Survey: Summer job market improving

 
March 27, 2012

With more than 200,000 jobs added to U.S. payrolls in each of the last three months, hiring managers for summer jobs have more positive news for job-seeking teens this year: seasonal hiring is predicted to be at levels similar to last year and much improved from the recession. What's more, hiring is expected to occur earlier in the season and teens will largely compete against themselves for jobs, with fewer experienced workers looking for summer employment.

Snagajob, an hourly employment network for job seekers and employers, commissioned its fifth-annual survey of more than 1,000 hourly hiring managers with responsibility for summer hiring. The survey, conducted by third-party research firm Ipsos Public Affairs, found that hiring managers foresee:

  • Hiring levels similar to last year and much improved from the recession – Three in 10 hiring managers expect to hire the same as last year (+3 points). Similar to last year, one in 10 hiring managers expects to hire more staff. A smaller group of hiring managers (16 percent) will be hiring fewer workers (-2 points), trending in the right direction. Slightly less than half (45 percent) of hiring managers do not intend to make any hires, which is consistent with last year's findings. Looking back at the recession in 2008, hiring plans have improved significantly – at that time, 49 percent of hiring managers did not intend to make any hires, four points worse than the past two years.
  • A return to earlier hiring – Even more than last year, those wanting a summer job will need to act quickly. Hiring managers with an intention to hire summer employees will be doing so on an earlier timetable: 13 percent filled their positions in February (+ 1 point), and 11 percent will complete their hiring this month (+ 2 points). Looking toward April, 23 percent will finish hiring next month (+ 1 point). According to the survey, 79 percent of summer hiring will be complete by the end of May.
  • Competition returning to normal – The past four years of the Snagajob survey had shown a decline in the number of hiring managers believing that the greatest competition a teen or college student would face for a summer job would be from someone like themselves. Rather, the survey had indicated a growth in competition from workers who had entered the workforce because of economic pressure and a tough economy. But this year, that's changing. More hiring managers (57 percent) now believe that other high school or college students will offer the biggest challenge (up six points). Added to that, three in 10 (29 percent) hiring managers believe it will be "easy" for teens to find a summer job this year, up nine points over the last two years.
  • Flat wages - Hiring managers with plans to hire expect to pay an average of $10.90 per hour, statistically unchanged from last year.

"There's been pick up in the job market lately, and with that, the Snagajob summer job survey shows improving employer confidence because of hiring levels steady with or incrementally better than last year, a tendency to hire earlier and the belief that teens will handle more of the summer job market versus more experienced workers," said Shawn Boyer, chief executive officer of Snagajob. "With less competition from older workers anticipated, wages are expected to be flat. However, teens who want a job should be aggressive and start looking as soon as possible."

Job seekers who will be on the hunt this summer should bring a trifecta of key attributes to the table, although the most important – No. 1 for the first time in the survey's history – is the ability to work a schedule that a manager needs (32 percent), followed very closely by a positive attitude (29 percent). At 26 percent, previous experience is the next quality that hiring managers are looking for.

And in another consistency from previous years, hiring managers will depend on employees who have worked for them in previous summers; 65 percent of summer staff will be returning workers. This figure has been steady across the five-year survey.

Snagajob also recently announced its hourly talent management system (TMS) employer list has doubled in the past two years and is now at 350. Newer customers include Captain D's and Texas Roadhouse. Other brands utilizing Snagajob's products include Burger King, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Dunkin' Donuts.

Snagajob product offerings include: Talent Sourcing, Assessments, Hiring Manager, Applicant Tracking, Background Screening, Tax Credit Screening, Onboarding and Training Manager.

Read more about staffing and training.


Topics: Operations Management , Staffing & Training , Workforce Management


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