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Managing Vacancies: Covering Staff Vacations

As staff set off to enjoy their time in the sun, employers are left with gaps in their workforce that require filling. What is the best approach to preparing for summer vacations taken by staff? We have outlined some suggestions of how to manage these vacancies before and after they happen.

Ask candidates in interviews: If employers are looking to hire staff around the summer season, they are encouraged to ask candidates during an interview when they might be leaving for a vacation. This inquiry allows employers to plan ahead to fit in their future addition’s time off in accordance with what has already been booked.


Discuss vacation time every quarter: When every year’s quarter term comes to an end and a new one begins, employers should engage in vacation discussions with staff to see when they plan on taking time off. Schedules do change and fluctuate as the year progresses, so following up to confirm when staff will be absent is the best approach to effectively manage schedules.

Set vacation submittal deadlines: Setting a deadline to receive all vacation requests enables employers to manage all requests at once, properly planning their team to ensure gaps are filled properly. Also, it is not wise to spread a department too thin during peak times, so if summer is a busy time for an employer, requests should be managed with caution.

Prepare for absences by doing two things:

1) Hiring temporary workers: Temporary staffing does not add permanently to an employer’s headcount, so it serves as a suitable solution.

2) Utilizing your current team: Moving  staff around to cover employment gaps is tricky, but do-able if other team members are trained to take on responsibilities of the absence member. However, employers need to be careful about overloading their current team if they are intended to pick up the slack on top of an already full workload.

Summertime staffing solutions are attainable if employers follow one preemptive measure: preparation. When in doubt, seek support in external resources if management of an existing workforce becomes too much to handle.

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