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Small business tips for hiring summer employees


Summer is on the way, which means a peak in business for many industries. And with more work to accomplish, hiring summer employees will help ensure your bottom line reaps the rewards. 

But how do you find the right people with the right talent to boost your staff during your busy time? Whether you are considering recruiting high school students who have time off from school, or college students home for the summer, there are a few creative tricks for finding great seasonal employees. 

Note: While summer and seasonal employees are treated the same as regular part-time staff members under employment law, there are rules and regulations for minors and interns. Take a look at our articles on how to legally hire minors, and what you need to know about interns to learn more. 

Host a hiring party

You can either reach out to your local university to grab a booth at an upcoming job fair event, or you can take a page out of Taco Bell’s hiring handbook and throw a recruitment party (with social distancing in mind, of course) on your own. 

Hiring events are a great way to stand out among other businesses also looking for summer help in the area. And if you make the event unique and create a buzz on social media, you can attract more candidates. 

For example, Taco Bell spiced their event up with free Nacho Fries and Watermelon Freezes, party games such as Taco Bell trivia, Instagram-worthy photo ops, and even signing bonuses in the form of gift cards for those who accepted a job on the spot. 

Amidst the fun, be sure to have a designated application booth. Set up a few tablets for candidates to input their information. Make it easy by not requiring them to bring an application or apply online beforehand. 

Start a referral system for hiring summer employees

Sometimes the best way to find new temporary candidates is to reach out to your existing team for referrals. According to a Gallup survey, internal referral candidates are 40% more likely to be offered a job after a successful interview than other applicants. 

The study suggested that current employees tend to know what it takes to be successful in the role. They also already understand who would be the best fit for the culture. 

Set up a referral program for your employees, offering incentives like gift cards or extra time off if a candidate they recommend ends up taking the summer position. 

Post on specific job boards 

It’s always a great idea to post your job description on the top sites like ZipRecruiter, Indeed, and Craigslist—which Homebase can do for you. However, there are a number of niche hiring sites tailored to college students looking for temporary part-time work. 

A few great options include: 

Aside from students, it’s also a good idea to consider tapping into the retiree community. They are often reliable employees who bring decades of experience to the table. They could also have flexible schedules that work perfectly for the peak summer season. 

Not only do they provide more experience, but retirees are often looking for an opportunity to fill their newfound free time in a fulfilling way, making it a mutually beneficial working relationship. 

There are many job boards devoted to finding work for retirees you can use to get started: 

Invite the best summer employees back

Many seasonal employees come back every summer during the peak season. If you have had seasonal summer employees in the past, sift through your records and find the ones who performed the best that you would like to see temporarily return this year. 

To stand out, send your previous star employees a personalized invitation as if you are inviting them to an event. Provide an email address they can use to “RSVP” and secure their spot on your summer team. 

Afterwards, contact them as a follow-up to further express your interest in hiring them for another season. 

If you need even more help with finding qualified summer employees, get started with Homebase Hiring. We’ll post your job description on the leading sites, help you find the perfect candidate, and even streamline the onboarding process by sending your new hires a digital packet with all the necessary forms. 



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