Back to the Jan-Feb 2023 issue

How Can I Recruit Seasonal Workers?


Q: In this tight labor market, how can I effectively recruit seasonal workers?

LMC: A competitive hiring market often means cities need to move beyond standard hiring efforts and think outside the box to attract top talent. Many cities have found success in rehiring seasonal workers, also known as boomerang workers — those who left the city on good terms and are interested in returning — with a pay structure rewarding higher compensation for these returning, experienced workers.

Successful cities often ask seasonal hires for their perspectives on why they initially applied and are returning to the city. Then the city uses those identified themes for strategic, targeted marketing to reach new applicants.

One city created a highly effective recruitment video featuring city seasonal workers sharing the benefits and skills gained working for the city team. Another implemented a seasonal walk-in interview strategy to great success. The goal is to achieve adequate staffing levels, save staff time, and reduce seasonal turnover.

To learn about these innovative approaches, check out the City Career Advantage section on the League’s website at

Answered by Assistant Human Resources Director Joyce Hottinger:

Workplace Self-Inspections

Q: Are we required to do workplace self-inspections?

LMC: It’s highly recommended. Inspecting the workplace for hazards is one method your city can use to comply with the Minnesota A Workplace Accident and Injury Reduction (AWAIR) Act (learn about the act at Employers covered by this act must establish a written program that includes the methods used to identify, analyze, and control new or existing hazards, conditions, and operations. Self-inspections will also help reduce costs, boost morale, increase productivity, and lower liability exposure.

The inspection process is a structured way to identify hazards or deficiencies that could lead to an accident or injury. These self-inspections should be part of the monthly safety committee activities. Start by developing a list of buildings, parks, and structures to inspect, and establish an appropriate schedule for these inspections. Use an inspection tool, such as a checklist, to document the inspection results.

The League of Minnesota Cities Insurance Trust has several customizable examples of checklists to use for the inspection process (for sample inspection checklists, contact Loss Control Consultant Julie Jelen at Nearly all the items on the checklists have an underlying Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulation.

Ensure all hazards are corrected in a timely manner. As the saying goes: If it’s not documented, it didn’t happen. Keeping a record of in-house safety audits and inspections will identify past areas of focus and demonstrate a healthy safety culture.

Answered by Loss Control Consultant Julie Jelen:

Compensation Donation

Q: Can the mayor or a council member waive his or her council pay or donate it back to the city?

LMC: It is not recommended. Minnesota Statutes, section 415.11 requires governing body salaries to be set by ordinance. The city must pay its council members to comply with its own ordinance. The city and the council member may have an obligation to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on this income. Income tax or other taxes may need to be deducted as well.

A council member may choose to donate all or a portion of his or her pay to the city after it is received.

As with all donations, a resolution accepting the gift and the donor’s terms, if any, must be adopted by a two-thirds vote of the members of the council pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, section 465.03.

Answered by Research Analyst Angela Storlie: