Seasonal work can lead to permanent employment

Many seasonal retail workers could find themselves with lasting jobs after this year’s holidays are past.

Retailers including Wal-Mart, Target and have announced plans to convert thousands of the temporary workers they are hiring for the November-December shopping season into permanent employees.

Target Corp. offered more than a third of last year’s seasonal workers year-round positions at its company, and Toys “R” Us retained 15 percent of its seasonal workforce after the holidays, according to the National Retail Federation. The practice allows retailers to reward their best associates with job opportunities, while saving themselves the expense of recruiting and training new workers, federation officials said.

Seasonal hiring is a “great opportunity to find good people, and as we do, make those opportunities available to move from temp to part-time to full-time, and be promoted up into the jobs with more responsibility,” said Kory Lundberg, a Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spokesman.

Wal-Mart announced plans to hire 55,000 seasonal workers this year. The company also plans to transition more than 35,000 associates from temporary to part-time, and another 35,000 from part-time to full-time.

Online retail giant last week announced that its creating more than 70,000 full-time seasonal jobs at its U.S. fulfillment centers this holiday season, a 40 percent increase over last year.

Amazon this year has converted more than 7,000 temporary U.S. employees into full-time regular roles, and the company intends to convert thousands more after this holiday season, said Dave Clark, vice president of worldwide operations and customer service.

“Each year, seasonal jobs lead to thousands of long-term, full-time roles in our sites,” Clark said in a statement. The Seattle-based company has fulfillment centers in 15 states, including four centers in Indiana.

Target plans to hire about 70,000 seasonal workers, down from 88,000 last year. However, the company plans to offer its year-round employees from 5 to 10 percent more hours for the holiday season.

Many seasonal workers may not have been seeking a job earlier in the year, but now are looking to earn extra money for the holidays, Lundberg said.

Seasonal employment allows them to experience what it’s like to work for a retailer such as Wal-Mart, and many will then transition to regular roles because they enjoy the paycheck, the work environment or working with the customers, he said.

“Every year we do see a number of the temporary folks who come on for the holidays stay on, just because there are needs in the store with turnover and store growth and things like that,” Lundberg said.

Seasonal employment also can lead to a career, such as a temporary worker last year in Denver who is now managing the toy department, or a store manager in Miami who started as a temp 16 years ago, he said.

“A lot of people find it an opportunity to get their foot in the door, and then they can go as far as they want to in terms of what they are looking to do with their work career,” Lundberg said.

Overall holiday hiring this year could reach the 700,000 range, but job gains may struggle to match the 751,800 seasonal workers added last year between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, according to a report from consultants Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. Last year’s seasonal hiring represented a 12-year high, the firm said.

The National Retail Federation last week forecast holiday season sales of $602.1 billion, a slight increase of 3.9 percent over 2012’s actual 3.5 sales growth in the months of November and December. The forecast is higher than the 10-year average holiday sales growth of 3.3 percent.

The holiday season can account for 20 percent to 40 percent of a retailer’s annual sales, and accounts for about 20 percent of total industry annual sales, federation officials said.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Business

Fairborn first in nation to test Air Force tech for police, fire
Fairborn first in nation to test Air Force tech for police, fire

The city of Fairborn will be the first municipality in the nation to test Air Force Research Laboratory-developed technology to separate radio chatter that tends to get jumbled in emergency situations, officials say. GlobalFlyte, a self-described transformative technology firm, developed the integrated management system from both Air Force research...
La Quinta hotels to be acquired in nearly $2B deal
La Quinta hotels to be acquired in nearly $2B deal

Wyndham Worldwide Corp. and La Quinta Holdings Inc. said Thursday they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Wyndham will acquire La Quinta’s hotel franchise and hotel management businesses for $1.95 billion cash. There is a La Quinta Inn & Suites in Tipp City and another in Fairborn. A Wingate by Wyndham is also located in Fairborn...
Columbus named finalist for second Amazon headquarters
Columbus named finalist for second Amazon headquarters

Amazon has chosen finalists for its second headquarters in North America. Amazon reviewed 238 proposals from across the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to be the home of its second headquarters in North America. Today, Amazon announced it has chosen the following 20 metropolitan areas to move to the next phase of the process: - Atlanta, GA - Austin, TX...
Quitting smoking? Local Walmart stores to offer free health screenings
Quitting smoking? Local Walmart stores to offer free health screenings

Local Walmart stores are making it easier to get healthy in 2018. Dayton area Walmart stores will be hosting the first Walmart Wellness Day event of the year on Saturday. The free health screening event provides residents an opportunity to learn health information about themselves. Free screenings will measure:Blood glucose Blood pressure Body mass...
‘Bad news’ for the city: 7 reactions to Good Samaritan Hospital’s closure
‘Bad news’ for the city: 7 reactions to Good Samaritan Hospital’s closure

Premier Health announced Wednesday that Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton will close by the end of the year, shocking employees and community members in the Miami Valley. Good Samaritan Hospital will close by the end of 2018, impacting about 1,600 employees. The news came as a surprise to city officials, hospital employees and patients. Premier...
More Stories