Help Wanted! Companies Stepping Up Summer Hiring Plans

The jobs outlook is looking up for the summer, according to a new CareerBuilder report, as organizations make plans to hire full-time as well as temporary employees. Let’s go inside the report and look at the hiring expectations for the second half of the year, as leading recruiters weigh in.

June 8, 2018 – The summer job market is upon us and there’s good news: Companies are stepping up their seasonal hiring. Forty-one percent of employers plan to hire workers for the summer while a vast majority (88 percent) expect to transition some summer hires into permanent roles, according to a new report by CareerBuilder.

Employers said they are targeting various workforce segments to fill their summer jobs. Nearly three in four (73 percent) said they plan to recruit college students, 39 percent said high school students and 26 percent said retirees. Two in five employers hiring for the summer (41 percent) said they are looking to hire veterans for their summer positions.

“Employers are grappling with a tough hiring environment, and summer workers are reaping the benefits,” said Irina Novoselsky, president and COO of CareerBuilder. “Employers are becoming more competitive with pay and offering more long-term employment opportunities to summer workers. It’s a great way for workers to add new skills, build up their resumes and expand their professional networks.”

Seasonal Hiring By Region

Employers in the Northeast (47 percent) lead the rest of the country with plans to add seasonal workers for the summer, followed by the West (41 percent), the South (39 percent), and the Midwest (37 percent).

Types of Jobs Available 

Although summer jobs are commonly associated with recreation and outdoor work, many positions are available in offices or other corporate settings. Employers said they are hiring seasonal help in the following areas: Customer service – 25 percent; IT – 25 percent; office support – 25 percent; engineering – 18 percent; manufacturing – 16 percent; sales – 15 percent; construction – 10 percent; research – 10 percent; and banking – nine percent.

Want to Attract Talent? Follow These Top Guidelines
In today’s digital age, it’s easy for anyone to become a company’s advocate or critic. No matter your industry, the internet has given a new voice to the masses. When thinking about your company’s hiring practices, it’s crucial to consider the experience your candidates are having from start to finish.

CareerBuilder’s Tips to Landing a Summer Gig

  • Apply now. Employers start recruiting for summer help early, but opportunities are still available.
  • Take the opportunity seriously.Don’t look at this as just a temporary gig. Summer jobs are a great way to get your foot in the door with an organization and learn new marketable skills. Let the hiring manager know up front if you’re interested in a permanent role down the line – it will help you stand out as a candidate.
  • Be flexible.A willingness to work different shifts increases your chances of getting hired.
  • Dress the part.Dress appropriately when you meet the employer. If you’re applying for an office job, a T-shirt and cargo shorts probably isn’t the ideal interview attire. If you’re going to apply to a job in a retail clothing store, make sure to wear clothes from that store.
  • Don’t ask about the discount.Summer discounts are great, but you don’t want the employer to think that’s the only reason you want the job.
  • Show you’re excited.A little enthusiasm can go a long way especially when employers are assessing whether you can provide good service to internal or external customers.

Five Employer Trends to Watch in the New Year

With companies struggling to usher new employees in the door, they are exploring various sources for finding job candidates and increasing compensation in 2018. CareerBuilder offered five trends to watch for the second half of the year:

  1. Capturing New Talent Early – Employers will start courting college students early – 64 percent plan to hire recent college graduates this year.
  2. Importing Talent – Employers will be looking beyond borders to find talent with 23 percent planning to hire workers from other countries to work in the U.S.
  3. Re-engaging Past Employees –Employers will increase outreach to workers who know their business and have a history with them: Thirty-nine percent plan to hire former employees in 2018.

Related: CEO Confidence in the Economy at All-Time High

  1. Hiring for Potential – Sixty-six percent of employers said they will train and hire workers who may not have all the skills they need but have potential; 44 percent of all employers plan to train low-skill workers who lack experience in their field and hire them for higher-skill jobs.
  2. Boosting Compensation – While wage gains have not reached desired levels, employers will become more aggressive with compensation levels for in-demand workers: Thirty percent said they plan to increase starting salaries for new employees by five percent or more while 36 percent will do the same for existing staff.

More job creation, higher voluntary employee turnover and intensified competition for talent are expected to be the main themes surrounding employment this year. “There is a perfect storm happening in the U.S. labor market,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. “Low unemployment paired with lagging labor force participation and a growing skills gap is making it very difficult for businesses to find qualified candidates – and this is for all types of roles. If employers want to remain competitive, they are going to have to look to new talent pools and significantly increase their investment in training workers to build up the skills they require.”

Unemployment Rate Drops to 3.8 Percent
Employers added 223,000 jobs last month as the U.S. unemployment rate dropped to an 18-year low of 3.8 percent, according to the most recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report. The May gain is the 92nd consecutive month of job growth. The number of unemployed people dipped to 6.1 million.

The national survey was conducted online by the Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder between April 4 and May 1. It included representative samples of 1,012 hiring managers and human resource professionals in the private sector and 1,117 full-time workers across industries and company sizes.

Search Consultants Share Thoughts

Being on the front lines of executive hiring, search firms have their own outlook for what areas are most ripe for job seekers. “The Risch Group is a small firm, thus any macro perspective would not be of much use for the industry as a whole,” said Richard Risch, founder, chairman and CEO of New York-based executive search firm The Risch Group. “That said, we see three very strong trends affecting our business. In financial services, it is the growth of the money management business, especially alternatives where we are seeing the strongest demand. This is especially true for start-up funds in the crypto space, as well as emerging managers.”

Related: 5 Employment Trends That Demand New Ways of Managing

The Risch Group’s cybersecurity business, meanwhile, is thriving, both for searches by product/service providers and end users. “In some areas, it is overlapping with the crypto space as the demand for cold asset storage increases,” said Mr. Risch.

Lastly, and most importantly, said Mr. Risch, his firm is beginning to see a strong shift away from internal recruiting teams being built. “While the trend of building internal teams is still occurring, they seem less and less effective as the executive search industry’s adoption and implementation of AI technology allows them to shorten the process and reduce the number of candidates necessary to make a hiring decision,” he said. “Our overall expectation for the rest of the year is continued demand and increasing revenue per search, at least in the sectors we know.”

Change Agents

A coming report from Hunt Scanlon Media bears this out. In a survey of talent acquisition leaders and heads of internal corporate recruiting, it seems the pendulum is shifting back to utilizing external executive search vendors to find talent more often than not. There are exceptions: Google is building a massive in-house capability that is expected to rival that of any large search firm. But AI technology and its ability to speed up the recruiting process is one factor reversing the recent trend of using in-house recruiters for talent sourcing. The other factor pushing recruiting back out to eternal vendors is the talent shortage itself. Sourcing talent, according to corporate survey respondents, is becoming an “exceedingly difficult task.” Headhunters, they admit, simply have “the right points of contact and networks in place” to get the job done “more efficiently.”

Beth Ehrgott, managing director of Houston-based executive search firm The Alexander Group, said that in certain sectors finding change agents is the name of the game. “A big part of our life sciences practice is in the biopharma/biotech space and the increasing pace of disruptive innovation across therapeutic areas is compelling,” she said “Our clients tap us to recruit game-changing executive leadership who will craft and drive business strategy, often to lead them through a successful IPO and scale post-IPO from preclinical through commercialization.”

“Thus, the pace of their hiring can be intense and across functions when they hit key milestones such as receiving positive data and needing to build capacity to continue on their growth trajectory,” she said. “This is not a seasonal activity but rather a direct response to their business journey.”

Related: Bringing Today’s Candidates Into New Talent Pipelines

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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