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Handling Summer Temporary Booms

Published: August 8, 2014 Author: Clearpoint Tags: Manager's Corner

While some businesses experience a summer lull, many others can find themselves with a sharp increase in business--and not enough employees to handle it. A temporary summer business boom may be expected, especially in certain industries like restaurants, retail shops, and outdoor-based companies. In other cases, a sudden increase may come as a surprise.

In any case, it's important to have a plan for hiring extra summer help in place. These tips will help you cover all your bases and ensure smooth summer sailing for your business, your employees, and your customers.

Do you need employees, or contractors?

The first step in securing summer help is to decide whether you'll keep new employees on when the rush ends, or take on temporary staff who will depart at the end of the season. Whether you hire employees or contractors should depend on the current and future needs of your business, the complexity of your hiring process, and the types of positions you need to fill.

For most companies, hiring permanent employees is a long and often expensive process. If you only need short-term help, it makes more sense to hire contractors or temporary staff so you can save on expenses, paperwork, and onboarding time.

Designing a summer training program

Any employee, whether temporary or permanent, will need some form of training and orientation before they can get started. If your usual training process is lengthy or complex, you may need to develop a shortened training program for summer employees that will offer enough to get started, but not so much that they're overwhelmed.

Decide on your summer goals in advance, and devise a training process that will help summer staff get oriented quickly. One effective method is a partner or mentor/trainee program, which pairs new employees with experienced staff long enough for the new hires to find their footing in the company.

Consider college students

College students can be an excellent resource for summer employment. Many college students either have or are learning the right skills, and they're often eager to earn money over the summer break. They're also happy to take short-term jobs that will end once classes start in the fall semester.

To recruit college students, you can contact area colleges and coordinate through their student employment services. You can also ask your permanent team whether they or someone they know has college students in the family who are looking for work.

Tap staffing agencies

Staffing and employment agencies specialize in finding and placing temporary workers for a variety of industries. There are many advantages to working with staffing agencies to fill your summer employment needs. You'll have access to qualified, pre-trained help on short notice, and the hiring process is usually much faster through a temp agency.

In addition, temporary staffing agencies can handle all of the paperwork for summer employees, from payroll to worker's compensation--leaving your human resources department free to concentrate on your permanent staff.

Don't treat temporary employees like summer help

While both you and your summer employees understand that the arrangements are temporary, it's important to treat short-term employees and contractors the same as permanent members of the team. Making temporary employees feel welcome and valued will ensure that they remain productive and happy throughout the season--which in turn delivers the best ROI for your investment.

Having a strong plan in place for handling summer business booms will help your company reduce overall stress and increase profits during your business peaks.

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Comments (1)

  1. Tom Hart:
    Aug 13, 2014 at 02:32 PM

    Temporary employees might prove to be worth their weight in gold! You never know what skills they'll bring to the table and they might be willing to bend over backwards to prove themselves to you and your team. Many contract hires hope to get hired full-time and work to make themselves indispensable.

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