2016 summer hiring survey: Top strategies for attracting summer talent
As we noted last week, hourly employers have their work cut out for them as they try to woo enough summer workers for the busy season ahead. With the national unemployment rate low, the employee candidate pool is rapidly shrinking. At the same time, the seasonal need for hourly workers has increased. This creates a highly competitive and challenging hiring market.
So how does a smart employer quickly entice workers who have multiple options? Our third annual summer hiring survey shows that employers are trying a variety of approaches.
For starters, the numbers have to make sense. Hourly employers expect the average wage for their 2016 summer hires to be $12.75 per hour. This represents a 10 percent increase over 2015 and a 23 percent increase over the average reported in 2014. Almost half of the employers surveyed noted that offering higher wages is a part of their strategy to attract top talent. Wages are rising across multiple industries, and competitive rates are a necessary starting point for companies looking to hire summer help.
But the numbers aren’t everything. While a good wage will make job seekers look twice, making them stick around is another matter. Employers have to make sure they don’t take good employees for granted and need to express their appreciation in tangible ways, especially as it gets harder to find and keep quality folks. Many hourly companies are working on just that—nearly nine out of 10 employers surveyed say they will give special recognition or bonuses to their summer employees who perform well.
Perks like flexible shift preferences also have a huge draw. Fifty-one percent of hourly companies say they anticipate offering their summer employees options to help schedule work around life commitments. This effort to ease the work-life balancing act may become less of a perk and more of an essential to attract Millennials, 86 percent of whom say flexibility would sway them towards an employer.
Finally, 42 percent of hourly employers are incorporating employee coaching and mentorship even in the midst of the customer service hustle. Once again, this plays well with the growing Millennial workforce. Constant feedback is the norm for these workers, and they want to know how their work ethic and performance stack up. Good coaching also gives managers a chance to build relationships and trust, especially in an age segment that feels little innate loyalty to their jobs.
Attracting employees that want to stick around increasingly looks the same as attracting Millennials. After all, they’ll make up 75 percent of the total workforce in less than 10 years. Companies that take the time to really understand these job seekers and what sets them apart from other age groups will reap the benefits long after summer ends. Starting with mobile-friendly job postings and mobile-friendly application channels, like those we offer, can make a competitive difference with this demographic.
There’s still more to analyze from this year’s summer hiring survey—check back soon and find out who else is looking for the same employee profile your company is after!