How has the retail seasonal hiring playbook changed?
Finding seasonal temps is a tough challenge for retailers in a market with a historically-low unemployment rate, but quickly onboarding them to support a variety of omnichannel tasks represents a whole new learning curve.
Target, for instance, plans to increase seasonal hires by four percent this year to 130,000 after expanding hires by 20 percent for the 2018 holidays, in part to support online selling and BOPIS.
The chain’s in-store seasonal hires focused on fulfilling orders will double this year to support order pickup, drive up and online delivery orders overall. Target now fulfills 80 percent of its online orders from stores. In its third quarter, 80 percent of digital growth was driven by same-day fulfillment options, in-store pickup, Drive-Up and Shipt.
About 8,000 seasonal workers will support Target’s 39 distribution and fulfillment centers, up from 7,500 last year.
A Wall Street Journal article explored how Target is also asking selling floor staff to tackle more chores, including stocking shelves and tracking inventory, under a new staffing system.
Amazon.com has said it plans to hire 200,000 seasonal employees, double the 2018 figure. Amazon attributed the job growth to its expanded logistics infrastructure, including additional warehouses, package sortation hubs and delivery stations. In 2018, Amazon hired seasonal delivery drivers for the first time. The hiring boost comes as Amazon Prime transitions to one-day delivery from two-day.
Among other majors, Macy’s and Kohl’s plan to hire the same amount of seasonal help this year versus last and Walmart, for the fourth straight year, will offer existing employees who want them extra holiday hours. Like Target, however, increased demand for more backroom tasks is expected at these chains, as well. Early figures indicate in-store traffic this holiday is again showing a decline, albeit modest, while online sales and BOPIS are booming.
“We’re hiring less customer-facing people and a lot more people that are doing something else to help the customer, taking care of ‘order online and pick up in-store,’ curbside pickup,” Jan Kniffen, CEO of consultancy J Rogers Kniffen, told CNBC. “That requires a lot more people; they are doing the job the customer used to do.”
- Target’s Hiring More Than 130,000 Team Members for the Holidays — Here’s How to Apply – Target
- The tectonic shift in retail is shaking up how stores hire seasonal workers – CNBC
- Amazon to Double Holiday Hiring to 200,000 – The Associated Press/U.S. News & World Report
- Amazon Doubles Holiday Hiring to 200,000 Temporary Workers – Bloomberg
- Retail Holiday Hiring Reflects Focus On eCommerce, Speed – PYMNTS
- Retailers Revamp Staffing as Fewer Shoppers Visit Stores – The Wall Street Journal
- Holiday hiring wars heat up as retailers fight for scarce talent – NBC News
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Where do you see the biggest challenges onboarding holiday temps to support omnichannel functions? Which tasks will increasingly require the hiring of more holiday temps in the years ahead?