Survey: Seasonal Hiring Expected to Drop
By Tom Ryan
A survey of 1,000 U.S. managers who have responsibility for hiring seasonal workers found that each manager, on average, plans on hiring 3.7 seasonal employees this holiday season, roughly 33 percent less than the 5.6 seasonal workers they each hired during last year’s holiday period. This figure includes the 57 percent of managers who say they don’t plan on making any hires this year, which is up 8 percentage points from 2007.
The survey, sponsored by SnagAJob.com, found that managers who plan to hire at least one hourly holiday worker say they are looking to bring on nine seasonal workers on average, down 20 percent from the 11.2 employees they report having hired last year.
Of the 57 percent of managers who don’t plan on hiring this year, the factors for that decision include an expectation that current staff will take on the additional hours or workload (50 percent), that they have no money to hire additional seasonal workers (29 percent) and that they expect a slower holiday season this year compared to last (21 percent).
On the holiday outlook, 22 percent believe this year’s fourth quarter sales will be better than last year, 24 percent expect a decline, and 54 percent expect a holiday sales season in line with that of 2007.
findings from the survey:
- Thirty-nine percent of hiring managers expect the
number of applicants to rise this year over last; 52 percent expect the number
to stay the same; nine percent expect fewer applicants;
- Most managers expect
to wrap up their hiring duties in November (35 percent), with some finishing
in October (20 percent) and others hiring as late as December (28 percent);
percent of seasonal workers will work full-time, with the rest working an
average of 20 hours a week;
- The average pay for seasonal employees is expected
to be $10 an hour.
Discussion Questions: How should retailers manage seasonal hiring this holiday season? If a strategy calls for fewer hires, what retail tasks should be most focused on? What are some cost-effective ways to maintain customer service standards with less sales help?