This is the time of year when high school and college students look for summer moneymaking opportunities. This means it's a great time to find temporary staff for your business.

Having an extra pair of hands for a few months can help you get a jump on neglected projects or catch up enough to take a vacation.

We use interns from Pace University in New York as our temporary helpers. They help us catalogue information and maintain our organizational structure. In exchange, they receive school credits and get a chance to observe our marketing team at work.

Interns can be more difficult to find than summer employees, but both are a possibility. Start your search for summer help at high schools and colleges. Most schools allow you to post positions in high school guidance offices and college career centers.

Once you begin your hunt for qualified candidates, follow these do's and don'ts to locate the one who is right for your company.

-Do write a good job description. List the responsibilities you want your part-time worker to manage and the qualities you need him or her to possess to get the job done. After you've finished, divide these items into two categories mandatory and optional. This will help you hone in on strong candidates and quickly nix those who can handle the optional work, but who don't have skills for more-complicated tasks.

-Don't meet everyone who responds. After screening resumes and selecting a handful of potential candidates, start the hiring process by conducting phone interviews. This is more efficient than a face-to-face meeting because you can end calls with weak applicants quickly.

Spend more time with candidates who show potential and invite them to meet in person. Ask them to review an item related to your business before they come, such as your Web site or a product brochure. During the face-to-face interview, ask for feedback on the item. Their insights will tell you a great deal about their level of critical thinking and self-confidence.

-Do test skills. Uncovering a candidate's skills can be a challenge, especially if he or she does not have an extensive work history. To find out how applicants think and how they will handle the tasks you plan to give them, offer scenarios from a typical workday and ask them to describe how they would manage them.

-Do make a list after the interview. Right after candidates leave, write down your impressions and any concerns about their ability to do the job. This will help you remember details about the interview when you sit down to make a final hiring decision. Also, you might want to divide the items on the job description into those you feel the candidate will do well, and those he or she may struggle with.


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