Summer may be the peak vacation period, yet business and industry still must go on despite having employees at the beach rather than on the job.
“You just plug in,” said Dave Ryan, executive director of the Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. “That’s unless you’re hiring an intern in lieu of hiring someone in addition to regular staff.”
Businesses “plug in” by having other staff members fill in and do the jobs of those on vacation, he said.
Sharon McGuire, senior project manager at Northwest Indiana’s chapter of the Society of Human Resource Managers, agreed, saying most companies large and small make staff adjustments whenever possible.
“Smaller organizations, on occasion, will use temporary placement, but more often we see other staff picking up slack rather than employers bringing another person in,” she said. “That’s much more common than anything else.”
But whether that can be done is based on what’s happening in the organization.
“It depends on the number of projects and if adjustment is possible,” McGuire said. “The preference is always to have others in the organization to pick up the slack.”
She also said she is seeing more employees opting to take their vacations in one week segments, which makes it easier for employers to fill in gaps.
Ryan said many companies have required their employees to schedule their vacations in time slot depending on seniority or by other considerations.
“Not everyone can take a summer vacation,” he said. “Companies schedule vacations so that not all employees are taking vacations in the months of June, July and August.”
And recently more companies asking about and using interns to fill in for vacationing employees, McGuire said.
“It’s a great bonus for companies for a small amount of money,” she said. “And it’s a great way for a person to get training and experience.”
Erin Trzcinski, director of strategic development, for Hammond-based Staff Source, said the staffing and recruitment firm has seen an increase in the number of employees being hired during the summer, but only for certain jobs.
“There are some companies that are reaching out to us to fill voids from vacations, but it’s mostly by those doing big construction projects,” Trzcinski said.