How to avoid a post-Summer hiring gap

Tom Quinn |
Tom (he/him) is a growth marketing manager at Snagajob helping small businesses find hourly workers.

Summer is almost over, and for many small businesses across the United States, this means a large chunk of their workforce will be leaving when the season is done. As teachers, students and other part time workers head back to school, this leaves businesses in a variety of sectors in a hiring crunch (amid an already-tight labor market).

If you are not prepared, you could experience a major hiring gap, which can create trouble for your business. But with an early, proactive approach, you can not only avoid a hiring gap, you can prepare a team that will transition seamlessly into the late Fall and, ideally, the holiday season.

The dangers of a post-summer hiring gap

A hiring gap, which is essentially the period between losing employees and hiring new ones, can create major issues for your small business. When you are short staffed, it means the people you do have need to pick up the slack. They may be asked to work more hours, do more while on the job and take on responsibilities for which they are unprepared or unqualified. All of this leads to stress and fatigue, which is never good for your business and may lead to even more employee turnover. 

You might assume that a hiring gap is not a big problem; you’ll cruise through the post-summer lull and bring on employees before the holidays. But while summer is fading, consumer demand is on the rise. Customers are continuing to spend at record rates. In fact, according to many figures, consumer spending has met or actually surpassed pre-pandemic levels. It’s crucial for you to proactively staff to meet this demand.


Why do hiring gaps occur?

The hiring gap, for many businesses, is most severe in the late summer and early fall. This is because a majority of summer help comes from teenagers and young adults, who, near the end of August, need to return to high school or college. Their contribution to the workforce has been even more important recently because people under the age of 18 are not eligible for additional unemployment benefits.

Teens made up roughly 35% of restaurant workers and 24% of retail workers in 2021. Of course, teenagers are not the only people who make up the summer workforce. Teachers and school administrators may need work as well. This is especially true if you live in an area with a large university or college. When seasonal these workers leave, unprepared employers may become desperate, leading to rushed hiring.

 Hiring gaps in today’s market can take longer to fill, as workers are still hesitant to join the workforce. With lingering concerns about COVID-19 variants and government benefits still in place for many potential employees, some are finding it better to stay home. This can create problems for anyone looking for high-quality staff members.


With a proactive approach, you can avoid a hiring gap

You need to be proactive with your hiring approach. Most importantly, you need to start looking for replacement team members long before the current staff leaves for the fall.

First, discuss with your employees their plans for the fall so you know who will be leaving and who plans to stay. This will create a guide for how many new employees you need.

Next, start posting job listings and conducting interviews. If you need to increase your reach, consider using sources like to find excellent candidates who need consistent work in your area.

Starting early allows you to take your time. You won’t have to hire in desperation, which means you are more likely to find the right candidate, one that will be around for (hopefully) years to come.

While you may not be able to completely avoid the hiring gap, you can take steps to reduce the problem. Do your best to retain employees by offering benefits that may inspire them to stay, as well as competitive wages that increase their chances of earning a quality living.


Find excellent job candidates with Snagajob!

You can find the right employees and avoid a hiring gap. has more hourly workers than any other job platform, so visit our site and find the right people for your thriving business!