DOs & DON'Ts of Recruiting Seasonal Employees

now hiring seasonal employees sign in grass.

It's all over the news. Signs are in store windows. It seems like everybody is advertising…

We're hiring!

And, as the growing season begins, you're probably looking to fill some last-minute seasonal job openings. Of course, finding quality seasonal workers can be challenging. Workers are demanding better pay, hours, and other benefits. Your operating budget has its limits.

So how can you reach potential candidates and get them excited to work for your agency?

Get creative with your recruiting and hiring strategies. 

Here are some DOs and DON'Ts: 

DON'T think posting on Indeed and that lawn sign is enough.

The bland, wordy job description from a decade ago isn't going to capture the attention of current job seekers. And most people looking for a job aren't driving around trying to find opportunities…Who could afford the gas

Use all available outlets to reach a larger audience--and do it creatively. Get your potential candidates' attention and interest with some of the following ideas:

DON'T waste money on Facebook Ads to fill positions.

Facebook ads can be effective in reaching a wider audience. Those people, however, have to be on Facebook to see the ads.

If you are looking to hire a younger crowd for your open positions, they may not be scrolling through Facebook. Instagram and TickTock are more popular among teens and young adults.

Use social media to your advantage. These platforms can be an excellent opportunity to highlight your agency and make people want to work for you. Create posts that share your culture and values. Show them what it's like working for your agency.

DON'T remain set in your hiring practices and policies.

Enduring the beginning of this decade has taught us all something important: reevaluate everything.

How long does it take to fill out your agency's employment application? What's the average time between getting an application and hiring an individual? How can you get seasonal employees trained faster?

Determine bottlenecks in the application, hiring, and onboarding process. Find ways to make it easier for employees to get hired and trained.

Consider things like:

  • Shortening the application
  • Walk-in interviews
  • Evening/weekend interviews
  • Online/hybrid training

DO connect with former seasonal employees.

Tap an audience that you know works well--reach out to former seasonal employees. Ask them if they are interested in working again.

If not, ask them if they know someone looking for a seasonal job. Former seasonal employees know the job and work culture. They may know individuals that may be a good fit. Consider giving a special referral bonus if they recruit someone.

DO add some excitement to the job posting/advertising. 

Make your job posting stand out by relating to your ideal candidates. Think beyond the pay and job description. What do they want out of a seasonal job? What are the benefits of working with your agency?

Make your job opening sound exciting and in demand. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Join a team that works hard to make the community fun
  • Get paid to be outdoors this summer
  • Learn how we make our gardens so nice
  • Work behind the scenes at [popular event] and more
  • Do the work that makes people smile

Need ideas? Talk to your current employees. Find out why they love their job.

DO get seen by potential employees.

Make sure you're getting the word out where potential seasonal help can see it. Earlier, we talked about making sure you're using the right social media platform to connect with the ideal demographic. Where else do your ideal candidates hang out? How can your agency be a presence in these spaces?

Post job openings or have someone available to talk at:

  • High schools
  • Community colleges
  • Job fairs
  • Your special events
  • Places where teens and young adults congregate

DO offer desirable benefits.

What perks can you give seasonal workers? What's that certain thing that can make potential seasonal employees apply for your job?

You likely can't offer traditional benefits like health insurance, 401(k)s, and pension plans. So what can you offer that won't put unnecessary strain on your agency and budget?

Free or discounted passes to facilities or events can be a great option. Younger people and those with families may see it as a chance to enjoy their summer when they aren't on the clock.

Seasonal workers may also find flexible schedules beneficial. They may be juggling other responsibilities like family, summer school, or even side hustles. The ability to work shorter shifts or non-traditional hours can be enticing.

Of course, managing flexible schedules can create headaches for maintenance or park managers. Maintenance software allows managers an easier way to integrate flexible scheduling with the tasks that need completion.

Actionable Ideas to Try

Here are some ideas to give your seasonal employee recruiting a boost.

Start a New Social Media Campaign

Move beyond posting job descriptions on social media. Show what it's like to work with your agency. Generate interest and excitement by highlighting:

  • Behind the scenes footage of an event
  • A "Day in the Life" video of a job
  • Pictures of crew members working together
  • Employees discussing why they like their job 
  • How the work makes a positive impact on the community

Encourage Employees to Post on Social Media

Offer an incentive for your employees to post about your agency on social media. This helps cast a wider net by connecting with their networks. After all, your employees are likely connected to those with similar interests--like the type of work they enjoy doing. 

Post ideas can include:

  • Something interesting that happened during their shift
  • Why they love working for your agency
  • A job posting with a personal note about the job
  • Their favorite park or facility
  • An upcoming event they're excited about

Once they add a determined number of posts on their social media account, give them a gift card, agency swag, or a free pass to an upcoming event.

Also, encourage your employees to add pictures to their posts. Have your marketing department share templates for creative job postings.

Connect with Previous Seasonal Workers

Consider sending postcards or emails to your former seasonal team. Mention that you appreciate their past hard work and list the positions available for this season.

Also, consider giving a referral bonus if they recruit someone to work for you. Former seasonal employees understand the work involved and who would be an excellent candidate. Like the incentives for employees to post on social media, the referral bonus can be simple--gift cards, passes to events, or agency swag.  

Schedule Speaking Engagements 

Are you looking to hire teens or young adults for open positions? Connect with the high school or community college and see if one of your employees can talk about their job to a class or group.

Ideally, that worker will be close in age and a current or former student. This will make it easier for the students to relate. Have the employee talk about:

  • What a typical day looks like
  • Their favorite equipment to use
  • What they like best about their job
  • How their work impacts others

Craft a presentation that specifically speaks to the group. Keep momentum flowing--offer an easy way to apply on the spot for those interested in a position. 

Develop Flexible Scheduling Opportunities

The 7 am to 3 pm shift may be great for some. And it may make your workflow scheduling much more straightforward. You can reach more potential candidates by offering positions with different hours.

Some seasonal workers may only want to work a few hours a day. Or working first thing in the morning may not be an option if they have other obligations.

How can you re-envision your task scheduling to meet the needs of those who benefit from flexible scheduling?

At first, it may seem overwhelming--especially if you've been doing things a certain way for a long time. But remember, this decade has taught us the importance of reevaluating everything. After all, it's easier to schedule tasks when you have seasonal workers available.

Maintenance software provides an excellent opportunity to pinpoint what needs to be done, how long it takes, and who will do it. You could quickly manage tasks and work orders while effectively communicating schedules to your employees. 

The Takeaway

You attract quality seasonal employees by understanding what they want from a job. Once you have their attention and interest, make it easy for them to take action.

Establishing a presence on social media and other outlets can give you an advantage over other companies and organizations seeking seasonal help. Be sure to share your agency's values and cultures.

Using technology to assist workforce management can help you create flexible scheduling opportunities for individuals who prefer non-traditional shifts.

Happy hiring!