Hiring managers plan to bring on more summer help, pay higher wages, and hire earlier this year, according to a survey out Thursday by SnagAJob.com, the jobs site that specializes in hourly jobs.
In the survey of 1,005 hiring managers by Ipsos Public Affairs, 10 percent said they expect to hire more seasonal people this year than last year, up from the 6 percent who said the same thing in a survey last year.
Hiring managers with openings said they expect to pay an average $10.90 per hour, up from the $10.20 in last year’s survey.
And 43 percent of hiring managers with openings said they expect to complete their summer hiring by April, which SnagAJob said is a “slightly more aggressive timeline” than the 40 percent in last year’s survey.
Amanda Richardson, a spokeswoman for SnagAJob, said it was the third year of positive trends in the annual survey, and the results show employers are feeling more confident about their prospects.
“We’ve got 55 percent of hiring managers hiring, which is the highest number since 2008,” she said.
Taken together, the numbers suggest a continuing highly competitive environment for jobseekers, Richardson said. College students who intend to seek work in their hometowns should apply now, and not wait until May, when school’s out, she said.
“Get your online applications in now,” she said. Students should also consult with their networks to find opportunities, apply to multiple jobs, and consider taking a day off from school to come home and look for summer work, she said.
Other findings in the survey:
- Small and midsize businesses, in addition to mainstays such as Six Flags, are hiring.
- On a scale of 1 to 10, hiring managers were a 5 on average, neutral on how difficult it will be for teenagers to find jobs.
- On where they’ll find workers, hiring managers said they expected to draw 65 percent of staff from previous employees, and 35 percent new hires, which “has been consistent the past four years,” SnagAJob said.
- Previous experience doesn’t necessarily carry the day. Asked the most important attribute of seasonal help, hiring managers cited positive attitude (30 percent) and scheduling flexibility (30 percent). Experience was cited No. 1 by 27 percent of hiring managers, up 4 percentage points from the previous survey.
Jobseekers should beware that summer jobs aren’t always labeled as such by employers in job descriptions, Richardson said.
“Employers often don’t want to commit to a timeframe,” Richardson said. “It’s up to conversations with the hiring manager to understand how long the job is.”
Students who attend school in their hometowns should keep this in mind.
“A lot of employers make summer hires with an eye toward a test drive,” Richardson said. “Summer jobs can turn into fulltime jobs. There’s definitely an advantage to being local and accessible.”
Besides the obvious spots like Six Flags, Richardson said jobseekers should look at businesses that benefit from summer travel and “staycations,” including restaurants, gasoline stations, motels, and movie theaters.
Landscaping also offers a good pot of jobs, she said. “That work has already started,” with home improvement centers, for example, hiring for their lawn and garden stores, Richardson said.
Ipsos conducted the survey Feb. 23-March 1. Respondents were hiring managers with responsibility for hiring summer hourly workers, SnagAJob said. Margin of error was 3.09 percent. Margin of error for the group of managers who said they planned to hire summer help was 4.17 percent, SnagAJob said.
- Scott Nishimura, jobs and workplace reporter, Star-Telegram