For the fifth straight year, Snagajob polled hiring managers charged with summer hiring to get a lay of the land and set expectations for the summer hiring season. While the results showed that summer hiring levels are expected to remain close to last year, we uncovered some notable differences for this year’s hiring season.

First and foremost, employers are starting their summer hiring earlier than before. Nearly half of hiring managers said they will complete their summer hiring in April. The applicant make-up is also expected to change. As fewer older and more experienced workers seek summer employment, teens will be competing among themselves for open jobs. Finally, for the first time ever, availability was named the most important attribute in a summer hire, trumping attitude and experience.

So what does all of this mean for hiring managers?

If you wait to post your summer jobs, you’ll miss the boat. With availability topping the list of attributes and employers starting to hire earlier this year, the best summer job candidates with the greatest schedule flexibility will be snatched up quickly. Posting your summer jobs now will give you the best advantage to recruit and hire a productive summer workforce.

Read what else people are saying about the summer hiring season.

CEO on summer jobs
National Business Report

Summer jobs: students in demand again, but they’d better start now
TIME Moneyland

Forecast for teen summer job market: mostly sunny
CNN Money

Summer jobs filled earlier this year
Washington Business Journal, Phoenix Business Journal

Summer hiring levels expected to be even this year
Virginia Business

Annual Snagajob summer job survey shows steady improvement
Yahoo! Finance

Summer job outlook bright for teens
Business News Daily

The summer hiring race is on

QSR Magazine

Summer job survey shows steady improvement
QSR Magazine

Hiring improves for summer job market
Nation’s Restaurant News

Snagajob website reports that more summer jobs will be available, paying more

Hire aspirations
New York Post

Summer job market improves for teens
Houston Chronicle

Personal finance: hiring of teenagers heats up
Sacramento Bee

Summer employment looking a bit better for teenagers
San Antonio Express

Summer hiring outlook similar to last year’s, Snagajob says
Fort Worth Star-Telegram blog

Teens, start looking now for summer jobs
Tampa Bay Times

Want a summer job? Start now!
The Orange County Register

Summer hiring heats up for teens
The State

Snagajob summer survey indicates consistent job growth over the summer

Buy the hour: demand for hourly wage earners forecast to be slightly up for summer season

Economy blog
CNN Money

The new economy
Christian Science Monitor