RESOURCES

Oxbow Bend, Snake River

Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

group_photo_shra_2008

Seasonal Human Resources Association

Kelcy Fowler kelcy@coolworks.com

Does your operation employ seasonal staff and/or volunteers? Are you responsible for recruiting, hiring, training, onboarding, coaching, supporting, and motivating these employees? Perhaps you juggle all of these things, in addition to employee housing, recreation, transportation, communication and more? You’re not alone!

CoolWorks.com has been a long time ally, and now is the official host and sponsor of the Seasonal Human Resources Association conference. If you are unfamiliar with SHRA, it is THE conference for seasonal HR and Recruiting Managers to gather after a challenging summer season or before their winter operating season kicks off to learn, gather, swap and cook up the strategies and tactics that make their property’s HR efforts successful. Everything from recruiting, retention, and recreation to employment law updates, creative solutions to the growing housing crunch, and invaluable networking.

It is a vibrant collection of HR folk like yourself who may come from a different company or industry, but understand the challenges you face. The conference is jam-packed with education, inspiration, networking, and empowerment.

I personally became acquainted with SHRA at the end of my first season as the Human Resources Assistant for a concession operation in Grand Teton National Park. I had just accepted a promotion and was to be moving into the HR Manager role January 1. Like so many people that start out with a seasonal job and subsequently grow into management and leadership positions, I had no formal HR education and no idea how to be an HR Manager. Several of my predecessors had been SHRA attendees, and I was fortunate to be sent to the conference the autumn before moving into my new role. Four days and one SHRA conference gave me the education, confidence, support and network that I needed to move up in my organization, and forward into my new position with confidence.

Years passed and along with the experience, I gained as I grew into my HR Manager role came the inevitable exhaustion that is intertwined with seasonal staffing. Resetting the board and starting from scratch to hire, nurture, and mentor a seasonal staff is incredibly challenging! SHRA was my seasonal HR Manager tourniquet for all the years that followed that first attendance. No matter the season I had, I knew I’d have the opportunity to recharge in the fall. Attending the conference that became the fountain of youth that I so desperately required to meet the recurring obstacle course of seasonal HR with passion. I’d come back each fall with notebooks full of new ideas and recruiting strategies to implement, legal updates, and industry trends to be aware of. This small gathering of fellow seasonal HR professionals became the ruby slippers that I credit with being largely instrumental in my success. It refilled my spirit with pixie dust to give the gauntlet of seasonal staffing my best, season after season.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Seasonal Human Resources Association, I urge you to become familiar with it. Ask any of us here at CoolWorks to tell you more about it. Better yet, come join us and discover it’s incredible value first hand. There is an amazing magic that is kindled at SHRA, and attendees go home with buckets of new ideas and fresh initiatives to revolutionize their HR departments. Equally valuable, it offers a deep recharge and revitalization to the HR manager’s batteries before or after a season full of challenges.

Share with others who understand, who have the same challenges and the same questions. Participate in educational sessions, professional growth opportunities, best practices, and roundtable/networking opportunities. Laugh, learn, listen, share, reflect and refresh.

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