With leagues of shoppers on the horizon, retailers and shippers are planning to hire more than seasonal employees this holiday season to accommodate service demands. The National Retail Federation expects retailers could add as many as 550,000 seasonal positions this year. Better Business Bureau advises job seekers to polish up their resumes, research potential employers and apply right away.
Major retailers like Walmart and Macy’s and shipping companies like UPS and amazon are all planning to hire seasonal workers this year. Earlier this year, Target and Amazon announced a plan to hire more than 100,000 workers for the holiday season. In addition to seasonal positions, retail indirectly creates many jobs throughout the holiday season for workers in transportation, manufacturing and fulfillment.
BBB offers the following advice for job hunters this holiday season:
- Start your job search earlier rather than later. Retail, shipping, restaurants and catering companies are common sources of seasonal employment. This is the time for job hunters to determine which job suits them best, identify companies they’d like to work for and then begin submitting applications and resumes.
- Work where you shop. Try to identify seasonal employment opportunities at businesses where you shop. You will already be familiar with the company and its products, and discounts available to employees can mean significant savings when shopping for gifts. Discounts can range from 20 to 40 percent for seasonal employees.
- Put your best foot forward. Even if you are just picking up applications at stores in the mall, dress neatly and be prepared for an interview. This includes being familiar with the company’s brand and products. Retail job hunters need to focus on impressing potential employers with their customer service skills because they may be dealing with stressed-out shoppers, long check-out lines and holiday returns.
- Do your homework. Research any business and its owners carefully before paying any money. Check the company’s BBB Business Profile at bbb.org or by calling 888-996-3887.
- Turn down a job if there are fees. If the employer requires fees for training, background checks or drug tests, it may be a scam. These costs are normally the responsibility of the employer.
- Be flexible. Full-time employees usually have first choice on preferred hours and shifts. As a seasonal employee, you can expect to work long, sometimes inconvenient hours, possibly including Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. If this is a second job in addition to your day job, be upfront and clear with your new employer about your available hours.
- Some advertised job positions could be scams. Be wary of work-from-home and secret shopper positions. If the job posting is for a well-known brand, check the real company's job page to see if the position is posted there. Look online. If the job comes up in other cities with the exact same post, it could be a scam. Check potential employers at bbb.org. Check potential employers at bbb.org.
- Use your resources. To report a suspected job scam or learn more about the latest scams trending in your area, go to bbb.org/scamtracker.