How Hiring Summer Students Could Give You the Manpower Boost You Need This Year

young man sitting on a cart in a lumber warehouse

Even if your company has traditionally shied away from using students to boost staffing levels in the summer, it might be time to revisit this candidate pool.


Businesses in the logistics and manufacturing industries have suffered a severe staff shortage over the last two years. The number of positions that remain vacant month after month are on a steady increase. Unemployment rates across Southern Ontario and in British Columbia’s lower mainland are reaching record lows, and in some areas, near-full employment levels.

In the meantime, with factors such as lower Canadian Dollar value, opportunity for Canadian businesses in these sectors abound!

How can companies make the most of the current opportunities in their markets when finding the required temporary, seasonal, or full-time employees is proving so difficult? One way is to consider embracing the student labour-force.


From early May until mid to late August, we receive a flood of inquiries from students about work opportunities over the summer break. These candidates are highly motivated to find steady employment during the summer months, because many of them are supporting themselves, paying for college or university tuition, or even repaying student loans. This is a disciplined and self-motivated workforce who would generally prefer to stay at the same workplace for the duration of the summer and to embrace overtime so they can save as much money as possible.

Many students would also choose one company over another who would be willing to offer them summer work year after year while they complete their studies—they are loyal to workplaces that help them meet their goals to save up for school. This often provides relief to the workplace too, because they have a reliable, already-trained workforce which they know will return year after year, and possibly turn into full-time employees after their studies are completed.

Managing to quickly advertise these positions, and then screening, onboarding, and completing payroll for this seasonal workforce can be quite daunting for a small or even mid-size HR department—but that’s where an experienced staffing agency can help.

Companies can benefit from a temporary or seasonal workforce to get ahead on things like:

  • New product lines
  • Overdue projects
  • Seasonal peaks
  • Urgent ramp-ups
  • Vacation coverage


Hiring summer students is a win for all parties involved: your business is able to recruit the workforce it needs, students gain valuable experience and earn money, and full-time employees of the company get an extra helping hand. Watch morale soar amongst your regular staff when they are able to take their well-deserved summer vacations without worrying about walking into a mess when they return from a week or two away.

One student described her experience working with the same company each summer:

“This will be my 3rd summer returning to the manufacturing facility as a machine operator that I first started working at through ABL Employment in 2016. I go to college out-of-town, and come home every summer to work and save up for my following year’s tuition. I’ve taken advantage of as many opportunities as I can to learn new skills here, and now I even have a part in training new employees when they start an assignment here for the summer. The first place I will apply to when I get my mechanical engineering diploma is with this company – I already know it is the kind of place that I would want to have a career with.”

Try adding some students to your workforce this summer—you may be surprised at the results.

 ABL is a staffing agency specializing in filling general labour temporary jobs, including packaging jobs and warehouse jobs. Contact us today to find the right staff for your needs!

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