The scoop on hiring for the summer | Local company


This is the time of year in Fairbanks when seasonal help begins to arrive. I keep looking for the Salmon Bake sign to go up at the corner of Airport and Peger, one of the true indicators that summer has arrived… at least for now.

Expect a number of jobs to open up among hotels, restaurants, tour operators, home improvement centers, greenhouses, car rental companies, summer camps, construction, road works and everything that happens during Alaska’s peak season.

The labor market changes during the months of March to May. April is a busy time to start building up your staff, making sure you have the right papers and documentation, and hoping you have enough people and enough work to get you through the whole season.

If your business operates seasonally, it’s equally important to make sure you hire the right people and provide them with plenty of incentives to not only stay all season, but also to come back next season so that there is consistency and leadership of the year. year round.

Start by knowing what you want people to do. Just like when hiring full-time employees, clearly define the tasks and characteristics you need. This is where a job profile can make all the difference. Even if the job only lasts four months, you still expect the employee to show up on time every day and do their best.

Start by identifying the types of motivations a successful employee displays. If it’s a customer-facing position, it’s important to hire employees who enjoy helping others. Imagine hiring someone who is tech-savvy for a reception position in a hotel. This person may be good at paying attention to detail and can upgrade your booking system in their spare time, but will they really enjoy coming to work every day when they’re not working on the computer and needing to help real people instead?

Be sure to present clear job expectations from the outset. If you know that staff are scheduled to work on Labor Day, please list this information clearly and in bold, underlined and highlighted with a fluorescent marker. Make sure you state this fact during the interview and that it appears again on the hiring documents. If the information is so important, make sure it is stated at least five times and using at least three different mediums.

It’s easy for humans to miss important details like that when they’re excited to have a job in Alaska for the summer.

Plan ahead to provide an incentive. A substantial seasonal bonus is a great way to retain employees. If you make the bonus based on performance and time, using objective performance metrics, you’ll find that people will track what they need to do to get that incentive.

By the way, these performance ratings are also an ideal way to determine which employees you want to bring back next year. Start talking to them before the end of the season to find out what they have planned for the rest of the year. Ask for their opinion. Give them extra responsibility and compensation for it. While they may not be able to guarantee their return, you can get a head start on hiring next season.

Keep your employees happy all summer long and you will find that they will keep your customers happy. Show that you appreciate the effort, and they will continue to work hard for you. Most seasonal workers who come to Fairbanks are interested in two things: making money and learning about Alaska. If you can provide opportunities for both, you’ll build a reputation that will eventually lead to employees recruiting for you without even asking.

Mike Calvin is an employment consultant at 1st Fruits Consulting and helps organizations with their hiring needs, including lifecycle recruitment, candidate sourcing, selection process, interviews and assessments , and win-win negotiation.

Based at the North Pole, Mike can be contacted by email at


Comments are closed.