Although we are still a month away from Halloween, this is the time to start applying for seasonal jobs! Major retailers have already budgeted how many new hires they’ll need for the holiday season, and almost everyone is hiring in numbers bigger than last year.
Even though the economy is still recovering from the recession, no one wants to be understaffed for the hectic holiday shopping season (which makes up 20% of annual sales for the retail industry). UPS and Fedex are determined to hire enough workers this year, since both companies were caught off-guard by the surge of online deliveries last year. In fact, hiring is starting to resemble pre-cession levels, and both retail sales and online sales are expected to increase this year.
Here is what you can expect from some major retailers:
Walmart plans to hire 60,000 temporary holiday workers, which is a 10% increase from last year. This probably means the company has high sales expectations for the shopping season. Current employees who want more seasonal hours will now be prioritized, after the company was criticized by labor groups for not doing so originally. For 25% of the temporary workers, the seasonal job will be extended into a permanent job.
See job openings with Wal Mart.
Kohl’s is hiring about 1/3 more workers than last year, bringing them to 67,000 new seasonal workers nationwide. Kohl’s has 1,163 stores in 49 states, and each store is hiring an average of 50 associates. Kohl’s is also hiring at its distribution centers and for positions in its credit operations.
See job openings at Kohl’s.
UPS is hiring 95,000 season workers, so as not to be caught off-guard by last-minute holiday shipment surges. These workers will be package sorters, drivers, loaders, and delivery helpers. The United Parcel Service has also added new organizational measures to prepare for the large number of online deliveries – especially helpful since online sales will likely jump about 16.2% this season. The job starts at $10/hour, and the company has said that a seasonal job could lead to permanent employment.
See job openings with UPS.
FedEx will be hiring more than 50,000 people, which is an increase from last year’s 40,000. The surge is due to the fact that they, like UPS, were also understaffed last year when there was more shipping than they had expected from online retailers.
See job openings at Fedex.
Target and JC Penney are hiring about the same amount of seasonal workers as last year, at 70,000 and 35,000 respectively.
See job openings at Target.
See job openings with JC Penney.
Toys R Us, the largest specialty toy store chain with 877 U.S. stores, is going to hire 45,000 workers for the holiday season. The new sales associates, stock crew, department managers, and distribution center workers will more than double its current workforce. There will be a high percentage of positions in Ohio, which will be looking for 1,500 employees for 26 stores.
See job openings with Toys R Us.
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Retail stores will not only need sales associates, but also workers who can stock supplies overnight. Other holiday jobs stores are looking to hire for are holiday characters to walk around the store, security/loss prevention workers to keep an eye out for shoplifting, store ambassadors to greet customers when they enter and answer basic questions, and in-store demonstration personnel to demonstrate technical products and engage the customers.
When you go in to fill out an application, be prepared – you may have to speak to a manager for an informal interview then and there so don’t forget your resume, and to dress the part (business casual). Temporary workers are going to need to be flexible with what hours they get, so make sure and make your availability clear.