The labor market remains tight, but it’s not stopping major retailers from announcing plans to hire thousands of workers ahead of the holiday shopping season. The ongoing labor shortage continues to complicate hiring efforts. However, retailers still need to meet demand and are increasing benefits and wages in order to do so - especially on the supply chain end.
Even so, the great labor shortage has barely budged. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of retail job openings reached 1.2 million in July compared to 876,000 last year. In July, the retail industry had 906,000 hires, a drop of more than 250,000 from the month prior.
Companies still need to meet demand, with holiday sales expected to rise up to 9% this year, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse. Retailers — such as Amazon, Target, and Walmart— are betting on higher wages, bonuses, and flexibility to garner hires.
- Amazon announced that it will be hiring over 125,000 workers in full- and part-time fulfillment and transportation roles.
- Kohl’s plans to add more than 90,000 employees to its retail stores and warehouses.
- Michael’s is expected to hire around 20,000 workers for its stores and distribution centers, marking a 25 percent increase from 2020.
- DICK’s Sporting Goods is recruiting about 10,000 seasonal employees for retail positions—the highest in their company history.
- Target is preparing to hire 100,000 seasonal workers, giving an additional $2 an hour pay during “peak moments” to hourly in-store, service center, supply chain team members, and select seasonal and headquarter workers.
The next several weeks will be critical as companies ramp up the size of their workforces to meet the holiday rush. Organizations nationwide will have to step up and formulate inventive ways to attract and retain candidates, including but not limited to more flexibility and increased pay. By offering new hires the flexibility to set their schedules, companies will attract a motivated pool of candidates who are ready to give 100 percent, as opposed to a crew of harried workers who are resentful and exhausted by unpredictable schedules. In addition, if companies are serious about capitalizing on significant financial opportunities throughout the holidays, they must adequately scale their workforces with qualified retail workers.
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