’s fourth-annual hiring manager survey finds pay up nearly 7%

March 24, 2011 – For the first time in two years, teens and college students able to land a summer job can expect to put more money in their pockets, and that job may be easier to find.

According to the fourth-annual summer job survey commissioned by, the nation’s largest online community of hourly workers and the leading provider of hourly workforce management solutions, hiring managers with available jobs expect to be dolling out an average of $10.90 an hour, a nearly 7 percent increase over last summer’s $10.20, a figure that was flat when comparing 2009 and 2010.

In addition to higher pay, those on the hunt can expect greater opportunity as hiring managers also anticipate these encouraging signs:

  • More hiring managers hiring more workers: 10% of hiring managers said they will be hiring more seasonal staff than last year, which is up significantly from last year (6%). And overall, 55 percent of hiring managers with responsibility for hiring summer, seasonal workers will hire temporary staff this year, the highest percentage in the past four years. (At the survey’s low in 2008, 51 percent of hiring managers brought on summer workers.)
  • Hiring happening earlier in the season: 43% of hiring managers with available jobs expect to complete their summer seasonal hiring by April, a slightly more aggressive timeline than last year (40%).
  • Competition still there, but trending better: Hiring managers with available jobs still expect numerous applications, with 60 percent saying that they will receive more applications than last year. And while that’s still concerning for job seekers, it’s a better scenario than last year (66%) and 2009 (73%). Additionally, on a scale of one to 10, with one being “impossible” and 10 being “extremely easy,” hiring managers are neutral on how hard it will be for teens to find a job, citing, on average, the mid-point of the scale, a 5. This is significantly improved from last year’s average (4.7).

“This year’s survey is confirming the positive direction we were anticipating for the summer hiring season,” said Shawn Boyer, founder and CEO of SnagAJob. “A number of indicators show that this season should be better than the past several years, including more hiring managers making hires and a greater number of those folks indicating that they will bring on more employees than the previous season. We won’t be back up to pre-recession hiring levels, but both the survey and our own site inventory point to more opportunity for summer job seekers.”

When it comes to the makeup of seasonal employees, hiring managers with available positions expect that 65 percent of staff will be returning workers, and 35 percent will be new employees, according to the SnagAJob survey. This finding has been consistent the past four years.

Meanwhile, hiring managers with available positions have consistently reported that a positive attitude is the No. 1 attribute a seasonal employee could possess. This season, however, a positive attitude (30%) is tied with a candidate’s ability to work the daily schedule a manager needs (30%), and there also is greater consideration being given to previous experience, which has risen 4 percentage points to 27 percent. (A positive attitude reached its highest percentage – 39% – in 2008 and has been dropping since then.)

“While a positive attitude still remains one of the top attributes that a candidate can bring to a summer job, what we’re seeing is that employers have gotten used to a steady stream of qualified candidates over the last several years,” Boyer said. “Therefore, couple your ‘must-have’ positive attitude with a flexible schedule to increase your attractiveness to prospective employers. And, where at all possible, delineate any related previous experience, as that just might be the tipping point in your favor.”

Hiring managers in the survey offered forthright advice to teen job seekers looking for work this year. Some sample responses:

  • “Make it a job to find a job. Do not think that employers will come looking for you!”
  • “Be as professional as possible: Dress up a little for an interview – no matter what position you are applying for. Shut off your cell phone when applying or interviewing and smile.”
  • “Adapt a mental attitude that reflects a positive work ethic. You are not hired to spend your time texting, making dates or otherwise promoting your social life.”
  • “Take whatever job you’re offered. You’ll learn something even if you think you deserve a better job.”

Survey Methodology: This online survey was conducted by IPSOS Public Affairs, a third-party research firm, on behalf of between Feb. 23 – Mar. 1, 2011. Respondents included 1,005 hiring managers with responsibility for hiring summer, seasonal employees paid by the hour. The margin of error for the entire survey is 3.09% at a 95% confidence level. The margin of error for the sub-population of hiring managers who said they would be hiring summer employees (551 respondents) is 4.17%. Similarly, the margin of error for hiring managers who said they will not be hiring (454 respondents) is 4.6%. This is the fourth year that this survey was conducted.

About Snagajob:

Snagajob is the world’s only company totally devoted to fulfilling the dreams of hourly workers and those who employ them.  Snagajob provides solutions exclusively for hourly workers and hourly employers, including a community of over 25 million members integrated with employment software.