's Detroit Business: Matt Piszczek on seasonal employment strategy

For small business owners who depend on the warmer months for the majority of their revenue, time is money. From landscapers, restaurants and summer camps to house painters, public relations firms and swim clubs – they all need additional help each summer. And they’re all competing for a smaller pool of workers, whether it’s students on break or adults looking for full-time or supplemental income. Businesses are using financial incentives like higher pay and signing bonuses as well as some now-sought-after perks like flexible hours and hybrid office-remote work models to attract talent. Adding to full-time payroll takes away some flexibility, according to Matt Piszczek, Wayne State University assistant professor of management. Still, Piszczek, who specializes in employee relations and human resource management, sees seasonal employment as a major benefit to small business owners because it allows them to avoid hiring too many full-timers who may not be needed in the off-season. However, small and seasonal businesses are facing new staffing problems, Piszczek said. “Businesses are generally facing the opposite problem. They need more full-time staff over the long term, not just temporary help over the summer,” he said. “Competition for seasonal workers will be stark this year, but rather than thinking of them as a stopgap to wait out the ‘Great Resignation,’ businesses may want to consider this as an opportunity to convert some of those seasonal workers into permanent employees in order to fill now-persistent gaps.”  

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