Several retailers plan to hire more
seasonal staffers than last year in preparation for an incoming flurry
of holiday shoppers and expected increase in sales, according to
merchants and at least two reports out this month from consulting
While only a handful of retailers have
announced specific holiday hiring plans, 36% plan to hire more
seasonal employees than in 2011, shows a survey of 14 major U.S.
retailers by consulting firm Hay Group; 57% will hire about the same as
Walmart, Toys R Us and Kohl's are
all hiring more holiday workers than last year. The overall increase in
hiring is most likely due to a predicted increase in sales, says Maryam
Morse, senior principal and retail practice leader at Hay Group. The Hay
survey shows 75% of retailers predict an increase in holiday sales over
Kohl's will hire more than 52,000
seasonal workers, up more than 10% from last year. Toys R Us will hire
45,000 holiday employees, up about 5,000 from last year, in part to
handle company initiatives such as the ability to buy products online
but pick them up in a store, says Jennifer Albano, Toys R Us
But seasonal employment is still
below pre-recession levels, says a report released Monday by
outsourcing firm Challenger Gray & Christmas.
firm's annual hiring forecast, based on data from the Bureau of Labor
Statistics, says seasonal hiring could add almost 700,000 workers, up
from about 660,000 added last year. But holiday employment grew by an
average of more than 722,000 jobs each year from 2004 to 2007, the
Still, the hiring rise shows the
"low but steady growth" in the economy since the recession ended, says
the firm's CEO, John Challenger.
is on the hiring train. Target will hire between 80,000 and 90,000
employees for the holiday season, down from 92,000 last year.
30% of its 2011 seasonal employees stayed on with the company in
year-round positions, and like many retailers, Target accounts for
availability and desire for more hours among current employees when
hiring for the holidays, spokeswoman Jessica Stevens says.
year, 43% of retailers say they have a higher ratio of permanent
workers to seasonal workers in stores, the Hay Group survey shows.
permanent workers indicates a strategic decision for many retailers
looking to differentiate themselves based on customer service, Morse
"Someone who is a permanent employee is
often more committed to retail and your brand," she says. "That's going
to lead to a better customer service interaction and it's also going to
lead to more sales."