Hiring Summer Workers for Your Small Business? Go About It the Right Way

May 23, 2016 Pete Jansons

Companies that experience significant seasonal fluctuations often benefit from hiring temporary workers during the busy period. Small businesses are no exception, and a recent CareerBuilder survey shows that 28 percent of small business employers plan to hire seasonal workers. The arrangement can be quite convenient for both sides:  You get help when you need it most without having to permanently expand your staff, and people looking for short-term opportunities can make some money.

The worry for most small business owners, however, is finding qualified candidates capable of getting up to speed quickly. But with some forethought, you’ll be able to attract and onboard worthy talent in no time. Consider these strategies:

Start early. With unemployment at only 5.0 percent, small businesses are competing with other companies of all sizes to attract the limited number of candidates looking for summer jobs. Recruiting early enables you to reach the best workers before they accept other offers.

 Expand your applicant pool. Summer jobs aren’t only for high school and college students. Consider seeking out teachers, retirees, snowbirds, and others who might be available during these months.

 Advertise for what you want. Who wouldn’t become frustrated spending most of the day frosting cupcakes when you thought your bakery job involved creating wedding cakes? Details and honesty up front can reduce the likelihood of either side being unhappy down the line.

 Perform background checks and call references. Temp or otherwise, every person you hire reflects on your company. Don’t hire carelessly simply to fill the position. Be certain a candidate’s background truly matches what he states, and scrutinize applications for proof of the qualities that best match your needs.

Consider your culture. Your small business’s staff is likely a tight-knit group already, so take a moment to think about how possible additions will fit in. Temporary workers should look, feel, and act like they belong with your company. Someone may seem like a good match on paper but not feel “right” for your workplace when interviewed.

 Provide thorough training. When you complete your summer hiring, give your new employees maximum opportunity to succeed. A tour of the place and introductions to permanent staff can help them feel at ease. You may even want to assign a mentor who can be of assistance throughout the summer. Provide written material, such as an employee handbook and a checklist for closing-time procedures, to serve as references. Stress the importance of asking questions and seeking help when needed. Observe performance regularly, not only to offer constructive feedback but also to recognize accomplishments. Build a solid relationship now, and you may have your summer hiring needs taken care of for years to come.


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