79% of employers consider summer hires for permanent positions

Sarah Sipek

79% of employers consider summer hires for permanent positions

Summer hiring is a growing trend that's increased in companies of all sizes in recent years. Research shows that 79% of employers who hire for summer work consider keeping some of their seasonal workers for permanent positions. This is a smart strategy that offers perks to both employers and employees. Read on to discover the advantages of transitioning summer hires to permanent roles.

The benefits of retaining summer hires

Temporary summer positions provide the perfect opportunity to evaluate employees before offering them a permanent position. You can examine key elements such as:

  • How the employee fits in with the company culture
  • Whether they get along well with their team members
  • Their work ethic
  • Their aptitude for the role
  • Their enthusiasm for learning

While you can get a broad sense of these things in an interview, there's no substitute for witnessing them firsthand. Employers often find there's a noticeable difference between the attitude an individual presents in an interview and the attitude they exhibit when subjected to long hours on the job.

"Retaining an existing seasonal employee for a year-round job is efficient because it allows you to streamline their onboarding process when you bring them on full time."

A temporary job also gives the employee a commitment-free trial period to determine whether your company is the right fit for them. This increases your chances of getting a permanent employee who will stay for the long haul. Replacing permanent hires can cost three to four times the position's salary, so it's important to target employees who are confident that they want to stick with the job.

After a period of summer employment, you'll have a good idea of whether an employee is well suited to a permanent position. Retaining an existing seasonal employee for a year-round job is efficient because it allows you to streamline their onboarding process when you bring them on full time. While they may still need some training for their permanent role, you won't have to invest in every step of the new-hire orientation, which cuts back on paid hours for both the employee and the trainer or HR professional who handles those sessions. 

How to evaluate summer hires for permanent opportunities

If you know there's a possibility of transitioning a summer hire to a permanent role, you should be mindful of this option throughout the employee's tenure. You may even mention the potential for a permanent position in your original job posting to attract people who are interested in sticking in around.

Update your interview questions

Communicate the possibility of a permanent position early on. You can gauge the individual's interest in an ongoing job in the interview process. This helps you target employees who are actively seeking opportunities for long-term work. Communicate the prerequisites for coming on full time so the worker knows what to focus on.

Schedule seasonal reviews

Check in with potential permanent hires weekly or bi-weekly to see how they're faring. Gauge their job satisfaction and interest in staying. Consult with their supervisors and coworkers to determine whether the employee is impressing others in the company or struggling to fit in.

Tap your top talent early

If you're interested in turning a summer worker into a permanent hire, offer them additional training or educational opportunities as early as possible. If they'll transition to a different role as a permanent employee, give them opportunities to shadow or otherwise familiarize themselves with that job. This will ease the transition and position your employee for success.

How to transition a summer hire to a permanent worker

The nature of the transition from a summer hire to a permanent employee will vary depending on the industry and the specifics of the job. While hospitality jobs are among the most common to target summer hires, with 48% of employers seeking summer help, plenty of other industries use summer workers. Seasonal roles have popped up in sales, engineering, information technology, banking, and manufacturing.

Identify gaps in onboarding processes

Employees in temporary positions typically go through a shorter onboarding process. These workers are on a "need to know" basis and may not receive a full tour of the business. Identify any areas where your summer onboarding falls short and fill these gaps.

Provide additional training as necessary to make sure the employee is fully prepared for their permanent role. This is especially important if they're changing positions.

Communicate changes in company culture

Company culture may be slightly different for summer hires than year-round workers. If you're taking an employee from a job in the thick of a theme park and putting them in the office for the off-season, for example, you'll want to clarify how this part of the company differs. Communicate any changes regarding dress code, lunch hours, or other expectations.

Clarify salary and benefits

Review your employee's salary and benefits package as soon as they make the transition from summer to year-round work. Summer workers typically don't have access to benefits, while permanent positions might come with perks such as health care. If there are any changes to their salary, including new opportunities for bonuses or overtime, communicate these clearly.

Transitioning summer workers to year-round roles is a great way to increase your employee retention and make sure you're getting the best employees in the industry. Make a habit of sourcing your new hires from seasonal help, and you may see a noticeable change in your employee retention needs.

More tips for hiring the right employees

Ask the right questions in your initial interview so you can gauge whether a candidate might be right for a transition from summer to permanent hire.

Show appreciation for your best summer employees to increase the chances that they'll stay on as year-round team members.

Evaluate your budget and see what you can save by transitioning a temp to perm hire.

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