Holiday Hiring Includes Boost in Tech-Related Jobs

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Main News Photo

Seasonal openings for retail jobs are expected to increase 13% this holiday season with some of the biggest gains coming in tech-related positions, according to recruitment-software provider iCIMS.

iCIMS predicts overall retail hiring will expand by 7%. The company compiled its findings from a database of more than 3 million jobs posted and 4 million hires per year by more than 4,000 customers.

“In addition to staffing stores and traditional retail positions, companies are looking to strengthen their tech workforce to ensure they provide a seamless online shopping experience as more consumers turn to their smartphone to avoid the holiday crowds,” iCIMS said.

Demand for web developers is up 55% from 2018, iCIMS said, while job postings for graphic designers are up 25% and postings for computer systems analysts are up 23%.

Those increases don’t surprise Lars Perner, an assistant professor of clinical marketing at the UCS Marshall School of Business.

“Most of the tech-related people have probably already been hired by now, but they still may need some temporary people to step in a deal with any problems that might arise,” he said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if younger shoppers are buying half or more of their merchandise online.”

Local Amazon operations

Adobe Analytics predicts a 19% increase in Cyber Monday sales, which would boost the shopping total to $9.4 billion. Merchandise for many of those local purchases will come from Amazon, which operates 14 Inland Empire facilities in San Bernardino, Eastvale, Moreno Valley Rialto, and Riverside.

Last-minute shoppers will likely turn to online merchants to take advantage of next-day, or second-day delivery, Perner said, while others with more time on their hands will be enticed by brick-and-mortar locations.

“In some cases, retailers will have certain items you can only get in the store, or if you order online it can only be picked up at the store,” he said.

Most are part-time positions

iCIMS predicts a 20% increase in part-time seasonal job openings and a 6% rise in full-time openings.

Amazon announced last week it plans to hire 200,000 people for the busy holiday shopping season, double the number it hired a year ago. Target said it would hire 130,000 this year, up 4% from 2018, And Kohl’s expects to hire 90,000, about the same as last year. Walmart says it won’t hire seasonal workers this year but will allocate extra hours to current employees.

Part-time to permanent

All told, the National Retail Federation expects stores to hire as many as 590,000 temporary employees this year, up from 554,000 in 2018. So how can someone turn a seasonal gig into a permanent position? Fortune magazine offers some tips:

Attendance: This one sounds simple, although it’s often easier said than done since the holidays arrive during flu season. Don’t be absent, and never, ever be late.

Attitude: It can be a challenge to be polite when you’re dealing with a crowd of cranky customers, but keep smiling. Stay courteous, patient, and considerate of coworkers, even when you’ve been on your feet for 10 hours.

Aptitude: Employers hope to find people who can start on the sales floor, warehouse, or delivery truck and then develop new skills, move up, and build long-term careers. Become one of those people.

NRF predicts retail sales for November and December will increase anywhere from 3.8% to 4.2% compared with last year. That translates to as much as $730.7 billion in sales.

Consumer uncertainty

“The U.S. economy is continuing to grow and consumer spending is still the primary engine behind that growth,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said in a statement. “Nonetheless, there has clearly been a slowdown brought on by considerable uncertainty around issues including trade, interest rates, global risk factors and political rhetoric.”

Consumers are in sound financial shape and retailers expect a strong holiday season, he said, but confidence could be eroded by those concerns.

NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said today’s economy has lots of moving parts and plenty of distractions that make predictions difficult.  But the numbers, he said, point to a solid retail season.

“Job growth and higher wages mean there’s more money in families’ pockets, so we see both the willingness and ability to spend this holiday season,” he said.

Source: Orange County Register

Category: Economic News