5 top tips for hiring seasonal summer employees

Pete Jansons

5 top tips for hiring seasonal summer employees

If you haven't begun recruiting employees for the summer, it's time to start. Preparing for the season's bustle requires targeted job postings, prompt interviews, and streamlined onboarding to keep your company running smoothly as the summer progresses.

Spread the word

Summer hiring happens on a tight timeline. Cross-post your job in as many places as possible and treat the opening like a marketing campaign. Utilize all your best connections to get the word out and target the ideal audience for your offer. 

Carefully consider the prime candidates for your summer job openings. Are you looking for charismatic college students to engage with summer camp kids? Check the semester dates for nearby universities and plan your hiring calendar to coincide with the start of summer. Do you need physical laborers for your landscaping team? Promote your job vacancies at the high school to target seasonal hires with youthful energy.

Tips on posting summer job listings

Spread the word well to draw as many job applicants as possible within your limited summer hiring window.

  • Use your social media accounts to promote the benefits of your summer jobs.
  • Post flyers on college campuses.
  • Communicate entry-level jobs to local high schools.
  • Engage your current employees and offer a bonus for referrals.
  • Contact personally the best seasonal workers from past years.
  • Include your job openings in newsletters or other marketing emails.
  • Channel applicants to a streamlined job site such as CareerBuilder.

Clarify expectations

You want your new hires to hit the ground running, so they must understand their responsibilities from day one.

When you're hiring seasonal summer employees, it's important to be transparent about what the job entails. You want your new hires to hit the ground running, so they must understand their responsibilities from day one. List what you need your seasonal employees to do. If there's a set schedule, include it in the job posting. 

Transparency in your job advert can help you avoid ill-fitting or unqualified candidates. Providing details, such as the pay and schedule, in advance will also speed up and streamline your interview process by cutting out the talking points you may otherwise spend time negotiating if you were seeking a more flexible full-time hire.

Craft a compelling offer

Treat your summer job postings like a marketing campaign to gain traction and fill these spots quickly. Make these positions appeal with exciting language, bright graphics, and compelling details. Summer employees often perform jobs that are monotonous or uncomfortable, so it's helpful to highlight some of the perks. Can you give your workers free sodas throughout the day? Are they allowed to accept tips? Do you provide snacks or lunches? Sell the opportunity as best you can.

Summer job listing example

Spend your summer at Days of Fun Amusement Park! Employees enjoy unlimited free beverages, complimentary sunscreen, and free access to the theme park and water park all summer. Pay starts at $10 an hour. Returning employees get an extra 50 cents per hour each year they come back.

Responsibilities include:

  • Greeting guests at the ride entrance.
  • Checking children's heights.
  • Grouping riders into rows.
  • Ensuring proper use of lap bars or seat belts.
  • Safely dispatching the ride.
  • Providing friendly customer service to all guests.
  • Standing outdoors for up to two hours with 15-minute breaks every two hours and a 30-minute lunch every eight-hour shift.

Your uniform, name tag, and a Days of Fun water bottle are provided. You must have comfortable closed-toe shoes for long periods of standing.

Know what to ask

Typically, hiring seasonal summer employees requires less rigorous interviewing and screening since your focus is on temporary work. However, you still should ensure your workers are a good fit for the job. You want to avoid ending up short-staffed in the middle of summer because you didn't screen potential hires well for the ability to stand in the sun or handle difficult customers. 

How to interview seasonal summer employees

Trim your interview questions down to the essential points and provide plenty of transparency about what the job entails. 

  1. Review the physical requirements. Many summer jobs require standing in full sun, spending several hours outdoors, lifting heavy objects, or walking long distances. Provide specifics about the necessary tasks.
  2. Evaluate customer service skills. If you're hiring for a hospitality, food and beverage, or entertainment job, your summer employees probably deal with many tourists and vacationers. These guests often have high expectations and grandiose demands. Present some problematic scenarios and gauge the interviewee's response.
  3. Check their schedule. Review your requirements during evenings, weekends, and summer holidays. Ensure your seasonal employees are available when needed, even if that means working into the evening on the Fourth of July or training over Memorial Day weekend.

Keep in touch

Create a mailing list, e-newsletter, or alumni group on social media to keep in contact with your former employees. Consider hosting a mixer event at the beginning of the hiring season to welcome students home for summer break and chat with your best workers. This type of gathering provides a prime opportunity to inquire about rehiring former summer employees or getting referrals.

Implement smart strategies for hiring seasonal summer employees and repeat this method annually for a quick and efficient start to the season.

More tips for hiring the right employees:

Consider implementing a chatbot to answer common questions about your summer jobs and filter out unqualified candidates.

Reach out to last year's seasonal employees to get referrals that come to you well-informed about the perks and challenges of the job.

Include your distinctive brand throughout your job postings to make them stand out.

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