6 Ways to Recruit and Hire the Best Candidates for Summer Jobs
Today’s younger workers are less concerned with money and more focused on gaining skills and having meaningful early employment experiences. They’re thinking about the long game. By making your summer workplace experience skills-focused, you can appeal to younger workers and staff up more efficiently for the summer season.
If it’s feasible, establish a pipeline from summer work to full-time employment and use your past summer workers to recruit new hires on multiple platforms. Here’s how to make your company a destination for summer employment seekers.
1. Encourage employee referrals
Your full-time employees know what skills and attributes are best suited to your company’s culture and needs. Offer bonuses for referrals to encourage employees to recommend relatives and family friends for summer positions. Make this process simpler by sending out a company-wide email with a streamlined application for summer hires.
Reach out to last year’s best summer workers to see if they plan to come back, and offer a small raise as a return incentive. If possible, offer them an increase in responsibility and a slightly different title to help them build their resumes. If they are not returning, ask them to consider recommending your company as a source of employment to classmates, and encourage them to send friends or siblings your way.
2. Get the word out
If you are looking for high school and college students, get your job posts out to sources they see. Target social media applications such as Snapchat and Instagram, and allow applicants to apply via social media. Consider posting jobs to college job recruitment sites such as aftercollege.com, coolworks.com for short-term employment, or idealist.org for work in the nonprofit sector. Or cast an even wider net by utilizing a variety of Mighty free job postings.
Contact instructors and program directors at local high school and college programs related to your industry. For example, if you are in food services, reach out to the local community college culinary program. Make time to attend job fairs at area campuses, volunteer to be a guest speaker at area organizations that foster student entrepreneurship, and, if you have not already done so, join your local chamber of commerce or a professional organization in your field.
3. Streamline the hiring process
If you need to make multiple hires and staff up quickly for a busy summer season, consider holding group interviews rather than time-consuming one-on-ones. These interviews don’t need to include all the questions you would include for a full-time hire. Keep your questions open-ended and jargon-free.
Most young workers – or seasonal workers of any age – are unlikely to have extensive industry sector knowledge or specialized skills. Instead, look for candidates who exhibit good communication skills, a positive attitude, a rock-solid work ethic, flexibility, and resourcefulness.
4. Pair up
To get summer employees up to speed as quickly as possible, implement a mentoring approach, pairing new hires with returning summer workers, or short-term seasonal recruits with full-time employees. Since younger workers are likely looking to bulk up their skill set and their resumes in addition to their wallets, pairing them with a mentor will be appealing. It will also increase retention and efficiency.
5. Focus on retention
One of the biggest problems with summer hires, especially younger workers, is turnover. That is why, depending on the level of the hire you are looking for, you may want to consider staged perks, like an end-of-season bonus to encourage hires to remain through the season or benefits tailored to your product or service. For example, a restaurant or tourist attraction might offer a packet of discount coupons for friends and family of employees after their one-month anniversary, or as a reward for exemplary work, or scheduling flexibility.
6. Look ahead
Look ahead to next summer by conducting exit interviews and telling summer hires to consider coming back next year. Remind them of any re-signing bonuses or promotions they may be eligible for if they return. If you have any full-time employees who started as summer interns, now is the time to have them chat with your summer workers and talk up the company.
Make your company one your summer hires want to return to next summer by providing them with the opportunity to learn about your business and gain skills they can build on. Spend time reminding them that if they work hard and show promise, you’ll consider bringing them back onboard – and give them greater responsibility – next summer. The more time you spend making your workplace an in-demand destination for summer work or internships, the less time and money you’ll need to spend recruiting next spring.