Competition is Stiff for Seasonal Holiday Workers

Competition is Stiff for Seasonal Holiday Workers

Retailers and package-delivery companies are desperately searching for seasonal employees as record-high employment and a strong economy in the U.S. heighten competition for workers during the Christmas shopping season.

Employers bent over backward in the spring to attract job candidates for seasonal work in landscaping, tax preparation, construction, restaurants, sports venues, amusement parks and resorts.

Target, Macy's, Kohl's, UPS and FedEx are making similar overtures to attract applicants in preparation for the holiday shopping season. They also are offering benefits not typically available to part-time and temporary employees, such as longer paid parental leave, CNBC reported.

The competition for seasonal workers during a strong economy goes back at least two years. The search has only intensified since then. Kohl's, for example, announced June 27 that it had already started to fill positions for the Christmas season. Target is offering a starting hourly wage of $12 and perks such as a 20 percent discount on wellness merchandise.

SHRM Online has collected the following articles from its archives and other news outlets on this topic.  

Out of Stock This Holiday Season: Store Workers 

U.S. retailers are scrambling to find enough workers to staff their stores in the face of record-low unemployment and rising wages in other industries. This is leading to extra perks such as profit-sharing and paid time off for part-time workers.

Strategies to lure and keep workers illustrates an about-face for retailers who in recent years have closed stores and trimmed staff to cut costs as sales and profits came under pressure from the shift to online shopping.
(Wall Street Journal)  

[SHRM members-only how-to guide: How to Calculate Bonuses into a Regular Rate of Pay for Overtime Purposes]   

Target to Hire 20% More Workers This Holiday Season 

Target plans to hire 120,000 seasonal workers this holiday season as its expects to receive more online orders and see heightened traffic at its stores. Its hiring announcement follows similar ones from other retailers. Macy's said last week that it plans to bring on about 80,000 seasonal workers, in line with its initial hiring plans for 2017.

In the U.S., retailers have already been competing more than before for top talent. Companies are taking steps such as raising starting wages or offering longer paid maternity and paternity leave as incentives to lure applicants.

UPS to Hire 100,000 for Holiday Season, Up 5% from 2017

Package delivery companies also are increasing their seasonal hiring this year to cater to heavy shipping volumes as shoppers spend more online, buoyed by a strong economy and labor market.

United Parcel Service Inc. plans to hire about 5 percent more holiday workers than it did the previous year, the world's biggest package delivery company said Monday. Its smaller rival, FedEx Corp, plans to hire about 55,000 workers for the season, up about 10 percent compared with a year earlier. 

Experts: U.S. Immigration Policies Are Making It Harder to Fill Job Openings 

The government has stepped up its scrutiny of visa applications, resulting in delays and higher costs for hiring foreign workers.

"Immigration policy has resulted in a shortage of talent," said Sean Dowling, a Boston-based partner and manager of recruiting strategy firm Winter Wyman. 
(SHRM Online)   

How to Create a Recruiting Strategy: Buy, Build, and Borrow 

There's more to fulfilling your talent needs than just hiring. When organizations need to acquire talent, they have three options: buy, build, or borrow. The decision to build, borrow, or buy comes down to two factors: time and resources. 
(SHRM Online)




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