Seasonal Hiring Shaping Up to be Ultra Competitive

by Sabrina Balmick, Marketing Manager, ACA Talent

The holidays often bring good cheer and good profits, thanks to a seasonal boom in sales. With half of US consumers planning to order holiday gifts online this year, in many cases spending up to 16 percent more online purchases, demand  for seasonal workers to help fulfill those orders is shaping up to be highly competitive.

According to the National Retail Federation, retailers expect to hire between 725,000 and 800,000 seasonal workers this year. For comparison, companies made 768,000 seasonal hires in 2013. As Inc. Magazine points out, unemployment is at its lowest since 2008 at 5.9 percent, which is creating a shortage of seasonal labor across the country. Whether they have a solid internal database of past hires or are starting fresh, companies are starting to feel the seasonal hiring pinch. Some are turning to social media to spread the word, while others like are turning to traditional news outlets to publicize their hiring blitzes.

Although hiring will continue to be competitive as the holiday season picks up steam, there are a few strategies companies of all sizes can use to market their open seasonal positions.

  1. Employee Referral Programs – ask your current employees to help publicize open jobs and offer a bonus in place, either for the referral or the hire.
  2. Social media – make sure your social networks know you’re hiring. Write a blog post about hiring activities and share posts using social media. Don’t be afraid to post more than once, especially on fast-paced media like Twitter, but be careful not to spam.
  3. Email – if you subscribe to a resume database like CareerBuilder or Monster, build a search to target candidates and send out email blasts. Pair this with phone calls from recruiters to maximize your reach.
  4. Traditional Media – write and send press releases about hiring to local media, including television, radio, and newspapers. If you have funds in your ad budget, consider advertising on the radio or TV. While primetime TV spots are costly, you can get bang for your buck during pre-primetime slots. Remember that repetition is key to a successful advertising campaign.
  5. Internal Databases – reach out to seasonal hires in previous years to see if they are looking to return. If they aren’t in the market for an opportunity, don’t be shy about asking for a referral.

What are some of your favorite seasonal hiring strategies? Email us!