Recruiting and Staffing

6 Tips to Help You Manage Temporary Workers This Summer

temp-sticker

Summer hiring is expected to rise sharply this year.

In addition, average hourly earnings are also expected to increase, from $10.90 an hour in 2012 to $11.50, which is the highest it’s been in six years.

Yes, temporary jobs, and the benefits that go along with them, are surging.

So with so many employers looking to fill temporary jobs by the end of May, what are some best practices to follow in order to have a solid team this summer? Check out these tips:

1. Access talent across generations

With hiring for temporary workers across the board is set to increase (42 percent of employers looking to hire more temporary employees in the future), summer jobs aren’t just for teenagers anymore. Although many people have come to associate summer jobs with high school and college students, we’re increasingly seeing seasonal applicants range in age from 17 to 65 years old.

In addition, when hiring talent across generations, it’s important to understand the value that each group brings, not only in their approach to the business, but also how they can relate to your customers.

Keep this in mind during your search.

2. Manage roles and expectations

It’s important to manage the roles and expectations of your summer workforce from the get-go.

Many summer employees have limited experience, so it’s imperative that you define their roles and set expectations from the beginning. This includes everything from arrival and departure time, job roles, chain of command, preferred style of dress, and code of conduct.

Additionally, it’s important to emphasize how to interact with one another and potential customers. A little time spent upfront will reduce confusion and help pave the way for a successful work experience.

In the end, just because your employees may not be there forever doesn’t mean you should treat them any differently than a “traditional” employee. In fact, it’s imperative that you treat them the same so you receive ample respect and great performance back.

3. Empower your staff

One of the best perks of having a new set of employees is the fresh perspective it brings.

Rather than treat your summer staff like hired hands, empower them to try new things and bring them to the forefront of any new ideas. This can be a simple as overhauling your window display to making changes to your website and social networking efforts.

Let them help you!

4. Move the job from temporary to permanent

Let’s say business is booming as summer comes to an end. Why not move your summer staff from temporary to permanent?

This is beneficial for two reasons: You cut down on costs in terms of hiring someone else, and by the time an extension is offered, they’ll likely be schooled on your operations, company mission, and work culture.

Plus, many employers do transition their temporary workers into full-time employees. In fact, 26 percent of employers expected to add full-time, permanent workers by the end of the Dec. 2012 seasonal hiring period.

5. Refer them to other temporary jobs

So, maybe business isn’t so great at the end of the summer and you have to scale back hours. However, a buddy of yours is experiencing a surge and needs to fill some temporary jobs.

Time to do some referring!

Referrals are typically a great source of hire. Plus, if you’ve had a great experience with your temporary workers, but can’t afford to keep them, you should try to help them out as much as you can. And with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting an average of 18,400 temp jobs per month, it’s a win for both parties!

6. Be a mentor

At the end of the day, you’re still supposed to be a leader for your employees whether they are working for you for two or 12 months. Rather than keep at an arm’s length, you can engage your staff by acting as a mentor.

Help guide them in the business, answer questions, give constructive feedback, listen to their ideas, and help them to try new things — even if it means making mistakes. You will find this level of interaction makes for a happier place of business and dramatically reduces turnover, in addition to fostering this same mentorship in others.

Managing your temporary workers may be a different than what you’re used to, but they still need the same attention and direction as your full-time workforce.

So, while you’re enjoying the sun this summer, remember to also manage your temporary workforce in the most optimal way. You’ll find a positive, more productive workforce because of it.

What do you think? What are some additional best practices to consider when managing your temporary workers this summer?

Lynn Dixon is the co-founder and COO of Hourly.com, an employment network that quickly matches people who are interested in flexible positions with the right opportunities. Connect with Lynn and Hourly on Twitter, on Facebook, or at LinkedIn.
  • Jodine Ibeme

    I haven’t seen benefits increase. You have to work many hours like 1,000 plus hours to get vacation or insurance. I have seen a change the way temporary workers are treated by full time workers but not the companies. I like being treated like a valuable member of the team not a dispensable.