People looking to earn some spending money for the holidays may want to brush up on their interview skills. Retailers are expected to hire 700,000 people to fill seasonal jobs in 2016, according to outplacement consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. That’s down from 738,000 seasonal hires last year.
Stores may be hiring fewer people to work the registers this year, but hiring is up in other areas. “While seasonal retail jobs remain flat or shrink, there has been a marked increase in seasonal job gains in other sectors. The sector with the biggest increase in holiday hiring in recent years has been transportation and warehousing, as more and more holiday shopping is done online,” John A. Challenger, Challenger, Gray & Christmas’s chief executive officer, said. UPS and FedEx will likely add 150,000 new seasonal jobs, and there will also be opportunities in fulfillment centers like those run by Amazon.
“We continue to move from brick-and-mortar toward click-and-order. But even in the internet era of holiday shopping that means that brick-and-mortar fulfillment facilities need seasonal workers,” Challenger said.
The idea that holiday jobs are only available at retail stores is a myth, according to FlexJobs, which helps people find temporary, flexible, and part-time job opportunities. The site currently has jobs for temporary HR administrators, graphic designers, admissions essay readers, and holiday performers listed in its database.
“Seasonal jobs can be a great strategy for professionals to supplement income during the holiday season, and there is a wide variety of opportunities for seasonal work — from ski instructor to tax associate to election worker,” Sara Sutton Fell, founder and CEO of FlexJobs, said in a statement. “But beyond that, seasonal jobs can also be a great way to gain experience and skills, build upon your resume, provide a foot in the door with a company to a permanent position.”
If you hope to snag one of these seasonal jobs, you need to get cracking. Some companies started hiring back in August. But low unemployment means they’re finding it harder to fill positions, which is good news for job hunters. Wages are up and employers are adding perks like more flexible scheduling or free food to attract workers, Peter Harrison, CEO of Snagajob.com, told NBC News.
Although seasonal jobs can be found in a variety of industries, some businesses hire a veritable army of temporary employees during the final months of the year. If you’re looking for a job, check out these 11 companies, which are hiring tens of thousands of temporary workers to manage the holiday rush.
UPS plans to hire 95,000 seasonal workers to handle holiday packages this season, roughly the same number it brought on last year. The Atlanta-based company is looking for package handlers, drivers, and driver helpers across the country, and unlike many seasonal jobs that are strictly temporary, holiday hires at UPS often land permanent employment. Thirty-seven percent of seasonal hires in 2015 are now regular employees.
Amazon hasn’t announced how many temporary workers it plans to hire for the 2016 holiday season, but last year, it brought on 100,000 seasonal employees. Typically, those jobs are in the retailer’s massive fulfillment centers, but this year, it’s also hiring work-from-home customer service representatives.
Macy’s, Inc. will hire 83,000 seasonal associates to work at its Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s stores, call centers, distribution centers, and online fulfillment centers this holiday season, about the same number of people it hired last year. About 15,000 of those temporary employees will work at the retailer’s direct-to-consumer fulfillment centers in Arizona, Connecticut, Oklahoma, and other states, 3,000 more than were hired for those positions in 2015.
Target is looking for 77,500 people to help handle the holiday rush. Most of them will be working at the register or stocking shelves at the big box retailer’s 1,800 stores, but 7,500 will be working at distribution and fulfillment centers, about 1,000 more than were hired last year. Target stores will host hiring events in October to find seasonal workers to fill the positions.
Kohl’s expects to hire more than 69,000 people this holiday season. The temporary employees will fill positions in the chain’s 1,100 stores in 49 states, as well as at distribution and fulfillment centers and in credit operations. Hiring started in August and is expected to continue through November.
FedEx expects to hire more than 50,000 people for the 2016 holiday season, it revealed in a recent earnings report; last year, it added 55,000 employees. Currently, the shipping giant is looking for temporary drivers, according to an ad on the Kelly Services website. You do need professional driving experience to snag one of these jobs, but a commercial drivers license isn’t required. Former military members, take note: Experience driving a tank and other military vehicles counts toward the employer-driving requirement.
7. Party City
The holiday hiring season starts early at Party City, which is looking to add 35,000 workers to help out in 1,000 stores in the weeks before Halloween. Pop-up Halloween stores like Sprit Halloween are also looking for temporary workers to sell costumes and spooky décor to shoppers. If you have acting chops, haunted houses need people who are ready to don a costume and scare visitors.
JCPenney is adding 40,000 temporary workers this holiday season, according to a report from InvestorPlace, 10,000 more than they hired in 2015. Most will work in the department store’s retail locations, but 2,000 will be helping fulfill online orders.
Walmart hasn’t announced official hiring figures for the 2016 holiday rush, but it’s already filling temporary seasonal positions in distribution centers in Atlanta; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; Chino, California; Fort Worth, Texas; and Plainfield, Indiana. In 2015, the retailer hired a total of 60,000 seasonal employees.
10. Toys R Us
Toy R Us plans to hire thousands of temporary employees for seasonal jobs in 2016, including 4,500 in the New York area and 2,700 in Los Angeles. As with most retailers, positions are available both in-store and at distribution centers. About 15% to 20% of seasonal hires stay on after the holiday season, according to the toy retailer.
You may not have heard of Radial, but this Pennsylvania-based company plans to hire 20,000 temporary workers this holiday season. The online retail and logistics firm works with companies like Walgreens, Shoe Carnival, Ralph Lauren, and Michael’s to fulfill orders and answer customer questions. It has 26 distribution centers and six call centers around the world and plans to add jobs in Eau Claire, Wisconsin; Memphis; Louisville, Kentucky; and Groveport, Ohio. Some people will also be hired for the company’s locations in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Germany.
Follow Megan on Facebook and Twitter