The holiday season is only weeks away and businesses are starting to hire seasonal workers. Experts expect about 700,000 seasonal workers to be employed this holiday season, up from last year’s 660,000 workers.
The holiday season begins on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Big-box department stores such as Target, Wal-mart and Kohl’s each anticipate hiring at least 50,000 part-time workers this year. Strong sales from back-to-school shopping has companies betting consumers will spend more this Christmas than they did last year.
“One other reason retailers may be holding out hope for solid holiday sales gains this year is, that despite the uncertainty of the economic recovery, Americans seem to find a way to scrape together extra spending money for the holidays,” said John Challenger, chief executive officer. “They do not want to disappoint their kids, spouses, friends and the other people with whom they exchange gifts.”
Locally, Kmart of Fenton anticipates hiring around 30 people for the upcoming holiday season, which will last until December. Part-time positions include cashiers, cart gatherers and floor workers. Those inquiring for work can fill out an application at the store’s kiosk or online.
“We’re looking for qualified people who are motivated,” said Assistant Manager Darlene Kelley. “Retail is a lot of work. We want people who will give it their best.”
Kelley said of the 30 or so seasonal workers that are hired, only five to 10 workers might be offered full-time positions. Currently, Kmart has seven full-time employees, according to Kelley.
Other local department stores such as Target and Wal-mart have similar application processes, with in-store kiosks and online applications.
Gerych’s Distinctive Flowers & Gifts anticipates hiring five or six people to work in the greenhouse and in retail, said owner Jon Gerych. Like Kmart, the positions are part time but could eventually lead to full-time work.
“We’re looking for people that show up on time, are dependable and have knowledge of the task in the area we’re using them in,” Gerych said. “We want self-starters who show commitment and are engaged in what they do.”
Gerych is optimistic that this holiday season will be busier than the last. Gerych attributes the potential increase in consumer activity to a strengthening local economy and an increase in employment.
“The biggest key is it seems like people are coming back to work. The more people we get back to work, the better everyone will be,” Gerych said.
Gerych emphasized the importance of shopping local this holiday season, adding that area businesses mostly hire people within the community.
Four rules to follow if you want to be a valuable employee
and/or leader at work
• Tell the truth. Don’t fabricate your experience. In this world where Google is your first resume and your entire background can be dug up with the swipe of a mouse, making stuff up about where you went to school (or that you attended or graduated college when you didn’t), what you studied and where you worked is just plain stupid.
• Don’t be overly self-promotional to the point of being obnoxious.
• Roll up your sleeves. In this day and age, people are expected to wear multiple hats.
• Listen to feedback. No one’s perfect and, particularly in a new job, when you’re learning the ropes and getting acclimated to an unfamiliar environment, it’s vital to be able to take constructive criticism or guidance from colleagues and superiors.
Source: Jessica Kleiman, contributor for forbes.com