Skip to main content

How to attract great summer staff

If you’re in tourism, retail, hospitality or horticulture, you’ll probably need extra help during the busy summer months ahead. Capture the best and the brightest of the summer talent pool — and stay compliant with employment laws and processes — with these seasonal hiring tips.

Know what kind of help you need. Do you need fixed-term employees to work specific shifts all summer? Or casuals who’ll work intermittently, eg to cover for staff sickness or during unexpectedly busy periods? Find out more about hiring fixed term and casual employees to make sure you’re advertising for the right kind of help.

Start recruiting NOW. It’s best to start the search three to four months before you need extra help, and to bring new workers on board several weeks before the rush. This gives you time to train them properly, and a chance to find replacements if needed. Recruiting now also means the top talent won’t yet have been snapped up by other employers.

Get the right paperwork. All staff — regardless of employment status — need a written employment agreement that specifies hours of work and requirements for giving notice. If offering a fixed-term contract, you must have a genuine reason why the role is only for a limited time. Casual agreements should note there’s no expectation of ongoing employment. Vicky Ha, of Wellington’s House of Dumplings, uses Business.govt.nz's Employment Agreement Builder (external link) : “It’s really, really easy.

It’s good to know what your rights are and what your employees’ rights are. You don’t want to give them any harm or it’ll come back and bite you.”

Check your pay rates. You must offer at least minimum wage – there are three rates:

  1. Starting-out wage
  2. Training minimum wage
  3. Adult minimum wage

Use the guide on the Employment New Zealand website (external link)  to make sure you choose the right rate and pay your staff fairly.

For tips on the full hiring process – from job ads to interviews, employment agreements to preparing for their first day – check out Business.govt.nz's Hiring and managing people section.

How helpful was this article?