Although the leaves are only just now turning, many retailers across the country are already planning their staffing increases to accommodate for the yearly holiday rush. This has led retailers across a wide swath of sectors to turn to temporary staffing agencies to fill these open positions, the Durham Herald Sun reports.
According to the news source, appliance and electronics retailer h.h.gregg has reported a surge in people who are interested in holiday employment, and it does not expect there to be any shortage of applicants in the next few months. Already, the retail stores need about 1,000 workers to fill 223 stores by early October - and that's only one of several such companies that have announced hiring plans.
Jason Connally, regional manager for h.h.gregg, said the company will begin offering two-week training session next month to ensure all employees are familiar with the store's products.
"Having the right people – there’s no question (that’s important),” he said. "That’s why we do invest in a two-week training period for the associates that come on board, making sure they understand the products…"
Nationwide retailer Target also expects to hire as many as 90,000 workers - both in its stores and large distribution centers - for the upcoming holiday season. The company has been working to fill its warehouse positions since July, and store workers, including sales floor staff, cashiers and bathroom attendants, will be brought in in mid October, the media outlet stated.
Walmart is also planning to add 50,000 new workers, and will also extend the hours of existing staff. Kayla Whaling, a spokeswoman for the company, said hiring will begin in October and last through December.
The October hiring surge is typical, says Ellen Davis, senior vice president of the National Retail Federation. Davis stated that many retailers ensure workers are brought on early enough to receive full training.
"Which means the time to apply, and interview, for those jobs, is now," she said. "We don’t think about seasonal employees until stores start getting busy, but by then, if you’re a job seeker, you’ve missed the boat," she added.
The reports of higher temporary staffing were no surprise to John Quintero, a principal with the Chapel Hill research firm South by North Strategies Limited, who said the increase in temps was reflective of the bettering economic conditions. Quintero also stated he believes small and large retailers will adopt different hiring practices, however temporary help will likely be a common thread between the two, according to the news source.
"I think in a lot of ways the bigger firms have the size, they have the data systems, they have the sophistication to be able to project out, and manage, their seasonal workforce in a very sophisticated way," he said. "Smaller boutiques or firms will hire temporarily; it’s going to be on an individualized basis."
The need for temporary help this holiday season is already spreading throughout the country, and sending competition for the temp positions higher, KDAF News reports.