Strategic Staffing Can Cure Summer Hiring Woes


When it comes to summer hiring, candidates can be difficult to find, especially for entry-level or temporary positions. So how can you create a strategy for hiring over the summer months that won’t leave you short on talent?

While most people look forward to summer, it can be a nightmare for staffing firms with positions to fill. Vacations, time off requests, and a few federal holidays make summer the worst time for workforce scheduling.

Seasonal Staffing

Historic level shortages in summer help are impacting much of Minnesota's tourist sector, reports the Star Tribune. Resorts in particular are doing everything to attract help this summer, but are struggling to fill jobs. People who travel to MN, mostly for leisure, have increased 10.8% since 2013, accounting for 71.2 million visitors this year. And it's not just in the midwest. Many seasonal employers have resorted to raising hourly wages, offering perks and benefits, and using outside firms to help find employees to support tourism.

Seasonal Jobs...or Gigs?

Your lakeside vacation might be a downer if you can’t swim because there are no lifeguards available. Your lifeguard from last year is driving for Uber this summer. Quality of service is expected to decline because of the seasonal employee shortage, and many resorts are already feeling the pinch. The gig economy has what they can’t offer: Flexibility, higher pay, and in some cases, benefits. What CAN you do?

Think about your seasonal job as a gig. You’re not Lyft or Uber, but reach out to job boards that specialize in short-term and flexible employment. Write your job description targeting for a talent marketplace for people actively searching for seasonal employment, which also includes gigs. Short version: Turn your seasonal jobs into gigs.

Workforce Optimization

On, Richard Correia, director of product marketing and workforce optimization (WFO) at Nice Systems, says that adaptive WFO will help put enough of the right people in their seats when you need them the most. It helps scheduling managers (particularly for companies with call centers) ensure that shifts are covered, with backups.

Correia adds, “For more enterprising agents, the summer offers opportunities to pick up as many shifts as possible as coworkers take time off. Managers can send these agents alerts when hours open up to fill the slots quickly. Or if a worker's plans change on a whim, he or she can quickly swap shifts from anywhere. Empowering employees to be proactive about updating their statuses and claiming available shifts relieves some of the management burden of scheduling.” Win-win!

Summer Healthcare

During summer months, visits to doctor’s offices and emergency rooms nearly double, with 49.1 visits per 100 persons in June, July and August (CDC). Nursing and ER medicine are two roles that are hard to fill year-round, so the practice of using locum tenens practitioners is a common one. A recent survey by AMN subsidiary Staff Care found that 94% of healthcare facility managers surveyed reported using locum tenens physicians sometime in the last year.

Brian McCloskey, senior vice president of candidate sourcing and digital marketing at AMN Healthcare, says that “Healthcare continues to be the fastest-growing and strongest job producer in the national economy. "That's good news for job seekers and for the overall economy, but the continuing high demand for workers is putting a strain on hiring managers and recruitment executives. Where do they turn to fill the higher demand during summer months? Which is the perfect segue to staffing firms…

Hire a Staffing Firm

Professional Career Placements recommends working with a staffing firm for seasonal jobs. “This way you will not have to take on the responsibility of payrolling a temp, nor take on the unemployment claim at the end of the short-term assignment.” They add, “we suggest interviewing several candidates so that you can have a backup in case something unforeseen happens with your first choice. By doing so, you won’t have to start back at square one.” Staffing firms have already experienced a summer rush from companies that didn’t (or did!) plan ahead to fill seasonal positions. The good news? They’re easy to find, many specialize in difficult-to-fill positions ( healthcare, seasonal, temp), and their job is to focus on your staffing shortage so you can get back to work.

If you’re already canceling your own vacation due to talent shortages over the summer, consider your strategy. You don’t have to turn back time and it’s not the end of the world; simply start now. Next year, plan on creating your seasonal hiring strategy in advance.

We have a great resource, direct from the pros, that you might find helpful year-round:

22 Staffing Experts on How to Recruit Hard-to-Fill Jobs

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And a note: The end of summer is a great time to start planning for seasonal hiring for the holidays! Watch this space for tips!


Topics: Recruiting Strategies

Updated April 24, 2018