Seasonal Student Workers – 4 Tips to Make the Most of Them

Summer is in full swing. While the summer equinox does not officially arrive until late June, the summer begins for most students some time in May. If hiring seasonal employees is part of your staff management plan though, they’ve probably been punching your time clock since sometime in May.

Every summer, millions of young people in the US—from high school kids to college students—enter the labor-force as seasonal workers. For many students a summer job is just that—a temporary gig to get them through the summer and make a few extra bucks. For your business, they’re a much needed help in a busy season.

Train them right. Hopefully your seasonal hires have some experience or, at the very least, are malleable enough to adapt to the role quickly.

Whatever their level of experience, it’s important to train them sufficiently. Seasonal workers may just be filling a simple, temporary role, but it’s still a vital one. Many seasonal employees may not be as well adjusted to little things like the daily routine of showing up for work.

Put it all down. This one goes hand-in-hand with the first point. Less experienced workers need to clearly understand what’s expected of them. And there’s no better way of making sure they get the message than to put it all down on paper.

Whatever you do, make sure your seasonal workers understand what’s expected of them, and that they can find those expectations in writing if they need to revisit them.

Recruit the right candidates. Wish you could forget about that flaky college kid you hired last summer? While it can be a challenge to hire good seasonal staff, there are good candidates out there.

If there’s a college or university in your area, see if you can get plugged in, many schools have programs to help students find on or off campus employment. Make yourself an employer that students want to spend their summers with.

Give lots of feedback. While all employees need some level of feedback, your student workers likely have some unique needs. Younger, less experienced workers need to know when they’re on-track—and when they’re off. Students are coming from an environment where they’re given a task and then rated on their performance. Setting up a similar system could go a long way toward managing and improving seasonal worker performance.

Seasonal workers can feel like a challenge. But if you can start out with the right recruits, train them well, and keep the feedback coming, your season will move more smoothly.

Karin Jakovljevic

About the author

Karin Jakovljevic

Karin Jakovljevic is the head of marketing at Ximble, a powerful, cloud-based workforce management system, simplifying employee scheduling and time tracking for retailers, restaurants and small businesses.

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