Holiday Hiring in Progress

Julie Shenkman
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Competition for winter holiday shoppers is stronger than ever in 2014 as brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers look to take advantage of lower gas prices and a much-improved economy. Temporary holiday hiring may top 800,000 for the first time since 1999. Job seekers looking for work and human resources managers seeking extra help have a golden opportunity.

Holiday hiring means more than filing positions to take money at the cash register for eight hours a day, six weeks per year. Cyber-security firms, package delivery companies, holiday party planners and resorts all need extra help during the holiday shopping crush. Seasonal workers are needed to do more than just deal with hundreds of daily customers looking for the best deals on the big television or hard-to-find toy. If workers can find their niche, there's probably a great job for everyone this holiday season.

The 2013 winter shopping rush was marred by package delivery snafus, credit card breaches and very early Black Friday shopping hours that started on Thanksgiving. Human resources managers and executives noted the debacle of 2013 and started holiday hiring for 2014 six weeks sooner. Some temporary positions may be kept into January and February to deal with the after-effects of holiday shopping.

Human resources departments and store managers can look at holiday hiring as a way to upgrade their workforces in 2015. Previously unemployed workers may fit into an overall hiring strategy that rewards employees who get noticed. Someone who arrives 15 minutes early and volunteers to work late could benefit the company in the future by being a loyal, dedicated employee who enjoys the job. Seasonal workers can be the impetus for managers to replace lackluster employees who do not fit into a company's overall plan.

People looking for extra holiday spending money, a first-time job or possible full-time employment in January are in a prime position if they show drive, determination and hard work over the holiday season. There are plenty of jobs and plenty of opportunities to show managers you are the right person for the job.

Prospective employees looking for jobs need to be ready to work when it comes to landing a good holiday job. Holiday hiring occurs quickly, and managers may not have time to wait to make decisions. Job seekers should dress suitably for the interview and be extremely flexible with schedules. If a temporary job goes well, workers get good job references for future positions even if the temp job does not directly lead to regular employment. Showing determination while working odd hours and balancing personal life demonstrates how hard you are willing to work to keep a job.

The 2014 holiday shopping season could be the best ever for retailers and workers thanks to lessons learned from last year. Holiday hiring has already started, so job seekers, human resources executives and store managers should be ready for anything.


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