Summer is a time when many companies need additional help, so they hire seasonal workers to meet their demands. The bulk of these seasonal hires are high school and college students looking for summer jobs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the youth workforce increases sharply between April and July every year.

Last summer, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported that the number of 16- to 24-year-old workers reached 23.2 million, an increase of 13.5 percent from the previous year. These young people hit the job market when the school year ends, some for the very first time and with little to no previous work experience.

However, the fact that they have no work experience doesn’t mean they don’t possess the skills necessary to succeed on the job. The key is to find out whether a candidate has the right skills, regardless of past experience.

The influx of seasonal workers is greater in certain industries, such as the hospitality and entertainment industries (think hotels, country clubs, and amusement parks) and in retail sales. But regardless of your industry, if you need seasonal workers, then you need to know how to hire them smarter.

Here are four reasons why you should use skills assessment testing on your seasonal workers:

  1. Save time. Seasonal workers present a particular problem for companies because they have to be hired, trained, and onboard faster than regular workers. There’s literally no time to hire the wrong candidate. By having candidates take a skills assessment tests, employers can avoid hiring the wrong candidate, because they’ll know that the person they’re hiring has the necessary skills. When a candidate has the proven skills to succeed, he or she’s more likely to start performing effectively right from the start.
  2. Mind the gap. Even when an employee has the right basic skills, he or she may need some training to beef up specific skills for a particular job. Skills assessment testing can once again help employers by allowing them to see where a new seasonal employee needs extra training. Through this skills gap analysis, companies can optimize training to cover the specific topics the seasonal workers need to master. This reduces the time to reach maximum productivity among workers, which is critical to achieving the company’s short-term, seasonal goals.
  3. Manage risk. Hiring new employees are the biggest business risk a company can take. An employee with performance issues is usually the result of a hiring process that isn’t thorough enough. Since seasonal hiring has to be done so fast, it’s easy to be tempted to skip steps, which often ends up costing more in the long run. Skills assessment testing can help employers hire a candidate whose established skill set meets their needs. This, combined with conducting reference checks that focus on confirming said skill set, is an effective way to minimize the risk of hiring seasonal employees who don’t turn out as expected… before it’s too late.
  4. Look ahead. Seasonal hires can also stick around longer than you’d think. Many seasonal workers continue to come back to the same company season after season. And some are hoping for a permanent position after the season is over.

Whatever the scenario, looking at seasonal hiring as building for the future is a smart decision. If you hire great candidates who enjoy working for you, you can hopefully count on them to return the following season. This saves you time and money the next time around. And if you’re already grooming seasonal workers to succeed in your company and a permanent position becomes available, maybe one of them can be the answer to your hiring prayers.

Skills assessment testing can help you hire seasonal employees faster, smarter, with lower risk and more potential. Do you currently test your seasonal workers’ skills?

Adina Miron

4 Comments

  • Avatar Parker Pearson says:

    As a customer, my experience is that a lot of companies who deal with temporary workers do not hire the best brand representatives. Just because a person works for a short period of time doesn’t mean you should hire anyone who applies for a job. Using skills assessments to test the quality of an employee is the best way to avoid loss in business. 

  • Avatar Vera W. says:

    Recruiters or local managers are overloaded during certain seasons and they will never be able to evaluate candidates properly. Having a tool such as skills testing will reduce recruiting time and costs for the companies and offer a guarantee that they can hire a person with the right skills.

  • Avatar Avryl Bonfire says:

    The article points out all the right reasons why skills assessments should be used even when hiring temporary workers, especially when we are talking about big numbers of new employees. The loss due to bad performance is far greater than the cost of a testing system.

  • Avatar Chris says:

    I remember being a temp employee, I was don’t I was ever giving any assessment tests, and very little training. Once I became an HR professional I understood that sometimes employer view temp employees as replaceable. Full customizable assessments can help companies with hiring temp workers who could work out for the long term and be part of succession planning.

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