Are students still a good source for seasonal work?


One of human resources’ primary roles is to manage and conduct hiring for a company. Finding the right talent can be an expensive process. For one dealer, relying on students—who would often return as they worked their way through school—has become a tough proposition.

“We’re not just surviving in terms of business, we’re thriving. It’s booming along and has been for the last year,” says Don Dyck, president of Kingdon Lumber, a TIMBER MART dealer in Peterborough, Ont. “The struggle then is to find the right people. In the midst of all of this, how do you go about doing that?”

The pandemic has changed the way companies have to conduct hiring. Most face-to-face interactions have either been reduced or eliminated. It’s been a bit easier after going online, but the company still faces a few more challenges. Due to the nature of the industry, its manufacturing side sees a lot of seasonal staff.

The company used to hire students from high schools and the nearby university. It would work out perfectly due to their schedules lining up with the manufacturing needs and many of the students would return the next season. But fewer and fewer students are applying for work, either because the demographic of the students is changing or they’re just finding work elsewhere.

Now the company hires seasonal workers who are later in their careers and are interested in only working for a part of the year.