10 MAY 2017 • FOGHORN FOGHORNFOCUS: HUMAN RESOURCES Staffing Up for Seasonal Operations Alison Nolan Boston Harbor Cruises Boston, MA Boston Harbor Cruises (BHC) is a year-round b u s i n e s s w i t h t h e majority of our services operating on a seasonal basis. Therefore, if I had to identify our most chal- lenging HR issue, I would say that it would be seasonal hiring. BHC has over 200 year-round employees, but when spring approaches, we have to account for a dramatic influx of positions to fill – which means finding, hiring and training a sizeable, high quality seasonal workforce in an efficient and timely manner. At the height of our season, BHC can have as many as 550 individuals on our payroll. In addition, because the positions are seasonal, often a good number of our hires come from Boston’s college student population who are looking for summer employment. But, BHC’s season actually extends through October. With the students returning to school in late August, we often have a manpower shortage to cover our end-of-season needs. Craig Wenokur Wendella Sightseeing Boats Chicago, IL We are a seasonal operation and our biggest challenge is finding qualified job candidates to work from May to September. While hiring students for the summer is certainly beneficial to us, the shoulder season—the months of May and September—when the boats are running, but students are in school, is especially difficult. The issue is exacerbated by finding qualified captains willing to take a job that only exists five months a year. We’ve explored hiring older people whose schedules are a bit more flexible and that’s an option. The other concern we’ve identified is the confusion in health insurance for employees. The rules keep changing about what we, as employers, are obligated to offer and for whom. Human Resources Issues and Trends in the Passenger Vessel Industry The passenger vessel industry is made up a variety of operation types around the nation. FOGHORN asked several PVA Vessel members to detail the one human resource issue that impacts their operation or trend that could be affect the entire industry. Here are the top issues and trends according to vessel operators throughout America. Increase in Employee Laws that Harm Business Gus Gaspardo Padelford Packet Company Saint Paul, MN We are frustrated by the increase in the city, county, and state government passing their own labor laws. For example, the City of Saint Paul recently passed the Earned Sick and Safe Time (ESST) policy that mandates that employer provide paid sick leave to all employees. For every 30 hours worked, employees earn one hour of paid leave. While our full-time employees’ benefits exceed that, we now must provide our part-time, seasonal workers—mostly college students working for the summer—paid leave. This means, it’s quite possible that these workers could take up to a full week off, which would leave us shorthanded. Despite request- ing leniency for small business owners, the legislative passed and takes effect on July 1. We are also faced with more administrative functions to track the paid leave for seasonal employees.