For many people, summer is a time to take a step back and enjoy life. However, some businesses are at peak productivity during those few months, and they need more employees to keep up with the sudden increase in activity. Finding employees who are willing to commit to a job for only a few months is not necessarily easier or harder than finding permanent ones, but it definitely comes with its own unique set of challenges. These tips can help you improve your recruitment and overcome these difficulties.
Which industries usually require summer hires?
Some of the industries that are known for requiring extra personnel in the summer months include:
- Tourism and hospitality: As summer brings warm and sunny weather to the Northern Hemisphere, many people choose this time of year to go on vacation, leading to a significant increase in employee demand for businesses in these fields.
- Food services: As people tend to have more spare time, many choose to spend it relaxing and having fun at restaurants and cafes. This leads to an increase in demand for extra staff.
- Sports and recreational activities: Summer can be the ideal time to enjoy nature. This means that there's extra demand for employees who supervise, train, and support various outdoor activities.
- Agriculture: Many crops need attention in the summertime. Agriculture businesses require extra personnel during these months for harvesting, planting, and processing activities.
- Retail: After leaving the cold winter behind, many people wish to update their wardrobes and purchase summer gear. This usually leads to an increase in staff demands for businesses in the retail industry.
5 tips for improving your summer hiring
These summer seasonal hiring tips can help you make your temporary recruitment practices more effective and efficient:
Write a clear job description
The way you draft your job description has a significant influence on the types of people who are likely to apply. Since summer jobs are short-term commitments, you don't really have much time to train a promising employee, and you want to source job candidates who can hit the ground running. Observe an employee who already works in the role and get a thorough understanding of what they do and which skills they need to do it well. Consider these factors when writing the job ad:
- Know what you want. When you're drafting the job description, make sure you know exactly which credentials you're looking for in a candidate and which tasks you expect them to perform if they get the job. This can help you avoid wasting time on interviewing unsuitable candidates.
- Include specific dates. Candidates need to know from the start that the role is temporary, so include the start and end dates. This helps avoid confusion and filters out candidates who either can't commit for the entire period or are looking for permanent jobs.
- Include the job's perks. Attracting the right candidates isn't just about being clear as to what you want — it's also about highlighting the advantages that come with the job. Depending on the role, this could mean using the company's facilities on their days off, getting special discounts, receiving performance-based bonuses, and more.
Decide on the type of people you want to hire
Finding people who are willing to give you their best for a limited amount of time can be challenging. It usually helps to determine which candidate types are a good fit for your business from a demographic standpoint. Spreading a wide net and advertising your open positions to a large audience may get you more resumes, but it's probably not going to get you the right people for each role. It also helps to find people who aren't likely to leave mid-season for a better opportunity.
Some types of people who are likely to be a good fit for summer jobs are:
- Students: High school and college students can be very effective and reliable summer employees, as it's usually the only season in which they have enough time to make some extra money. They're usually great hires in industries like tourism, recreation, and retail.
- Retirees: Many retirees want to stay active in their golden years, so they might be looking for a summer job to supplement their income. They may be a good fit for various jobs in retail, tourism, and agriculture.
- Teachers: Not only do students have more spare time in the summer, but their teachers do as well. They may use this time to generate some extra income, either by tutoring or by using their knowledge in industries like recreation or tourism.
- Seasonal employees: Some people choose not to specialize in a field or commit to a single organization and spend their entire year working seasonal jobs. They can work in multiple industries, and you may find some with specific experience in the job you want to fill.
"Finding employees who are willing to commit to a job for only a few months is not necessarily easier or harder than finding permanent ones, but it definitely comes with its own unique set of challenges."
Create an effective interviewing process
Sourcing appropriate candidates is only half the job, as you also have to select the right ones for each position. Since you may not have the time for a long interviewing process, it's essential to develop a system that helps you fill your positions as quickly and effectively as possible. You can do that by creating a list of relevant questions for each role you have to fill. Analyze each opening and write down some highly specific questions. Then, work on drafting some general questions that you can use in interviews for all open positions.
Some of these general questions include:
- Why are you looking for a summer job?
- Are you comfortable with the fact that this isn't a permanent position?
- Have you worked summer jobs in the past?
- What is your availability for the upcoming few months?
- Is your schedule flexible? Could you work extra hours in case of a staffing shortage or a surge in activity?
- Do you have any experience in this role?
- Are you familiar with our organization?
Consider your long-term requirements
Unless you're running a business that only operates during the summer months, chances are you'll also need some new personnel for the rest of the year. Some seasonal employees may also be available next summer, saving you the time and resources required to find and train new personnel.
With these aspects in mind, consider making lists of summer hires who may fit into these two categories. This way, at the end of the season, you know exactly who to ask if you need to hire a few more permanent employees. Also, when the next busy season comes, you'll have a list of people who may want to join you for another few months.
Prepare for additional staff requirements during the summer
No matter how well you prepare, you may still need to hire extra employees mid-season. Whether some of your seasonal workers leave before the end of the summer or your business is in higher demand than you expected, you may need some extra help. Regardless of the cause, it's safe to assume that you'll be adding staff during the season, so assess your hiring needs regularly during the summer to avoid overworking your team. Consider offering bonuses for completing the entire seasonal period as a way to motivate summer employees to remain loyal to their commitment.
Being able to find and retain good temporary workers can make or break many businesses that experience peak demand during the summer months. Taking this task seriously can therefore be essential for these types of businesses. By following these tips, you can improve your chances of finding suitable candidates for all your open positions and enjoying a successful summer season.
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