Posted November 05, 2011 by

29% of Retailers Plan to Hire Extra Employees for the Holidays

Employers expect seasonal hiring in 2011 to be on par with 2010, according to a new, nationwide survey. Companies across industries expect to hire a similar number of seasonal workers for key areas such as sales, customer service, shipping, administrative support and other positions. Nearly three-in-ten retailers (29 percent) plan to have extra hands on deck around the holidays, a moderate decline from 2010. One-in-ten (10 percent) hospitality companies will add seasonal staff, the same as last year. The survey was conducted among more than 2,600 employers between August 16 and September 8, 2011.

Matt Ferguson of Careerbuilder

Matt Ferguson of Careerbuilder

“Employers are keeping the status quo for holiday hiring as economic uncertainties shake consumer confidence,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. “While retail has the lion’s share of seasonal jobs, you can also find opportunities in various industries and corporate roles. Hiring managers continually tell us that they will transition some seasonal workers into permanent employees, so you want to apply early and let the employer know up front that you’re interested in long-term employment.”

When looking at functional areas within an office or store, popular areas for recruitment this holiday season include:

  • Customer Service – 30 percent
  • Administrative/Clerical support – 16 percent
  • Shipping/Delivery – 15 percent
  • Technology – 12 percent
  • Inventory management – 10 percent
  • Non-retail sales – 9 percent
  • Accounting/Finance – 8 percent
  • Marketing – 8 percent

Companies are hiring the same, but paying more

More than half of employers (53 percent) reported they will pay $10 or more per hour to seasonal staff, up from 48 percent last year. Fourteen percent will pay $16 or more, up from 9 percent last year.

It’s not too late to get a seasonal gig

While holiday jobs fill up quickly, 33 percent of employers who are hiring seasonal staff reported they are still recruiting for open positions in November. Eleven percent said they may still be recruiting as late as December.

How can workers turn a seasonal gig into a full-time, permanent position?

Thirty percent of employers who are hiring seasonal help plan to transition some employees into full-time, permanent staff. To stand out as a candidate for a long-term opportunity, hiring managers recommended the following:

  • Provide above and beyond customer service. Offer help instead of waiting to be asked for it. – 66 percent
  • Let the employer know up front that you’re interested in permanent employment – 49 percent
  • Proactively ask for more projects – 45 percent
  • Ask thoughtful questions about the organization – 39 percent
  • Present ideas on how to do something better or try something new – 34 percent


What are the biggest turnoffs for employers when interviewing for seasonal jobs?

A lack of flexibility or expressed interest top the list, according to employers surveyed.

  • Someone who is unwilling to work certain hours – 70 percent
  • Someone who isn’t enthusiastic – 63 percent
  • Someone who is more interested in the discount than anything else – 40 percent
  • Someone who knows nothing about company/products – 36 percent
  • Someone who shows up wearing clothes or merchandise from a competitor’s store – 22 percent
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