Holiday workers expected to be in high demand again this season

It’s not even Halloween, but already the end of year holiday shopping season has employers competing - for seasonal employees.

Following a hiring shortage last year, industry insiders are bracing for it to be even tougher this year. Experts say this is one of the ripple of effects of a tight unemployment rate. 

One expert told Fox 9 if you are looking for work or already work in retail, you have a big advantage right now. 

“It’s a true war for talent at all skill levels,” said Ted Chalupsky, owner of The Right Staff, a professional staffing and recruiting agency.

Regardless the retailer, it’s forecasted it is going to be even easier for people this year to find holiday seasonal work than last year, but it will be harder for the companies doing the hiring. A study released last month by the global consulting firm Korn Ferry found last holiday season nearly 23 percent of retailers were not able to fill as many positions as they wanted. Chalupsky says that doesn’t surprise him at all. 

“It’s probably going to be much more intense this year than it was last,” he said.

He believes there will be more announcements similar to Amazon, which said Tuesday it is going be starting entry positions at $15 an hour. Meanwhile, Target previously announced it aims to hire 120,000 season team members, starting at $12 an hour.  

“What we are advising our clients - they have to be at minimum $15 an hour if they want to attract and retain people on the long-term,” said Chalupsky. “They should be paying $16 to $18 an hour … If there’s not people there to help out and answer questions, many people are just going to go online and figure ‘I can find the answers there.’”

The balance between online shopping and brick and mortar employees needs is a challenge for every retailer in the fourth quarter. At The Right Staff, employees are already looking to hire more help of their own. Chalupsky says when retailers get more desperate toward the end of the year - they’ll be calling. 

“From an employee’s situation, they are in a no-lose situation right now,” he said. “But I keep telling people, two years from now it maybe a whole different story because we’ve seen this scenario before.”

Chalupsky adds if you are looking for work over the holiday that you should be the one shopping around. He adds to do your homework about the company you would like to work for because companies will likely be turning many of their season positions into full-time positions in early 2019.