(Trends Wide) — Employers are bracing for the annual holiday shopping rush and are once again looking to bring in seasonal workers to reinforce their ranks in stores, warehouses and logistics.
Their ads come as the big chains expect strong Christmas demand from shoppers, despite the risks that the delta variant can pose to consumer spending. Consulting firm KPMG predicts Christmas sales for US retailers will grow 7% from last year, according to an August survey of 114 retail executives.
Like last year, many of the jobs advertised so far are related to the delivery of goods over the Internet, such as postmen and warehouse workers. New this year is improved hiring tactics, ranging from enrollment bonuses to job offers within half an hour of applying.
Even if employers post their job vacancies, there is no guarantee that they will be able to fill them. American companies are having trouble hiring right now, with a record 10.9 million job openings in July, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Here are some of the top employers that have said they are hiring workers on vacation so far.
UPS is hiring 100,000 full and part-time seasonal workers to meet the demand for vacation delivery, the same number the company hired last year.
The positions are primarily for package handlers, drivers and driver’s assistants, who assist drivers on delivery routes.
“This is the tightest hiring market we’ve ever seen,” said UPS spokesman Dan McMackin. UPS is adapting by increasing hourly wages in some markets, starting at $ 15 an hour, and offering sign-up bonuses to hire seasonal employees.
The company is also speeding up application times for vacation hires. In the past, candidates had to wait up to two weeks to receive an offer. This year, UPS is committed to offering offers for many positions in 30 minutes.
United States Postal Service
The United States Postal Service is hiring more than 40,000 workers to handle mail and package deliveries during what is typically the agency’s busiest season.
The Postal Service looks for postmen, mail handlers and drivers in cities and rural areas. It is holding about 60 job fairs across the country where candidates can apply, more events than the agency typically holds.
The Postal Service often adds seasonal staff, although the number varies by year, agency spokesman David Partenheimer said in an email.
Kohl’s wants to add 90,000 seasonal workers to stores and warehouses to meet customer demand, a figure similar to last year.
New this year: Kohl’s workers will be able to receive a bonus ranging from $ 100 to $ 400 for working during the vacation period.
Kohl’s is also hiring seasonal employees for the first time at a new e-commerce fulfillment center in Etna, Ohio, and beauty consultants for Sephora mini-stores at 200 Kohl’s stores.
The arts and crafts supply chain Michaels will hire more than 20,000 workers in its stores and distribution centers, 25% more than last year.
Michaels said in an announcement last month that it offers competitive wages, flexible hours and a 30% discount to seasonal workers. Last year, Michaels hired more than half of the seasonal workers in the stores to fill permanent positions.
The arts and crafts materials industry has grown during the pandemic as people spend more time at home. Michaels sales in stores open for at least a year increased 4.8% in 2020 over the previous year.
1-800-Flowers.com plans to hire more than 10,000 seasonal workers, a similar number from last year.
The flower delivery retailer will recruit 10,000 employees to deliver food and gifts to customers of its brands, including Harry & David and Cheryl’s Cookies.
Looking to fill part-time and full-time positions in “key high-volume areas,” such as gift montage. Most of the positions are in Illinois, Ohio and Oregon.
The company offers bonuses and a raise to rehires, Steve Lightman, president of the company’s gourmet foods and gift baskets group, said in an email.
These moves are “on par with last year,” Lightman said, and the company is exploring other incentives such as product giveaways and giveaways to attract workers.
Ollie’s Bargain Outlet
The discount store chain Ollie’s Bargain Outlet wants to hire more than 3,000 workers for the holidays.
This figure is slightly higher than last year due to the growth of new stores, an Ollie’s spokesperson said in an email. Ollie’s has opened more than 40 stores in the last year.
Ollie’s is hiring for positions in stores and warehouses.
This year, the retailer does not offer new incentives to attract workers, the spokesperson said, but has started holding in-person recruiting events for the first time to reach a broader pool of applicants.