6 Ways to Hire Stellar Summer Employees

Posted on June 9, 2015

Ah, summer. Warm weather, sunscreen, hot dogs on the grill, fireworks, Fourth of July parades. It’s a time when students and teachers relax, get outdoors, swim and spend money. Lots of money.

Of course, an increase in activity implies an increase in business, indeed, for businesses, in busyness. That’s why, according to Snagajob’s eighth annual Summer Hiring Survey, 78% of employers expect to hire summer workers this year, a small increase from last year.

This makes sense: slow service is the last thing any business wants in the summer. The problem is: how do you hire stellar summer employees?

Whether you have a high demand for your products and services, or whether you want to help students gain job experience, here are six tips to hiring stellar summer employees:

Create Criteria

The first step is to prepare.

Before you post anything to a job board, before you tell your best-friend’s-friend’s-daughter she can have a job, ask yourself: what am I looking for?

Preparation requires foreknowledge. Unearth those summer records from last year and the year before. How many employees did you need then? Was that enough, or could you have used more? If your business is relatively new, reach out to other
businesses in the area. Ask them how busy summer is, and prepare likewise.

Write an Effective Job Description

Next, write a clear and honest job description.

Combine all the elements of your ideal summer employee. Is he punctual, clean, diligent? Does she smile, communicate well, use computers effectively? Should he have a positive attitude, previous experience, flexibility in his work schedule? Remember the soft skills, too: should they take initiative, dress appropriately, be attentive (i.e., not clumsy)?

Do not be rash with your job description. Spend time creating the responsibilities, qualifications, benefits, and, if needed, a description of your business.

Post in Digital and Physical Spaces

So you know what you want and you’ve written your description. Now you can finally start reaching out. The question then becomes: where should you find employees? Should you post job notices online, or in physical places?

Let’s start with physical places. When posting in physical places, remember: the space surrounding the job board matters. If you only post in high schools, you’ll probably only receive applications from high school students. Likewise, if you only post in one city, you’ll probably receive applications from that city. Posting in physical spaces also requires applicants to find your brick and mortar store, receive an application from you, fill it out, and return it.

But when you post online, things are a bit different. You can qualify your request based on area, sure, but you can also look through an applicant’s profile, see their skills, and even require special multiple choice tests to check for computer proficiency and reading comprehension. Online applicants also must use a computer to fill out the application.

So which is best for you? It depends on the applicant you’re looking for, but we recommend a healthy combination of the two, both in physical places and online.

Post Job Notices and Applications to a Mobile Friendly Site

If you post your notices online, remember this one important tip: mobile matters.

According to Snagajob, 56% of jobseekers are using a mobile device to find and apply for jobs versus a desktop computer. Yet, according to the same survey, only 54% of employers are posting job notices to a mobile device.

Since 78% of teenagers own a smartphone, and since your summer employees may in fact be teenagers, you will do well to post your job notices and applications to a mobile friendly site. This could be your website, or the websites you choose to use. Just make sure it can be viewed on a smartphone or tablet.

Train Your New Employees; Lead by Example

Once you hire some employees, train them. Don’t leave them in the dark, especially if it’s their first job.

One of the best ways to train is to lead by example. For the first week or two weeks, work beside your new employees: be the employee you want them to be. Show them how to respond to customers, how to hold one’s own on a busy day, how to behave around a dissatisfied customer. Then, slowly back away and teach them to be independent.

At this stage, remember to practice patience. Your hirees are not going to get everything right the first time, maybe not even the second time, or the third. Impatience will only make them feel more anxious, more likely to mess up.

Hire Previous Employees

Lastly, keep contact with your summer employees, especially those you know will do a good job. Always think long-term. Would this summer employee make a good part time employee? Manager? Franchisee?


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