It’s hard to believe it’s already time to start ramping up for the summer season. If you haven’t started recruiting and hiring employees for the summer months, now is the time to start. Use these tips to ensure successful hiring of seasonal summer employees who will help your small business thrive.
- Clarify expectations from the start. When it comes to seasonal hiring, you need employees who are willing to “hit the ground running,” so it’s make sure job seekers understand what will be expected from them before they even apply. Be clear about the day-to-day duties of the job, how long the job will last, what the schedule will be like (flexible? Night or weekend work?) and what skills you are looking for - both technical and soft. The most specific you are, the less you will have to sift through piles of unqualified or ill-fitting candidates.
- Have a compelling job offer. Seasonal work often requires long hours and pays less than full-time work, making it hard to compel job seekers to apply. Without overselling the opportunity (or outright lying), be sure to highlight the upside of the job. For example, do you offer discounts on products or services? Or perks like free beverages, snacks or lunches? Or maybe you provide a fun work culture with opportunities to learn new skills. Be sure to mention any benefits they might receive in the job posting. If there’s a chance the job could lead to a full-time permanent position, say so.
- Find the right candidates. Go beyond posting job ads and waiting for people to apply. Make use of social media to advertise your opportunities, connect with job seekers and show off your employment brand. College students who will be on break for the summer are another great source for hiring, so focus your recruiting efforts at local colleges. And don’t forget about employees referrals, which are one of the best ways to get quality candidates.
- Ask the right questions. The questions you ask when interviewing candidates are key to understanding how they work, their level of experience, and their commitment. “Why do you want to work here?” is a good starter question, because it speaks to both their level of knowledge about your company, and how engaged they are in your product or service. Behavioral interview questions such as “Tell me about a time you had a difficult customer. How did you resolve the situation?” help you understand how they react under high pressure situations. And because summer work requires working during a time when most people are looking for vacation time, you need to gauge their level of commitment. Try something like, “We need you to work July fourth weekend. How does that fit into your own holiday plans?”
- Stay in touch. Seasonal employees can make a great addition to your talent pipeline - especially if you’ve struggled to fill open positions in the past. After all, these employees are already familiar with your company and the culture, and have likely built solid working relationships at your company. Keep these individuals in your talent network and keep them in mind for future opportunities.