Hiring for the holiday period is in full swing: How to line up your seasonal gig right now

[tcm id=”2″]

Most of us don’t like to think about winter, Christmas, or the Holiday season until at least after Halloween is over. However, if you are planning to land a seasonal gig for the biggest shopping period of the year, you can’t afford to wait that long.

It’s estimated that nearly 40 per cent of all retail transactions for the year happen in the holiday season. I used to work for a major bookstore chain, and it was in the last three calendar months that we made our profit for the entire year. The silly season is big business.

Retailers started planning their staff increases for the holiday season back in September. By mid October, seasonal hiring is in full swing. View hundreds of retail job openings currently available on CareerBeacon.

Retailers need to fill many different positions this time of year in order to deal with the much higher than usual shopping traffic. Look for opportunities in roles such us sales reps, cashiers, and security, customer service and gift wrapping or for after-hours shifts like stocking shelves, merchandising, and display.

It isn’t just retailers who boost their staff for the fourth quarter of the year. With the rapidly increasing popularity in online shopping, shipping and delivery companies also see a spike in business and have to hire seasonal help as well. For example, Amazon recently announced that they would be hiring 120,000 people for the holiday season in the US alone. View warehouse, logistics, and delivery job opportunities.

How to get hired for the holiday season

One of the most important things employers look for in seasonal hires is availability and flexibility. Their existing staff have priority when choosing their shifts. What is required from the seasonal staff is the ability to help out during peak periods and be available as needed. So, if you want to stand out as a candidate of choice, be open to whatever shifts need filling and don’t be demanding about your hours. You increase your chances of getting a foot in the door by being as positive, easy going, and as available as possible.

Being dependable. Showing up on time or even early for every shift regardless of traffic, crowds, or weather, and staying on for overtime whenever needed will also go a long way to earning you a glowing recommendation at the end of the season – or turning your temporary gig into a permanent position.

Your customer service skills will be at a premium. As festive as the holiday season may seem, it can be extra demanding on retail workers. The line ups are longer, aisles are crowded, and supplies of coveted items start to dwindle. Tempers can flare. Employers will favour candidates who can highlight their ability to stay friendly and helpful under pressure.

Look the part. Especially for retail clothing gigs, you want to show that you know and like the brand you are applying for. In a survey by applicant tracking software firm iCIMS, 78 per cent of retailers agreed that they would be more likely to hire a temporary seasonal worker if they wore their company’s clothing to the interview.

It’s never too late to get hired for the holidays. Even if you miss out on the initial spike in recruitment, you can still find a job. Not everyone hired in the first round is going to work out or stay. The iCIMS research also showed that roughly one quarter (26 per cent) of October seasonal hires do not last throughout the season. Retailers also sometimes underestimate the staff they will need, or people get sick or change plans. So, there is always a turnover happening and new positions opening up.

That being said, the peak holiday hiring period is here. Here’s just a sample of the jobs available on CareerBeacon right now.

Find a job you love

Looking for better work?

Explore job postings, create alerts, save resumes, and more on CareerBeacon.

You may also like: