Holiday Hiring Decisions are Being Made

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Express Employment Professionals predicts this year's seasonal hiring trends.

AE 10.11.17 Holiday Hiring

With unemployment so low right now, and so many companies struggling to find good full-time talent, I predict this year’s holiday hires have a better than average shot of leveraging their experience to secure a regular job year-round. - Bob Funk, Express CEO

With an autumn chill in the air and the holidays not far away, Terri Greeno, an Express Employment Professionals office owner in Crystal Lake, Illinois, is spending more time focused on holiday hiring, which she expects to be as strong, or even stronger, than last year.

For market watchers, holiday hiring can be a measure of the health of the economy. But for workers, it can serve two other important purposes. First, it gives people looking for non-traditional job opportunities a chance to earn a paycheck. Second, it gives those looking for longer-term full-time work a chance to get noticed.

According to Greeno, “Our office works with a number of people who prefer seasonal work opportunities to traditional ones. Some people want to have the freedom and flexibility that seasonal work provides due to their age, child or dependent care needs, schooling, or desire to travel. It’s a win-win for both parties.”

For those who do want full-time work, she noted, “There are a lot of opportunities to enter the workforce during the holiday season. Many of those individuals transition into other opportunities after the holidays. If the right employment fit doesn’t immediately come along for the employee but they have a strong work ethic, we’re able to advocate on their behalf to find the right job.”

Yvonne Rockwell, an Express office owner in Santa Clarita, California, agrees.

“Seasonal hiring is a great way for us to get people in the door of a company to meet the needs of both the client and the worker,” she said. “As positions wind down at the end of the holiday season, we’re able to transition that worker into another opportunity that meets their skill set.”

E-Commerce Redefines Holiday Hiring

The Wall Street Journal recently proclaimed, “Retailers and logistics companies are starting early to recruit seasonal workers.” Unemployment is low and the economy is in good health, so there’s a shrinking pool for seasonal workers, even as demand remains high.
Greeno sees demand for seasonal workers across multiple sectors.

“Increased employment needs arise in the areas of manufacturing, retail, accounting firms and administrative work,” she said.

A recent survey of 573 businesses from Express confirms that business owners are anticipating increased demand for general labor (34 percent), skilled labor (24 percent) and administrative/office clerical employees (21 percent).

But as Rockwell has observed, the increase in online shopping is creating new demands.

“For us, we have seen seasonal hiring transition from retail coverage to more fulfillment centers as customers are placing more of their orders online versus walking into stores to make their purchases,” she said.

“There has definitely been an uptick in fulfillment centers,” Greeno agreed.

Successful Seasonal Workers Exceed Expectations

Just because seasonal work is temporary doesn’t mean it comes without high expectations.

“A good seasonal employee is someone who is flexible and shows up to work on time and with a good attitude,” Greeno explained.

She shared a story of her office helping a worker find a seasonal tax accountant job during tax season. Tax season, and the job, eventually ended, but her office knew the accountant, Chris, had done a stellar job. So when an office manager job opened up elsewhere, they knew who to call, remembering his “personality, flexibility and willingness to help.” Chris was hired and then secured a full-time position with the company.

“Seasonal work can really be like an extended interview,” said Bob Funk, CEO of Express, and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. “Holiday workers can end up being a great talent pool for employers looking to expand their full-time workforce even after the decorations have come down and the new year has rolled around. With unemployment so low right now, and so many companies struggling to find good full-time talent, I predict this year’s holiday hires have a better than average shot of leveraging their experience to secure a regular job year-round.”

The survey of 573 businesses, which are current and former clients of Express Employment Professionals, was conducted in August 2017 to gauge respondents’ expectations for the fourth quarter of 2017. Previous surveys were conducted to cover hiring trends of the quarters indicated.

If you would like to arrange for an interview with Bob Funk to discuss this topic, please contact Sheena Karami, Director of Corporate Communications and PR, at (405) 717-5966.

About Robert A. Funk
Robert A. “Bob” Funk is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has more than 770 franchises in the U.S., Canada and South Africa. Under his leadership, Express has put more than 6 million people to work worldwide. Funk served as Chairman of the Conference of Chairmen of the Federal Reserve and was also the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

About Express Employment Professionals
Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated $3.05 billion in sales and employed a record 510,000 people in 2016. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually. For more information, visit ExpressPros.com.

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Sheena Karami
Express Employment Professionals
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