Summer Dreaming: Love or Money to Make Seasonal Workers Stay?

Apr 30, 2008
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

Only 23% of hiring managers plan to hire seasonal workers for the summer this year, but of that figure, 66% expect these summer hires to stick around for eventual permanent placement.

What makes these companies so cocky? While other companies are struggling to find enough talent, this group of employers thinks money is enough to keep their new hires happy.

In fact, 24% of employers plan to pay their summer hires and/or interns more this year than they did last year. But as we all know, money is no guarantee that these seasonal workers will stick.

According to’s latest survey of more than 3,000 U.S. employers, 47% plan to dish out $10 or more per hour; 7% will pay $20 or more per hour; 29% anticipate paying between $8 and $10 per hour; and 11% expect to pay less than $7 per hour.

Praise is Priceless

But so what? Is money what matters? Survey after survey finds that quality-of-life dreaming is not just a desire by those demanding Gen Y kids. Most surveys point out that while salary can buy a lot of things, more and more workers prefer other benefits. Things such as telecommuting and flex time, sure, but even more holistic measures like a sense of purpose or consistent praise.

(Check out “Seven things employees want most to be happy at work,” which points out the obvious: “Praise does not cost anything to give, but its benefits on employee morale are priceless.”

But still, the survey says 7% of seasonal workers are still going to get more than $20 an hour. That beats scooping ice cream or mowing lawns for peanuts.

So just who is hiring seasonal workers? The survey finds that hospitality (40%) and retail (39%) are leading in the number of hiring managers planning to recruit summer workers. Among all employers, the most popular summer positions being offered include office support (28%); customer service (19%); landscape/maintenance (14%); research (14%); restaurant/food service (8%); construction/painting (8%); and sales (8%).

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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