The holiday season is upon us and that means major retailers are starting to ramp up their seasonal hiring. The National Retail Federation projects retailers across the country will be bringing on anywhere from 720,000 and 780,000 temporary workers this season. Some facts to consider for those looking for opportunities this season:
- Retailers do between 20% to 40% of their annual sales in November and December, which is why they need to bring in more workers;
- The National Retail Federation (NRF) is projecting a 3.9% increase in retail sales this season, which means more people will be shopping;
- Shop.org is projecting e-commerce sales will be up between 13 - 15% from last year, which translates to a need for call center jobs.
Although the hiring numbers sound impressive, getting in on the temp game won’t be easy. The latest hiring report from Challenger, Gray, & Christmas points out that those hoping to take advantage of seasonal hiring should act soon because “just as the holiday ads and decorations appear earlier and earlier each year, we may be seeing earlier holiday hiring.”
Those looking for full-time employment should keep in mind that that holiday hiring may mean more than just a temporary gig. In past years, companies like Target (TGT) have retained up to 30% of seasonal workers, which points to the potential for turning a temp job into a permanent role.
If you are looking to turn a seasonal temp job into a full-time opportunity, consider the following:
Make the Right Impression. Identify the decision makers at your job who make the hiring decisions and do what you can to get on their radar. It’s not just about performing you job well, it’s also making sure the right people know who you are and what you can do. Demonstrate your enthusiasm for being part of the team and showcase how your skills and experiences benefit the company.
Build Your “Who You Know” Network. Never take anyone you meet for granted. Every person you meet on the job is a potential gateway to another opportunity. Get to know the coworkers, vendors, and customers you interact with on a regular basis and make meaningful connections with them. You never know what opportunities may come from these new contacts.
Look for the Up Sell: Salespeople are always looking for the up-sell and your job is to sell you. Keep your eyes open for opportunities to showcase those skills your boss may not be aware of, and always offer to help with a project, stay late, or fill-in for a coworker when needed. Also, pay attention to the business side of things. Keep a running list of potential changes or improvements that may help increase efficiency and profitability. Think them through and share them with your boss. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to make the case.
Stay Connected. Just because your temp contract has an end date that doesn’t mean your relationships must also end. Make the effort to keep in touch with your bosses and coworkers; you never know where they may end up or when your paths may cross again. LinkedIn is the best way to keep up with your contacts, particularly if you made the right impression. Staying in touch will keep that good impression fresh and they'll likely think of you first when an opportunity arises.
According to the numbers, there are going to be a good number of job opportunities this season, so be sure to keep your eyes open and make the most of every opportunity. You never know, a holiday temp job may end up becoming that gift that just keeps on giving!
Michael “Dr. Woody” Woodward, PhD is a CEC certified executive coach trained in organizational psychology. Dr. Woody is author of The YOU Plan: A 5-step Guide to Taking Charge of Your Career in the New Economy and the new on-line course The YOU Plan for Career Change on Udemy. Dr. Woody is the founder of Human Capital Integrated (HCI), a firm focused on management and leadership development. Dr. Woody also sits on the advisory board of the Florida International University Center for Leadership. Follow Dr. Woody on Twitter and Facebook.