It’s not just the temperature that heats up in the summer. So does business – especially for seasonal industries like lawn care, entertainment or food service. That’s why owners rely on summer help. But how do you get peak performance from workers who are new to your business? Start by hiring the right staff. Here are five things to remember when hiring summer help.
Searching for the right employee is like targeting the right customer. Identify your ideal candidate, and then raise your visibility in places where you’ll find them. For example, if you’re targeting high school students, be a guest speaker at a student organization, sponsor a booth at a sporting event or guest blog on the school website.
It’s tempting to skip a background check or an in-person interview when you’re recruiting summer staff, but resist. The application, the interview and the background check all provide important pieces of the hiring puzzle. It’s better to spend the time up front than to have to deal with a bad hire in the middle of your peak season.
Don’t wait until May to recruit summer staff. Start looking well before your intended start date. Then make your decision 30 days prior to the start of your busy time. That will give you time for training when business demand is lower. Your new recruit will gain confidence and be better prepared to handle the demand when it comes. And that translates into a positive customer experience.
SBA.gov suggests businesses use questionnaires to filter out applicants that don’t meet minimum requirements. For example, a restaurant business might ask, “How many years of experience do you have in the food services industry?” That saves you time in the next phase of your search since you will only interview qualified candidates.
Don’t just wish your best seasonal staff luck at the end of the summer. Stay in touch with them throughout the year. You may need them during other times, like the holidays. Even if they don’t come back, they may know of someone else who could take their place.
Summer hires may have less experience than your full-time staff, but they can make up for it in enthusiasm. The key is selecting candidates who are likely to have the greatest success. Following these hiring tips can be helpful in making that happen.
For more help on hiring seasonal help, including information on seasonal labor laws, see “Hiring Seasonal Workers” on SBA.gov.