Like many things this year, the hiring season is very different. Sure, masks and plexiglass barricades are just as common in shops as shopping trolleys and clearing racks. But beyond that …
The labor market was tense last year. Employers practically fought each other to recruit a ton of talented workers. They had millions of job offers, offered interesting perks and benefits, and tried to employ seasonal workers on a permanent basis.
“It’s definitely changed. You don’t see the same amount of seasonal settings that you saw before. The usual suspects are still hiring in huge numbers. But bluntly it’s a lot less,” said Tony Lee, vice president of the Society for human resource management and an expert on recruiting trends.
By “usual suspects,” Lee is referring to major seasonal employers such as UPS, FedEx, and Target.
Here’s what else has changed on the hiring front and what to expect when applying for seasonal jobs before the holidays.
1. Big companies dominate
The Amazons, Walmarts, and World Destinations are sure to be fine in the face of a pandemic devastating most businesses.
The big names have plenty of seasonal jobs this year. The penny hoarder came together more than half a million seasonal jobs at large companies. In several cases, they had the same number of vacancies, if not more, than in previous hiring seasons.
But your local mom-and-pops are probably not doing well. If they’re not on board, they likely won’t be manned until the holidays.
“Many of them are gone. We’ve probably lost a fifth to a quarter of [family-owned businesses]”Lee said.” You may only hire one, two, three people for the holidays, but if you eliminate them completely and multiply that number by the number of businesses that are gone, that’s a lot of jobs … it is Millions.”
2. The work is different
Seasonal jobs have almost become synonymous with retail appearances.
There are many traditional cash register jobs out there, but many large employers are adding to their e-commerce workforce. With fewer people coming into stores and more shopping online, businesses are staffed accordingly.
“You’re hiring in different roles than before,” Lee said. “Most of that will be fulfillment centers, sales and logistics.”
Also new this year, some large retailers are hiring cleaners to make sure stores stay “as COVID-free as possible,” he added.
3. Recruiting is like shopping online
Even before the pandemic, companies experimented with virtual recruitment events to find new employees. With effective social distancing measures, this becomes the norm.
“Most of these employers hire virtually. Many of them hire without ever meeting in person, ”said Lee.
For example, Amazon and Kohl adjusted their recruiting events to avoid the crowds. Amazon hosted its second annual Career Day event entirely online – and more than 300,000 people tuned in, the company said. Kohls held his second “National Hiring Day” event by phone to achieve the goal of hiring around 90,000 employees before the holidays.
4. You could earn a higher wage
For the 2020 hiring season, the battle among seasonal employers appears to be more about wages than benefits.
Several large seasonal employers have a minimum wage of $ 15. This is the first hiring season that Best Buy and Target have a company-wide minimum wage of $ 15. Amazon has had a minimum wage of $ 15 as of 2018.
Walmart doesn’t have a minimum wage, but its hiring announcement states that pay for seasonal positions will start at $ 15.75 this year.
According to Lee, national employers are generally forced to offer good wages, partly due to several laws that raised the minimum wage since last year, but also to the fact that workers still have some seasonal job opportunities.
When choosing an employer, “they’ll likely work with whoever pays more,” he said.
5. The competition is high
According to the Ministry of Labor, the current national unemployment rate is around 8% and more than 25 million people are receiving unemployment benefits.
With No additional unemployment benefits expected By November or later, these people will likely be looking for seasonal jobs to make ends meet.
The big picture? Fewer seasonal jobs than in previous years and lots more job seekers.
“Seasonal jobs could be filled much faster this year than in previous years,” said Lee. “It is probably best to start [applying] earlier.”
This article originally appeared on www.thepennyhoarder.com