What Students Need to Know About Seasonal Work

by Catherine Tansey

Many students want to make extra money by securing seasonal employment during the holidays. But when academic finals are wrapping up, conducting a job hunt is about the last thing you want to do. If you’re a college student or teen looking for a seasonal job, we’ve got you covered.

How to Find Seasonal Employment

Start your search early. Many people think seasonal employment equates to December work, but employers often start hiring in October or November. During your search, regularly visit job sites aimed at flexible work and make a point of applying every week. Diversity is key to a successful job hunt, so reach out to your personal and professional networks as well. Tailor your cover letter and resume to seasonal work and make a positive first impression. If you showcase your strong work ethic as a reliable employee, you the open the option for an extended contract or more part-time work in the future.

Types of Jobs Hiring for the Holidays

Retail is not the only industry that needs extra help around the holidays. Restaurants get busy with holiday parties and shoppers and often need additional hosts, food runners, and servers. Courier and logistics companies need extra hands to handle the increase in holiday cards, online orders, and packages shipped during this period. In your own neighborhood, friends and families rely on babysitters to get their holiday shopping done sans kids.

The 5 Best Seasonal Jobs for College Students

  1. Holiday Driver

Many organizations need delivery drivers during the holiday season more than any other time of year. You might be able to find a driving job if you have a clean driving record and are willing to work early mornings, nights, and weekends. Some companies pay up to $18 per hour and not all require a commercial driver’s license.

  1. Retail Worker

For retailers, the months leading up to the holidays are the busiest time of year. Many companies scramble to prepare for the increased demands taking place on Black Friday and during the month of December. During this busy time, teens and college students can find work as cashiers, floor associates, stock room workers, and more.

  1. Restaurant Jobs

Restaurant jobs are the holy grail of work for many students. They offer flexible hours and decent pay, plus they’re fun. To land a restaurant job, bring a pen and a few copies of your resume and visit restaurants in person between 1-3 p.m. You’re likely to catch managers during this sweet spot after lunch but before dinner service has started yet. Restaurant experience is great to have on your resume and can help you get a part-time job when you’re back at school or in the summer months.

  1. Online Work

Another viable option is online freelance work in social media management or as a virtual assistant. Check out job boards or drop by local businesses to find out if they’re happy with their current social media management. The best part? This kind of work can be done from anywhere—even your dorm room or school library.

  1. Babysitter

Babysitting is a tried and true seasonal job option for teens and college students. Sign up for an account on Care.com or hit the streets of your neighborhood. If you have previous experience, collect referrals and share them with potential new clients.

See Beyond Seasonal Work

Part time seasonal work is great for students looking to make extra cash, but it doesn’t have to be a one-time thing. Keep the door open for more work over school breaks and the summer by making a positive impression on your employer. And remember, there’s no better time to start building your career than today. Seeking work or internships in your field of study during the holidays is a savvy way to work toward securing your first job after college.

For more tips on finding and securing employment, subscribe to Nelson’s newsletter today!

By Catherine Tansey

Thanksgiving is about gratitude. We express thanks for good health, favorable circumstances, and the relationships in our lives—including those of our co-workers and employees. Ensuring people feel valued and appreciated year-round is essential for successful employee engagement and retention, and Thanksgiving employee appreciation is a great time to let your company’s efforts shine. Like all authentic expressions of gratitude, Thanksgiving 2019 need not break the bank. Here are six Thanksgiving ideas for employees this year.

1. Plan a Potluck

Skip the catered lunch and invite employees to contribute to a globally themed potluck. Turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing rule the month of November, and it’s easy to tire of these heavy and traditional foods. Instead, celebrate your office’s diversity and employee culinary chops by requesting individuals just bring in a favorite dish—bonus points if it’s an international one. Bonding over food is powerful, and employees get a chance to break from work, interact with cross-functional team members, and talk about food—always a lively topic of conversation.

2. Facilitate a Group Volunteer Opportunity

Thank employees by organizing a volunteer outing for the office and treating everyone to a meal or cup of coffee after the event. Today’s employees are eager to be part of a team that’s community-oriented and focuses on giving back. While a day out of the office donating time and good spirit may not feel like a traditional way to say thanks, employees want proof of an organization’s social values, and this approach will surely make an impact.

3. Organize a Pie Swap

Eat dessert first! Arrange an office pie swap to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday and encourage everyone to participate. Include a sign-up sheet for individuals to jot down their name and the type of pie they’d like to bake. Then set aside time in the afternoon for pie, coffee, and social connection.

4. Host a Pumpkin Spice Contest

Since its debut in 2003, pumpkin spice latte has become firmly engrained in the North American cultural zeitgeist, but the ubiquitously fall flavor is delicious in far more than lattes. This Thanksgiving host a pumpkin spice contest and invite employees to get creative with their contributions. Award the winner a gift card, half-day off, or other gift that acknowledge their creative contribution. It’s a modern and seasonally appropriate way to take a break from work, share yummy treats, and host a little friendly competition.

5. Send Handwritten Thank You Notes

Digital communication rules our everyday lives. Be it text messages, email, or group messengers, we rely on keyboards and screens to get in touch and exchange information—oftentimes even our sincerest thanks. For this year’s Thanksgiving employee appreciation, consider putting pen to paper with handwritten thank-you notes. Studies show the act of writing and sending a handwritten note are positive and profound for both the sender and recipient. And remember, great thank you notes share common features: they’re heartfelt, specific, and personalized.

6. Give Everyone Friday Off

Want a Thanksgiving gesture that’s sure to make employees feel appreciated and valued? Give them a day off. Most companies include the Friday after Thanksgiving as a company holiday, but not all. If it’s feasible for your business, consider offering Friday as a paid or floater holiday. Show employees you value their time and hard work by giving them an extra day to spend with family and friends. It won’t go unnoticed.

Purchasing gifts or expensive catered lunches is a common way to express employee appreciation for Thanksgiving, but there are many ways to say Thank You. Be sincere in making employees feel valued and creative in your approach. Our list is a great place to start!

In today’s rapidly changing business environment, many companies strive to create a unified and “dynamic” workforce that acclimates to evolving conditions while continuously pushing the company forward.

In fact, the term “dynamic workforce” has become a buzzword within human resources and usually describes teams comprised of skilled, passionate, engaged, adaptable, and results-driven employees. As an example, a recent Deloitte survey shows that 71 percent of passionate employees reported their willingness to work extra hours during the week, even though they were not required to do so.

To develop a dynamic team, employers can provide employees with both the flexibility and tools to perform their jobs to the best of their abilities. The goal of this investment is to create an environment that supports high-performing, engaged employees while also improving production and efficiency rates.

Technology offers many tools to help increase your business efficiencies. Below are some specific ideas you can implement to build a more dynamic workforce.

Online Learning Platforms

One of the best ways to create dynamic teams is to empower employees with continuing education and training and offer them the tools and knowledge to grow in their positions. This type of support can be a stipend for higher education or delivery of individual learning modules that expand upon the employee’s current skill sets.

To simplify this process, many companies use an online learning platform to host employee training materials. These systems’ automated processes help to reduce costs and increase efficiencies. Additionally, they can assist you in testing and certifying employees to gauge their understanding of each course. Certifications have become a top indicator of a dynamic workforce as companies have begun integrating them into their training programs. These learning programs can also help to bridge the skill gap that exists between current employees of various positions.

Intelligent Scheduling Systems

It can be difficult to manage employees who have different work schedules. Using an intelligent system that populates all employees’ calendars into one visual system helps to make scheduling more efficient.

Additionally, these systems are built to engage the modern mobile workforce, which is estimated to reach 72.3% by 2020. Remote employees need dynamic tools that connect them to the home office and track project tasks or client appointments more efficiently. Intelligent scheduling tools use smart systems capable of assigning the proper person to each case based on scheduling needs, skill sets, and gaps in production.

Workforce Planning Tools

Effectively managing your team, no matter their locations or schedules, increases your dynamic capabilities. By instituting an integrated workforce planning tool system, your company can help reduce common workflow stresses that impact many employees each day.

These workforce planning systems can organize teams, skills, and controls into one single platform. After the platform collects data over time, human resources teams can use the information to better predict and plan for allocation needs, skill gaps, and company-wide reorganizations.

Mentor Programs

Although mentor programs are popular in the workplace, they can be difficult to manage. Existing technology can help mitigate the unnecessary stress your company faces with managing and facilitating mentor relationships.

Popular mentor software options use artificial intelligence to create better matches and outcomes. The software helps facilitate goal-setting practices and conversations that help employees get the most out of a mentor program

The benefits of mentor programs are endless, and with a technology solution employers can track participants’ progress and engagement to see how the program is going. Not only do these programs help employees get out and meet co-workers whom they may not normally work with, but they also provide the opportunity for a significant amount of knowledge transfer.

Putting It All Together

If you care about the success of your organization, make it common practice to care about your employees who drive the results of the business each day. Investing in their future can help you build a workforce that is passionate, driven, and excited to grow their careers with your company. By placing interest in your employees’ futures, your company could begin to see higher-satisfaction and engagement rates and reduced turnover.

By Rebecca Ferlotti

While growth in many industries has stalled at around 12% since 2000, the retail warehouse sector has expanded by 90% over the same time period. For warehouse employees, this expansion translates into advancement opportunities and the potential for improved job security.

A New Breed of Positions

In the past, warehouse positions focused primarily on manual labor. However, with new technology and advancements in distribution and logistics, warehouse roles have evolved to accommodate the expanding marketplace and require team members to have additional or new skills.

For example, warehouse employees now often operate machinery or tap into other skills they have developed over time. In fact, working in a modern warehouse environment has the potential to improve an individual’s soft skills, which ultimately can help them advance by improving their adaptability, time management, attention to detail, communication, and independence.

Management, senior level, and C-suite candidates can also find ample opportunity in this growing business sector.

Not Enough Candidates

Another plus is the simple fact that retail warehouses are searching for qualified and trainable candidates. In today’s tight labor market, employers in the warehouse and distribution/logistics fields find they have more available jobs than applicants. These employers are therefore creating innovative hiring campaigns to build their teams.

Generation Xers are more likely to seek out warehouse jobs than Millennials, and warehouse careers may be a viable option for Generation Y job seekers.

Benefits of the Boom

Warehouse wages are increasing. For example, Amazon raised its minimum wage to $15 per hour, which is higher than many other sectors’ minimum wage rates. Because there is no slowdown of consumers purchasing from both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar businesses that also have internet sales, online retailers need massive warehouses for stocking products and processing orders.

There is no shortage of jobs in the field, and employers often prefer to promote from within, just like other industries. Being given a chance to climb the ladder is non-negotiable for many people seeking warehouse roles, and employers understand they need to meet that demand by providing training and advancement opportunities. Because of the distribution center job surge, there has also been a positive change in the transportation and logistics field with over 23,000 new jobs created in 2018.

A majority (60%) of warehouse employees enjoy their jobs and say they find their work to be rewarding. This compares to just 24% who prefer to work in a retail storefront instead of a warehouse.

Four advantages to warehouse employment:

  1. Many warehouse positions offer full benefits packages.
  2. Being hired for a full-time warehouse position means having consistent work, which translates into having a consistent paycheck.
  3. By working in a warehouse environment, employees gain or can improve upon transferable skills.
  4. Warehouse employment is growing, offers advancement opportunities, and is a source of all levels of positions in both large and smaller organizations.

Four tips for warehouse employees:

  1. Make sure you have necessary certifications (such as a CNC operator certification).
  2. Wear comfortable shoes with a steel toe to protect your feet. Since you will be walking around the warehouse, consider getting shoe inserts to alleviate foot pain.
  3. Take quick stretch breaks every so often to decrease the risk of injury on the job. Remind yourself to drink water during those quick breaks.
  4. Check to make sure you have all your safety gear before entering the warehouse each day (ear plugs, goggles, gloves, etc).

Warehouse services are forecast to grow at a 6% compound annual growth rate through 2022. High demand for warehouse workers is prompting employers to rethink their practices and adapt to the changing job marketplace, which could mean higher wages and better working conditions. The industry shift could have a significant impact on the desirability of these positions for many years to come.

If you need help finding a warehouse position, Nelson recruiters will work with you to determine your career path.

By Catherine Tansey

Running an on-brand Instagram account isn’t only about attracting new clients or building rapport with users. Instagram is now integral to social media recruiting, which has become a major initiative of forward-facing HR departments. Today, some 70% of employers use social media as part of their recruiting strategies. Whether tapping into your LinkedIn network to fill a position or posting a call for applications on Twitter, using social media can be one the most effective ways to connect with the talent your organization wants to land.

What is social media recruiting?

In a nutshell, social media recruiting is the practice of using social media channels to promote open positions, connect with leads, bolster company brand, and get a pulse on talent trends. Smart social media recruiting goes beyond the traditional career-focused channels like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, and Indeed. A successful social strategy means taking a creative approach to recruiting on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Why should you use social media recruiting?

The short answer is that social media should be part of your recruiting mix because it’s low cost, highly effective, and increasingly the place where top candidates look for jobs. Also, because social media tools blend users’ personal and professional lives, they help talent teams reach both active and passive job seekers, gain insight into crucial candidate intangibles like personality and values, and bolster company brand.

And it’s critical to remember that with millennials and Gen Zs quickly becoming majority demographics in the workforce, social media recruiting boosts your organization’s chances of attracting these digital natives.

Top ways to incorporate social media for recruiting

  • Omni-channel approach

We know, we know; your organization already has a Facebook account. Why do we need Instagram and Twitter? you ask. Well, because different social media channels are best for different audiences and specific types of engagement. For example, you can best build a following and showcase company culture on aesthetic-focused Instagram. Lean on LinkedIn to source candidates by using its sophisticated search capabilities and filters. Reach out on Twitter to fill freelance creative jobs for writers and graphic designers.

  • Get a sense of a candidate’s personality

An individual’s social media presence is a great way to learn more about who they are. Their profile and social presence allow you to understand their interests, values, hobbies, and, to some extent, their personality. Remember, discovering disparaging comments, bullying, or other bad online behavior should always be a red flag that prompts more investigation.

  • Encourage past and current employees to share

Utilize your employee network to build a bridge between your brand and candidates. For example, the average job seeker uses 7.6 job sites in their search, and hearing both the good (and bad) from current and past employees strongly influences where they apply.

Encourage current employees to post on social media and job sites by highlighting company benefits, sharing thought-provoking content, interacting with others in the industry, and improving recruiting and acquisition for the company. By leveraging your company’s desirable culture and engaged workforce you can build a strong employer reputation online.

  • Interact with users

To maximize the benefit of social media, it’s important to stay engaged with your social network and followers by sharing relevant content, responding to likes and comments, and reaching out to industry leaders. Using online platforms to share job openings, showcase company culture, and reach passive candidates are easier feats when you’re able to generate some buzz through conversation.

Whether you’re eager to fill open positions today or build your talent pipeline for tomorrow, social media recruiting is necessary in the digital age. Learn more about effective recruiting strategies by visiting Nelson’s events page for upcoming webinars and in-person events.

Rebecca Ferlotti

With October 3 being National Techies Day, you might wonder if a career in technology is right for you. A growing demand for technology professionals plus high starting salaries and low barriers to entry make this field a dream for people who love computers, advanced technologies, and cool, new gadgets.

The Booming Tech Job Market

According to tech industry group CompTIA, U.S. companies currently have some 700,000 unfilled jobs within information technology careers, a statistic that presents good odds for those who are entering the workforce, switching professions, or stepping up their career trajectories. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts tech jobs will be in high demand for a long time and will likely experience a 13% increase from 2016 to 2026

While there are plenty of tech careers available, cyber security professionals are in particularly high demand. A study by Modis uncovered that employers’ ideal candidates are “obsessed with security,” which means individuals traveling along the cyber security job track have many positions to pick from.

Tech Job Options

For example, information security analyst is a viable career path for people with technology security skills. This position pays just shy of $100,000 on average. Plus, the Modis study found employers have a hard time finding people with this specific interest, which gives job seekers an advantage at the negotiating table.

Technology jobs do not always require a bachelor’s degree, but having a four-year degree can open up a range of career opportunities, such as:

  • Software developer
  • Computer systems analyst
  • Database administrator
  • Computer network architect

All of these job titles pay over $80,000 median annual salary, with some coming in at over $100,000. As a general guideline, people who choose an IT career can expect to make anywhere from $55,000 to $175,000 annually.

A number of tech jobs don’t always require a four-year degree. For example, web developer roles usually pay a decent salary (around $70,000) and often only require an associate degree. Certain customer support roles often require two years of schooling vs. four. For people who do not want to commit to college, coding bootcamps or tech certification courses may offer a better path.

Other Considerations of Tech Jobs

In addition to some level of education, companies frequently seek out candidate attributes such as soft skills, digital leadership skills, and specialty experience. LinkedIn’s most recent study concluded that cloud computing, artificial intelligence, analytical reasoning, and mobile application development are among the top 25 required technical skills listed in tech career job posts.

As a candidate, remember that you need to interview potential employers in addition to them interviewing you. Because technology companies offer similar salaries, you have to narrow down your options based on additional criteria.

Some benefits to discuss:

  • Remote work and flex time
  • Mentorship programs
  • Continuing education
  • Paid time off
  • Health insurance
  • Bonus structure or stock options

Diversity is another point of contention for employees (and employers) in the tech space. When considering a company, you might want to find out if it has a diversity and inclusion policy. If not, take a good look at the culture to make sure the company is a good fit for you.

Choosing the Tech Career That’s Right for You

Tech career options are nearly limitless, which is why Nelson is here to help pare down your options. We customize our placement process by ensuring we understand your interests and experience before matching you with potential employers. We can’t wait to help you land your dream career in tech. Contact us today!