Summer is just around the corner. And for many businesses, that means there’s an opportunity to hire seasonal help.
Division Vice President and General Manager of Resource and HR Solutions for ADP, Aldor H. Delp, has some insights to share with small businesses about making the most of your summer hires.
Summer Hire Best Practices
Consider whether you need the help. Just because it’s possible for you to hire summer employees doesn’t necessarily mean that you should. You need to think specifically about what you’d like to accomplish that you can only do by hiring that extra seasonal help.
That said, there are plenty of different reasons why summer help might benefit your business. Of course, if you run a business that is extra busy in the summer, like camps, construction companies, or businesses in popular tourist locations, you’ll likely need the extra help just to keep up with demand. You can also make use of summer help if you have new offerings that you’d like to test. Or, if you’d just like to expand your business in the future, you can use summer hires as a way of trying out different candidates and potentially finding the best talent for your business going forward.
Look for Fast Learners
Since you only have a short amount of time to benefit from hiring summer help, you have to look for people who are going to be able to make the most of that time.
Delp says, “Because these jobs are temporary (typically three to four months), employers look for candidates that can learn quickly and/or have previous experience. In some cases, they may even look to re-hire former summer employees.”
Don’t Exclude Any Potential Workers
While a good portion of the people looking for summer jobs are high school or college students on break from school, there are plenty of others in the summer employment pool as well. So don’t limit your selection by only targeting one group of potential employees. Delp also said that it’s important for businesses to not use any exclusionary language in job postings or advertisements.
Make Your Job Postings Clear
You’ll also need to decide exactly what it is that you want your summer employees to be responsible for. And then create job listings that make those duties very clear. The more up front you are about what you’re looking for from a candidate, the better the chance you have of attracting people who will be a good fit for what you need.
Contact Candidates Early
Those who are interested in seasonal jobs often start looking fairly early. And they rarely apply for just one summer job. So if you want to get the best people, you’ll need to contact them and make your decisions as early as possible. If you wait too long, you might miss out on the best candidates.
Understand the Laws
Different states and industries have different regulations regarding seasonal jobs, particularly when it comes to young workers.
Delp says, “Employers that hire minors must comply with federal and state regulations that apply to this group of workers – which could impact the amount and type of work they’re allowed to do. Small businesses also must understand the laws around classifications for temporary workers. For example, there are specific rules for determining whether or not interns are entitled to pay.”
Utilize Social Media
Social media isn’t just a great place to promote your business and connect with people. You can also use it as a hiring tool.
Delp says, “Social media platforms have become an end-to-end resource that employers can use to connect with potential applicants. In fact, a recent study of 800 HR and talent acquisition professionals by Jobvite found that 89% of U.S. companies said they would recruit through social media. Additionally, two thirds of the respondents confirmed that they have successfully hired a candidate through social networks.”
Offer a Formal Orientation or Training
No one just gets hired for a summer job and magically knows exactly what to do. You have to make it easy for them, especially when you don’t have a lot of time to work with them.
Delp says, “When a business only has a short window to make money, learning on the job isn’t always a viable option.”
Don’t Rush the Process
While you want to get your employees hired and trained as quickly as possible, there are essential parts of the process that you can’t forget about or skip over.
Delp explains, “During the summer, it can be easy for businesses to overlook fundamental hiring practices as they rush to bring seasonal staff on board quickly. However, small businesses must carefully manage all relevant employee reporting and documentation requirements for summer hires, such as filing the appropriate new hire paperwork (e.g. W-4’s and I-9’s) and understanding how to properly classify these workers (e.g., interns, independent contractors, etc.).”
Prepare Your Current Staff
With all that goes into hiring for those seasonal jobs, it can be easy to overlook the people who work for your business during the rest of the year. But you still have to prepare those workers for the changes.
Delp says, “Small businesses should also prepare their existing employees for the new arrivals by informing current employees of the assignments the new workers are hired to complete and the resources available to help them get up to speed as quickly as possible.”
Summer Job Photo via Shutterstock