2018 Holiday Hiring Strategies for Retail
The 2018 holiday shopping season is expected to bring historical sales due to a healthy economy and strong consumer confidence. However, with the national unemployment rate at an all-time low, finding qualified seasonal retail workers to fill the nearly 650,000 open positions this holiday season has been challenging.
With only weeks left in the season, retailers must act now in order to secure top talent and maximize holiday sales. For those still scrambling to fill seasonal hiring slots, below are some strategies to help your company stand out in a crowded field and expedite the hiring process.
Plan a Hiring Blitz
According to DHI Group, the average time to hire an employee in the retail industry is 24.6 days. Circumventing the lengthy hiring processes, retailers such as Target, Home Depot and Gap recently hosted job fairs across the country, hiring candidates on the spot.
While a one-day hiring blitz can help to quickly alleviate recruiting pains, employers should maintain a quality over quantity mind-set and not just seek to fill empty positions. Understanding how a job seeker’s passions and powers/abilities contribute to the overall customer shopping experience will be critical to maximizing sales this holiday season.
Ramp Up the Perks
Desperate for holiday help, top retailers such as Kohl’s, Target, Apple and Macy’s have begun offering major employee perks — including expensive vacations, store gift cards and luxury jewelry — to attract seasonal workers this year. While a financial reward is typically the standard, for employers on a tighter budget, non-monetary perks such as flexible hours, ability to pick shifts, and top-tier parking spots can be used to sweeten the pot.
Toss the Resume
When you’re actively hiring for thousands of vacant positions, hundreds of hours can be wasted on screening resumes. Additionally, a simple bulleted list of past work experience doesn’t convey a candidate’s unique personality, abilities and passions — i.e., the traits that make great brand ambassadors.
Understanding what makes employees tick and matching them to a job that they’ll excel in leads to a more engaged and happier workforce. For employers, this equates to lower turnover rates and an increase in sales. New innovations in retail hiring are helping employers bypass traditional resume vetting, enabling them to get to the right candidate quickly.
As retailers prepare for their busiest time of the year, finding talented seasonal employees with the right skills and personalities doesn’t need to be a daunting task. By following these tips, employers can expect a brighter holiday for both their customers and staff.
Stefan Midford is president and CEO of Capango, a mobile-first retail job matching platform that connects job seekers to rewarding opportunities without resumes.
Related story: Summer Retail Workforce Trends