Creative Ways to Hire Hourly Employees for Summer 2017

Competition for seasonal workers is already heating up!

How do you make sure you have the right people, in the right place, at the right time to serve your customers this summer? Last summer, the youth labor force grew by almost 3 million people. That means you have lots of options for your summer hires. But where to begin?

Even if you believe you’re fully staffed right now, your loyal employees may be looking to take time off, so searching for back-up now is a smart strategy. Plus, you’ll want to take advantage of the fresh crop of high school and college graduates who are starting their job searches now. Attract and hire the right people before your competitors do.

  1. What do you REALLY need? Where are the gaps likely to be? Involve your trusted staff in decision-making about summer hires and in the interviewing process. They’ll appreciate being included. Take the time to write clear job descriptions and expectations. You can even offer referral bonuses for employees (or past seasons’ employees) who recommend candidates.
  2. What can you offer? See the world through your prospective employee’s eyes. If you employ high
    Hiring Nowschool or college students, how can your work experience can be a resume builder for them? Restaurant servers and retail staff learn how to juggle priorities and interact with various types of people. Front desk staff may gain experience in using new technologies. Be open to modifying job responsibilities to include someone’s unique skill set. Hiring a waiter who’s also interested in photography? Put him  in charge of your Instagram account this summer! A cashier who’s an operations whiz? Ask her to help you create your weekly schedule and teach others how to use new systems.

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  3. Be the manager (and the company) people want to work for. Now is a good time to poll your current employees about what you could do to improve your work environment for both them and for new hires. Although soliciting constructive feedback from your team should be an ongoing part of your management plan, you need to smoke-out any lingering issues before new people come on board.
  4. Stand out from the pack. You don’t have to have a big marketing budget to create compelling recruiting messages. Shoot a short video of yourself and/or your team talking about why working for your business is so great and post it on Facebook. Make colorful flyers and social media posts using a do-it-yourself app like Canva.
  5. Reach out to local colleges, universities, community groups, houses of worship, and parent groups on social media. Be “generation-blind” in your hiring. Active retirees, veterans, and career-changers may all be open to positions with flexibility that enable them to learn new work skills. Local colleges and commuity groups sometimes have live job fairs too.
  6. Use online job posting boards like GrooveJob, ULoop,, and to cast a wide net. Become familiar with your industry-specific job posting sites as well. If you have done a good job of pinpointing job requirements, screening responses will move more rapidly. But don’t be afraid to take a chance on that “diamond in the rough” who might have the right attitude but needs some training. An upbeat and motivated worker with a can-do attitude will benefit your business in the long-run, even if you have to invest training and onboarding time.
  7. Training is key to the right summer experience — for you and your employees. Think about how you felt as the “new kid on the block” in your first jobs. Building a warm, welcoming, and supportive summer environment — where new hires can learn and grow and tell their friends about you — is a great investment for your business — all year round!

What are YOUR suggestions for hiring summer employees? Please feel free to add them in the Comments section! 

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