Good news for holiday job seekers as retailers boost staffing
By Erika Wurst and Francine Knowles Sun-Times Media October 25, 2012 9:50AM
Eileen Pulido, a Sales Floor Team Member, stocks the displays in the Seasonal section at the Target in Oswego on Thursday, October 18, 2012. | Steven Buyansky~Sun-Times Media
Holiday shoppers already looking for deals
A new survey shows that shoppers are looking for holiday deals throughout the year, rather than checking off their list on one big promotional day.
Forty-six percent of those surveyed nationwide said they already had started shopping for the holidays. Only 18 percent are waiting to shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, according to the Ipsos Public Affairs survey commissioned by Offers.com.
In the Midwest, 90 percent said they plan to spend the same or less this holiday season than in 2010, and 21 percent plan to wait for deals on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
— Sun-Times Media
Updated: November 27, 2012 10:23AM
If a holiday job is on your wish list, you could have more reason to smile this season. Local stores are on the hiring hunt, and that temporary job could turn into a full-time gig.
Last year, 30 percent of seasonal workers hired nationally by Target took year-round positions following the holiday season. This year, Target plans to add between 80,000 and 90,000 people to its seasonal staff — and locally, plenty of those jobs are still available, said Jessica Basham, who works in human resources at Target’s Oswego location.
Basham said that stores throughout her district — which includes locations in Aurora, North Aurora, Naperville, Batavia, Oswego and Wheaton — have seen a decrease in applicants compared to previous years.
“It’s still relatively early,” she said.
Basham said Target generally likes having its holiday hires on staff by the second week in November, which gives job seekers three more weeks to get their applications in.
At Kohl’s at the Westfield Fox Valley Mall in Aurora, a store manager said holiday hiring is well under way and that applications are still being accepted. Kohl’s has said it plans to boost holiday hiring by more than 10 percent, an average of roughly 41 associates at each of its 1,146 stores
Michael’s Arts and Crafts and Game Stop locations across the region also are advertising dozens of available seasonal positions online.
From Toys R Us to Macy’s and Home Depot, there is no shortage of work to be had throughout the Fox Valley this holiday season. And that seems to be a national trend.
The National Retail Federation projects retailers will add up to 626,000 workers this holiday season. That would be a 3 percent increase from last year, and a big improvement from 2008 when only 263,800 seasonal workers were hired, according to the federation.
According to a survey conducted by Snagajob.com, a website dedicated to helping job seekers find work, 63 percent of respondents said they will make holiday hires this year, up from 51 percent last year. That’s the highest level since the survey started five years ago.
The survey included hiring managers for retail, restaurant, office/clerical, warehousing, transportation and customer service jobs.
Respondents said they expected to hire 6.1 seasonal workers on average, up nearly 50 percent from last year. Job seekers, however, mustn’t dilly-dally. Fifty-seven percent of hiring managers responding to the survey said they would complete their hiring in October.
Among retailers planning to increase holiday hiring is Toys R Us, which is hiring 45,000 people nationally, up 13 percent from last year. Toys R Us also will be staffing 150 to 200 temporary pop-up stores.
Macy’s plans to increase hiring about 2.5 percent to about 80,000, including 3,500 in the Chicago area. It’s accepting applications online and at kiosks in its stores, said Brad Poterack, district vice president of stores for Macy’s.