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Holiday shopping means holiday hiring

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( -- The holiday season is barreling toward us at full speed, and for many people, it can only mean one thing: shopping.

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), $435.6 billion was spent in the 2005 retail holiday season and this year's total holiday retail sales are expected to increase 5 percent over last year's levels, bringing holiday spending to $457.4 billion.

But in order for retailers to fulfill consumers' needs (and produce those big revenues), they need manpower.

How many employees do retailers typically hire during the holiday season? According to the NRF, retailers hired an additional 629,000 workers during the holiday season in 2005, nearly 20 percent more than the previous year. For the country's largest retailers, this means thousands of additional team members. For example, Best Buy plans to hire 20,000 to 22,000 people this holiday season.

Seasonal team members are typically hired and trained in October and begin working on the sales floor by Thanksgiving, says Target stores spokeswoman Paula Thornton-Greear. Target hires between 50,000 and 80,000 additional team members during this peak season, or roughly 50 to 80 additional hires per store.

Think you're not the "salesperson" type? There are many different seasonal job options available, including:

  • Hourly sales
  • Customer service
  • Cashier
  • Loss prevention
  • Merchandising
  • Stock
  • There are numerous perks to taking a seasonal job. For one, you'll make money, which will come in handy when you do your holiday shopping. The NRF reports the average hourly retail compensation is $15.47 (benefits included) for nonsupervisory retail employees. Of course with any job, pay is commensurate with experience, job type and area of the country. Retailers also offer store discounts to its employees. And did we mention the social environment and the chance to build your resume and network?

    There are usually opportunities to turn your holiday job into a full-time position. Retailers use this hiring season as a way of finding new talent who will stay on as employees after the holiday season.

    "At Best Buy we look for the best, diverse talent who can bring their individual experiences to work in service of our customers," says Darien Holznagel, territory human resources director for Best Buy. "Seasonal hiring allows us to continue to build our talent pool beyond the holiday season, as we retain much of this talent."

    If all this appeals to you, here are some retailers who are looking for employees now:

    Ann Taylorexternal link

    Best Buyexternal link

    Bombay Companyexternal link

    Coldwater Creekexternal link

    Cost Plus World Marketexternal link

    CVSexternal link

    Factory Card and Party Outletexternal link

    H&Mexternal link

    Helzberg Diamondsexternal link

    Ikeaexternal link

    Limited Brandsexternal link

    Macy'sexternal link

    Men's Wearhouseexternal link

    Michaelsexternal link

    Papyrusexternal link

    Parisianexternal link

    Radio Shackexternal link

    Shopkoexternal link

    Targetexternal link

    Toys R Usexternal link

    Kate Lorenz is the article and advice editor for She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.

    © Copyright 2007. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority

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