How to Hire Summer Help for Your Small Business

Author: Rieva Lesonsky | July 12, 2016

Does your small business need a little extra help this summer? Whether summer is your busy season or you just need assistance covering employees who are on vacation, you’re in luck because summer is one of the best times to find employees. Between freshly minted high school and college graduates plus students seeking summer jobs or internships, it’s definitely an employers’ market. Here are some ideas for finding the summer help you need.

High schools and colleges

Most colleges and some high schools are already out for the summer, but if those in your area are still in session or have summer sessions, contact their career centers to find out how you can list the open jobs at your small business. Don’t forget about local trade and technical schools, either—depending on your industry, they can be your ideal source of summer employees.

Small Business Internships

Hiring an intern for the summer can be a win-win situation: You get a highly motivated employee, and he or she gets valuable job experience and training. However, if you think you don’t have to pay an intern, make sure you investigate both state and federal Department of Labor regulations regarding paid vs. unpaid internships. In order for the employee to be legally considered an intern (and be able to work for free), the internship must meet six DOL criteria:

  1. The internship is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment
  2. The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern
  3. The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff
  4. The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded
  5. The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship
  6. The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the internship

Even if you can legally offer an unpaid internship, paying your intern/s can help you attract higher quality workers. Although the most common place to look for interns is at colleges and high schools, adults seeking career transitions can also be valuable interns. Contact local adult education programs, career counseling services, and unemployment offices to see how you can advertise your positions to prospective adult interns.

Temporary employees

If you only need summer help and don’t want to deal with finding and training and employee for the short term, contact a temporary agency. They generally conduct background checks and pre-employment screenings for you, so you know you’re getting qualified employees. Temporary agencies also offer employees from a wide range of industries and specializations, including retail, manufacturing, and healthcare, to name just a few. In addition, since the temp agency handles payroll and administrative paperwork related to the employee, you save time and headaches.

Part-time employees

Are you concerned about the cost of benefits for full-time employees? Or, perhaps, you need an employee for more than just the summer. Hiring a few part-time workers could be more cost effective than hiring a full-time employee. In addition, multiple part-time workers may give you more flexibility in terms of hours. Before you make the decision, however, make sure you know the state and federal employment laws regarding who is considered a part-time vs. full-time employee. You don’t want to hire a part-timer and then find out that you are required to provide them with benefits.

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