How to Hire the Best Summer Employees

Colleen Egan, Writer

Summer is a boom time for some businesses, and the influx of customers, orders, and overall activity can mean that it’s time to hire some extra help. But even if you’re just planning to employ these new workers for the season, you should be strategic about hiring. When you bring on the right people and properly train them, it can have a positive impact on both the present and future of your business. Before you hire seasonal employees, here are some things to keep in mind.

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Start early.

If you hired summer help last year, chances are you’re going to need it again. Start posting open positions as soon as possible — you want to make sure you have the best pool of candidates, not just people who are scrambling for a job at the last minute. Also, if any of last year’s employees were great team members, reach out to see if they’re interested in coming back. Because they’re already trained, they can jump back in more easily and perhaps take on a more senior role this year.

Focus on training.

Take the time to train seasonal employees and get to know them in the same way you would permanent staff members. It makes seasonal employees feel like they’re full members of the team. It also takes the pressure off your regular staff members, who otherwise would have to step in and help every time temporary workers don’t know how to do something. Also, as noted above, if there’s a possibility that the seasonal employee could come back and work for you again, you won’t have to start all over again — just give them a refresher.

Create a buddy program.

To supplement your training efforts, pair each new hire with a buddy who can help them feel like part of the team and get comfortable with their new duties. Having a friendly face who can answer questions without judgment and look out for them in their early days of employment goes a long way toward making new hires feel confident in their new role. Asking veteran employees to step up and act as a buddy can also be a way to determine who is ready for a more senior role or management position.

Make your business a great place to work.

To attract the best candidates and keep them coming back, create a friendly environment with opportunities to learn and grow. Check in with your new hires periodically to see how things are going, and find out if there’s anything else they’re interested in. For example, if you hire a college student, find out what they’re majoring in and see if you can help them gain real-world experience in their field of study. Shadowing a more senior employee exposes them to a different part of the business, and could even lead to full-time employment down the road. When you don’t think of employees as just short-term help, your long-term prospects look even brighter.

Colleen writes for Square, where she covers everything from how aspiring entrepreneurs can turn their passion into a career to the best marketing strategies for small businesses who are ready to take their enterprise to the next level.