Consumer Comeback Blog

Employers Hiring More Seasonal Workers, Pay More This Year

It takes more than Santa and his elves to make the holiday season come to fruition. Retailers across the country are hiring more seasonal help than last year, paying their workers more, and projecting to keep seasonal employees on the payrolls after the holidays, according to a CareerBuilder survey.

A Harris Interactive poll of more than 2,400 employers indicated that 36% of retailers plan to hire holiday help this year, up from 29% in 2011.

“An increase in consumer confidence is helping to fuel the best seasonal hiring the U.S. has seen in recent years,” Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder, said in a press release. “While the bulk of seasonal recruitment falls within the retail space, companies across industries are hiring for a wide range of positions to support their business operations as they wrap up the year.”

Employers reported hiring in the following service areas:

  • Customer Service – 23%
  • Administrative/Clerical support – 15%
  • Hospitality – 15%
  • Shipping/Delivery – 14%
  • Accounting/Finance – 9%
  • Inventory management – 8%
  • Technology – 8%
  • Sales (other than retail) – 7%

Seasonal workers hoping to stay on past the holidays may have more hope this year, as 39% of employers plan to transition some employees into full-time, permanent staff, up from 30% last year.

Seasonal hiring projections and plans to keep employees beyond the holidays include:

  • Los Angeles – 22% of employers are hiring, 40% plan to transition them to full-time positions
  • New York – 16% hiring, 35% keep employees
  • Atlanta – 15% hiring, 31% keep employees
  • Philadelphia – 14% hiring, 36% keep employees
  • Chicago – 13% hiring, 31% keep employees

Hiring managers say they are more apt to offer permanent positions to those who express interest in long-term employment from the beginning; employees who offer customers help before they are asked for assistance; those who ask for more responsibilities and work; and workers who offer innovative ideas about how to improve operations or make more money.

Conversely, hiring managers said the following attributes are more likely to land your application in the rejection pile: lack of enthusiasm for the job, unwillingness to work certain hours, lack of knowledge about the company, more interest receiving a discount than actually working.

Seasonal workers can expect to take home a little extra home in their paychecks. While most seasonal jobs are minimum wage or slightly higher, 62% of surveyed employers plan to pay $10 per hour or higher, and 22% plan to pay $16 or more.

Holiday jobs may be more plentiful this year, but the window to apply is quickly closing because 36% percent of employers hiring seasonal staff will do the majority of seasonal hiring in October. That narrows to 30% in November, and tapers off at 11% in December.