Cash Strap? Need a Job this Holiday Season?

With the holiday season approaching fast, many major retailers are opening up more jobs in preparation for the high demand of the holidays. Experts estimated about 700,000 new, temporary jobs for this year, which is a slight increase from last year. As the economy is slowly moving out of the recession, many American families are paying back their debts, which give them the extra cash to spend this year. Hence, there is a great outlook for this holiday season for those of you who are looking for a little more income or just taking advantage of the employee discount that most of these retailers offer for their employees.

Looking at previous years numbers, most of these retailers are retaining their seasonal workers well over the holiday season. These temporary, seasonal jobs are turned into full-time positions, which for most workers are a good thing if they are looking for a permanent job. I have started seeing a lot of companies doing this nowadays. Rather than hiring full-time workers right from the start, companies would look into their pool of temporary workers first before hiring outside workers for any new positions. I’ve had a taste of this through the internships I have had done in the past. Most of the firms that I want to work for usually hire from their pools of interns and offer little to no position to those who have not worked an internship at their firm.

We’ve talked about forecasting in class, and this article ties in with this topic. With the increase in demand for goods and services this holiday season, major retailers are hiring more workers to meet this demand. Some even go as far as to open temporary stores, i.e. Toys “R” Us, in anticipation for the busy holiday rush. I think that this is a good boost for the economy as it may opens more, new jobs in the future for some people. Also, for companies, this is a smart move because they do not have to deal with making enough revenue to cover for the fix costs that come with permanent stores throughout the year. They can just rent a store for three to four months just in time for the holiday demand.

Questions to consider: Are you looking for a job? Would you be interested in becoming a seasonal worker? How are these companies handling their forecasts? What are the pro and cons of the increase in jobs during the holiday season?

8 thoughts on “Cash Strap? Need a Job this Holiday Season?

  1. I used to work in retail and when I quit I offered to stay on as a seasonal worker. I did it for 2 years and enjoyed it. I think it’s a smart way for stores to prepare and handle the holiday seasons. Stores become extremely hectic during the holiday seasons. While it’s great for people who are looking for part time jobs, in this economy people are looking for something more stable. As a student, I don’t have the ability to have a full time job and go to class full time, so for this type of works fits well for my lifestyle. Most people are thrilled to have any type of work, but I think it’s important at this point in time to create full time job opportunities. The holiday season only occurs once a year. People can’t wait around until the holiday rush hits to find jobs.

  2. I certainly am looking for a part time job as a seasonal worker. I might even be looking forward to the seasonal work blooming into a full time job. It of course makes sense to hire from a pool of temporary workers before hiring on the outside. Management had a chance to observe the temporary workers and their work ethic. If the seasonal worker did unproductive things such as steal goods, then he/she will be blacklisted. That’s very insightful that you compared the seasonal worker situation with your experience as an intern.

    Another pro with hiring seasonal workers is that it helps boost confidence in the US economy. If companies are indeed right and their actual winter holiday revenues match those of their forecasts, investors in Wall Street will be pleased.

    The only drawback I can think of is that seasonal workers aren’t as experienced as a regular worker. For example, regular workers are more likely to spot thieves since they’ve probably seen theft occur. It is one thing for a company to teach seasonal workers how to identify theft, but it is another thing for a regular worker to know if someone is acting in a suspicious manner.

  3. I believe that students that go to DePaul have an advantage at getting a job during the holiday season because of the prolonged winter break. Many of these places do not want people that can only be there for a week or two. For example, I know some one that got a job last year working at a jewelry store during break and are being asked back again this year because it is one of the busiest times of the year. Even though some employees are kept past the holiday season, many of the jobs are just a temporary fix.

  4. I am a seasonal worker at Target and I definitely do not mind. I love the fact that they allow me to come back to work when I am on break from school. During the holidays, it can be a little hectic; so they are glad when the seasonal employees come back because we already know what we have to do so they don’t have to train us. I read your article and I think it mentioned that Target had a decrease in hiring; maybe it is because they are have plenty of seasonal workers already and Target usually hires new employees during the summer to train them to be ready for the holidays because it is hard to train new employees during that time.

    I think companies are doing a good job forecasting. For Target, our managers would tell the predicted sales goal that corporate expect us that we should reach and most of the time we reach it. However, on some days when it can be a little slow, for example, during a Tuesday, the sales goal can be very high and we knew most likely that we were not going to reach it but we would try to get close to it.

    As for the increase of jobs in the holiday seasons, it is a very good thing, but it feel temporary.

  5. I am personally not looking for a job untill I am done with school and will be working in my desired field. I think that it’s good for the economy in some ways that these temporary retail jobs exist. People looking for seasonal jobs can find them and I think most people spend that money on Christmas gifts as opposed to saving it. On the other hand I think that the fact that many of those jobs go away after the holiday season also kind of hinders the unemployment rate. I think that every holiday season it is hard to gauge whether or not the economy is turning around because of the inflated seasonal jobs.

  6. I think seasonal/temporary jobs are good for certain people. People who already have a job and would like some additional income would really benefit from a seasonal job. Students might also be a good fit because of the flexibility that a retailer can offer. However, I do not think that seasonal jobs are a solution to helping get people back to work. Many people need more than just a 15% store discount. People need benefits such as health insurance. While retailers can find good potential full-time employees by hiring seasonal employees, it seems that there is an increase in lack of quality of service when temporary employees are used. Seasonal employees are hired instantly and there is usually a lack of thorough training because of the instant labor demand.

  7. Having worked in retail for 5 years I think seasonal jobs are worse for the economy and general public. For those just looking to make some quick cash its good but its not for people who need a steady job. When you’re considered seasonal and want to stay, the amount of pressure included with that is unbearable. Companies know this and open up seasonal positions so they don’t have to worry about supplying more hours during the year. Forecasting for this is always done without any regard for the people that need jobs in this economy. I don’t think I could ever work retail again because of all of the problems associated with it.

  8. I really liked your posts and think that many students at DePaul can connect to it and learn from it at the same time. You were absolutely correct; there are so many opportunities available for people to earn income. I think that many people can benefit from temporary jobs. It can be a great way to learn things and get your foot in to a field or in to a company. This holiday season is approaching sooner than we expected and there will be multiple opportunities. Looking at this topic from a retail recruiter perspective; I know that it hiring for the busy season is essential. There are tons of opportunities available and most of the time we do directly hire seasonal workers rather than hiring people from the outside again.

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