Stuck in a Summer Slump? 3 Tips to Make Your Summer Hiring Soar

The pressure to fill summer positions has mounted. Not only has the pool for talent shrunk in this economy, but seasonal talent’s motivations also have shifted. Many summer workers now view work as “a maybe” vs. “a must.” How can a talent acquisition professional like yourself cut through this ambivalence and inspire summer talent to take a serious look at the opportunities you have to offer? 


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Here are three tips designed to help you break the same ol’ recruiting mold and get yourself into a creative mind-set in order to fill summer positions with ease and have fun while doing it!

Tip #1: Job Descriptions Are a Two-Way Street

When sitting down to craft your job description, you undoubtedly focus on what the company needs and wants for the position first and then what the company will offer in return. To infuse new energy and some summer fun into this process, consider focusing on what candidates need first by getting into the shoes of the talent you’re looking to attract.
What are they thinking when considering a seasonal job? What would they think they’d be giving up to take this job, both personally and professionally? What will they gain by taking this job for the summer?
Then, as you craft your job description and document the organizational needs and wants, you’ll be giving just as much (if not more) consideration and attention to what the candidate wants and needs—as well as the company. This creates a mutual exchange right out of the gate rather than a one-way street.

Tip #2: Personas Get Personal

To assist with crafting optimal job descriptions, consider creating talent personas you’d like to attract for your summer positions. Maybe develop three separate personas who have their own distinct personality attributes, career aspirations, personal motivations, and experience.
Also, document the candidates’ unique circumstances—home from college or off from school, retired, exploring new skills, reentering the workforce, etc. Give each persona a name, and even attach an image to the personas so the hiring team knows the “types” you’re looking to hire.
Doing this can make the process more fun and help you get into candidates’ minds and what they’re facing so you can market to them accordingly. By creating a list of what makes summer talent different from full-time talent—and why—you will better understand these candidates’ motivations for summer work and be able to speak to them in a personal and engaging way.

Tip #3: Create Sticky Connections

 Speaking of getting personal, when writing your job descriptions or ads for positions, write your messages as if you’re sending a letter or an e-mail to the specific personas you created. Again, rather than first focusing on how great your company is, focus on acknowledging that you understand the unique motivations and circumstances that summer talent is facing—and communicate that you have the right opportunity for them.
By addressing their needs, wants, and aspirations first, you create a connection through which candidates feel understood and heard during their first interaction with your company. This empathetic approach creates a pull vs. a push effect whereby you spark interest and intrigue through authenticity rather than slyly selling your services and hoping the message sticks.

Brenda Stanton, Vice President of Keystone Partners, consults with organizations on corporate workplace, career management, and leadership development. She advises HR leaders on complex, multi-site global restructuring and outplacement needs, C-level executive transitions, and talent and leadership development initiatives including executive coaching, team effectiveness, and management training.
Stanton has served as a career transition consultant and trainer, advising professionals at all levels to define career targets and up-level opportunities, and successfully achieve their career aspirations.  Prior to Keystone, she spent 15 years in business development and marketing roles at publishing, advertising, and technology firms.

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