Simple Solutions: Hiring for the Summer Is Harder Than Ever

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May 18, 2022

With the summer months fast approaching, we’re looking at seasonal hiring for small-business owners. Plus, it’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and we’re sharing some of our favorite AAPI businesses.

Image of a newspaper that reads "Vacancies. Summer Jobs" with summer jobs highlighted in green. Folded dollar bills are in the top left corner.

Need to Know

Schools are starting to let out for summer vacation, and that means more trips and more workers to run the beaches, amusement parks, and national parks. Many business owners are grappling with seasonal hiring shortages, the great resignation, and a strengthened labor force. We set out to see what business owners need to know for the summer season.

Pandemic difficulties

Around 30% of all teens in the US work over the summer in 2020. Many also hold year-round employment or work during their winter vacation. In 2021, 1.2 million teens worked over the summer, a drop of over 40% from the year before after the COVID-19 pandemic led to shuttered businesses and staff dropouts. Analysts are predicting a rise in employment this summer, but that doesn’t mean the problems have gone away.

“The past couple of years have come with many more last-minute dropouts due to changing plans and uncertainty from staff due to COVID,” Tanya Capawana from the Appalachian Mountain Club told me. “This year has been a bit tough as we’ve been trying to return to normal or expanded levels of staffing and do not have as many returning staff due to COVID interruptions.”

Job openings

Ry Young from Mad River Glen Cooperative, a ski area in the Green Mountain range of Vermont, told me their “hiring for the winter season usually begins in late fall, but recruitment of potential hires (especially in departments that require special skill sets like Patrol and Ski School) is always ongoing.” Some businesses are now offering perks and incentives for seasonal workers, like free tickets for family and certification courses at no charge. Capawana told me that they begin hiring in December and January so they can “pick up the more ambitious crowd early” and cement summer plans.

Both the Appalachian Mountain Club and the Mad River Glen Cooperative agree that high school and college students are integral to their operations. In fact, Young told me that he started at Mad River in college as a ski instructor.

Seasonal hiring advice

This past winter, Mad River Glen was a little short-staffed, but Young is already looking ahead to next winter. “Think and plan ahead by at least six months, know what your needs are, try and anticipate shortcomings,” Young said. “Recruiting is never-ending; always be on the lookout for talent.”

“I'd also suggest hiring an additional person for every 10 that you expect to hire as you'll likely get attrition in the following 6 months,” Capawana said. But by getting the word out early, the Appalachian Mountain Club is able to hire the best and “provide a positive atmosphere for our guests.”

We’ll be talking more about small business owners for the entire month of May to celebrate Small Business Month. Do you know a business we should spotlight? Email

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Must know

Business spotlight

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Over 9,000 anti-Asian hate crimes have been reported since the start of the pandemic, and one-in-four AAPI small-business owners reported vandalism or threats.

Over 20 million people in the US are Asian American (including your newsletter writer) and, as of 2016, there are nearly two million Asian-owned businesses. So, this AAPI Heritage Month, let’s support AAPI businesses. Here are a few of our favorites:

Paula Zamarra centered her career around a key passion: increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. But when she realized the corporations she worked for weren’t really walking their talk, she decided to launch her own consulting firm, Inclusion4Performance. Today, Zamarra helps businesses create high-performing team environments with fair, equitable, and inclusive environments. Read her startup story here. Read her top startup tips here

Are you ready to jump into entrepreneurship? Check out these resources:

We’re petitioning the Small Business Administration to designate the entire month of May as National Small Business Month. It’s a small but meaningful gesture to show our support for these vital neighborhood lifelines.

Thank you for reading. We’ll see you next week.

     - Alex and the team

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Alex Kerai
Written by
Alex Kerai
Alex reports on emerging consumer trends. Previously he was a staff writer for, with a focus on inventory management and ecommerce. He also started and wrote the Simple Solutions newsletter that was delivered to email subscribers each week, featuring news and interviews with business leaders and academics across the world. His writing on consumer trends can also be seen on,,,, and Utilizing his experience in multimedia content creation for businesses, non-profits, and educational institutions, Alex writes for businesses today.
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