Your Summer Hiring Strategy: Recruiting Hourly and Contingent Workers

iCIMS Staff
April 12, 2018

As winter thaws and the days grow longer (and warmer!), it’s time to start thinking about your hiring strategy for the summer season. For companies in retail, hospitality and especially food service, summertime brings an increased need for hourly and contingent workers. In fact, 41 percent of employers said they planned to hire seasonal workers last summer, with 74 percent of these employers having planned to fill these positions by the end of May.

With summer around the corner, it’s time to get a leg up on the competition for top talent and formulate a hiring strategy to recruit your new batch of capable employees.

Lean on Your Network

Your summer hires might be closer than you think. CareerBuilder’s 2017 survey found that of those companies who hired seasonal workers last summer, 34 percent hired a friend, 30 percent hired a family member, and 19 percent hired their own children. Turn to family, friends, and even employee referrals for potential candidates.

After you’ve exhausted your personal networks, turn to last season’s employees to see if they’d be interested in returning to work. Connecting with last year’s employees can cut down on recruiting costs, but according to a WorkplaceTrends survey, 80 percent of workers say their former employers have not reached out to encourage their return.

Hiring managers will need to keep their talent pools full throughout the summer as they may experience significant turnover among temporary help. A modern candidate relationship management (CRM) system like iCIMS’ CRM can help your company stay connected with past employees and other interested candidates. Backed by the power of email automation, a CRM allows you to create talent pools based on certain criteria. This way, you can routinely send personalized recruitment marketing materials to different groups, including your previous employees, to keep them looped in on company news and encourage them to apply to available seasonal roles.

Perfect Your Job Postings

While job boards like Indeed, LinkedIn, and Monster are lucrative sources of hire, seasonal hiring and “the gig economy” requires a unique talent acquisition strategy. Step into the shoes of your candidates and think deliberately about where they’re looking to find seasonal work.

A powerful applicant tracking system, or ATS, like iCIMS’ ATS, can help you get creative with your job board posting. With the click of a button, you can promote your open roles on thousands of job boards, including niche sites for seasonal work, like,, and

Know Your Audience

It’s also important to know your candidates and their respective demographics. The warmer months bring a surge of students, both high school and college, eager for employment during their summer vacations. In fact, from April to July 2017, the number of employed 16-24-year-olds increased by 1.9 million to 20.9 million.

Hosting spring campus recruiting events are a lucrative way to boost your employer brand and connect with the next-generation of seasonal candidates. CRM software like iCIMS Connect helps alleviate the stresses of recruiting events from start to finish, so you can better drive attendance, enable pre-registration, collect candidate resumes, and move your candidates into the interview process seamlessly.

Millennials, Gen Xers, and Gen Zers are also generally more technologically and digitally savvy across the board. Knowing this, create a recruiting strategy that best aligns with job-seeker behavior. For example, Gen Z is 59 percent more likely than the general population to connect with brands through social networking sites. Recruitment technology with social capabilities can help you endorse open roles on your social networks and encourage candidates to apply with their social profile information.

Additionally, 72 percent of millennials report using their phones to actively search for jobs. TextRecruit, an iCIMS company, harnesses the power of SMS to recruit and engage job seekers. After they’ve found a role they’re interested in, your candidates can apply using short codes and keywords, then live chat with recruiters to learn more about the position and schedule interviews.

Overall, robust recruitment technology can give your talent acquisition strategy the competitive edge you need to attract and recruit today’s top talent and your next generation of summer hires.


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