It may not be your ultimate dream job, and it may not come with benefits, but as many as 600,000 new holiday jobs are opening up this season, and many employers estimate they'll keep about 10 percent of the temporary workers on for full-time positions after the last presents have been unwrapped and the last New Year's toast has been made.
But if you want to take a seasonal crack at employment, you better act fast, as in right now. As soon as you're done reading this, arm yourself with resumes, fix yourself up, run down to the nearest location of the businesses listed below, and apply in person. Although an estimated 150,900 new positions have been filled already (that's three times as many as the same time last year) many companies, especially retailers, are currently in a frenzy to have enough employees in place for Black Friday.
The following companies are the most likely to be in need of employees immediately:
They plan on taking an additional 65,000 workers this year for part-time positions in retail sales, gift wrapping, stocking, etc. Last year at this time, Sharon Montoya was so desperate to find holiday work she applied to Macy's for a gift wrapping position, but when the HR interviewer saw how well-dressed she was and that she had a college degree, they put her on the sales floor, which paid more. After Christmas they offered her a full time position managing the department, and now she has moved up to a buyer's position, and gets to be home with her family on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
This delivery company is planning on hiring about 50,000 new employees to cover the holiday rush caused by increasing numbers of online shoppers. Most temporary positions start around $10 per hour, but can go higher. They include driver helpers, package sorters, etc. "Ted," a UPS driver not at liberty to speak for the company, says he'll happily recommend a good assistant for full time work if he or she can really pull their weight.
3. Best Buy:
This, one of the last remaining big box appliance and electronics chains, expects to hire 39,000 seasonal workers. That's the most they've hired since 2006. A savvy, working knowledge of computers, electronics or appliances could secure you a position after the holidays, as helpful, informative sales associates are always in demand.
4. Toys 'R' Us:
In addition to their large destination stores, the company is opening 6,000 "pop up," or temporary locations in vacant mall spaces all over the country. This holiday season they'll be hiring an additional 35,000 managers, sales associates, cashiers, shelf stockers, various customer service helpers and back-room stockers.
They plan on bringing on 30,000 temporary workers to help with sales, stocking, gift wrap, cleaning, straightening and hanging, check out, etc. They're also known for recognizing talented, dedicated workers and keeping them on after the holidays.
This popular crafts chain intends to bring on 10,000 seasonal workers, up from 7,500 last year. Those who do crafts as a hobby can make them pay off this holiday season, as the most likely to be hired are those who know how to use their products.
7. Hickory Farms:
This is another retailer that boosts its mall profile with "pop up" stores around the holidays. They will be filling at least 10,000 positions as gift wrappers, cashiers, sales associates and sample personnel.
Other companies that plan to bring on at least 1,000 additional workers this holiday season include:
- See's Candies
- Olan Mills Photography Studios
- AT&T Retail stores
- Amusement Parks and Tourist Attractions
The single most important qualification right now
Know that you won't be alone in applying for these jobs, but the one characteristic that will make you stand out from all the others is flexibility -- which in this case translates into a willingness to work early in the morning, late at night and on the holidays themselves. State right up front that you will work Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas Eve, Dec. 26 and New Year's Eve -- even Christmas Day, if they're open. Students who want to earn extra money during their holiday vacations but need travel time and don't want work on the actual holidays, are not likely to get those coveted positions.
Don't pay attention to the nay-sayers who tell you it's already too late. At least these companies will have a favorable impression and your resume on file, so that if any of the employees they already hired can't fulfill their obligations at the last minute, you can be their go-to guy or girl.