November 29th, 2016

‘Tis the Season for Holiday Hiring

Job candidates will find good news in the outlook for seasonal hiring as 2016 comes to a close.

Overall, the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the U.S. economy added 161,000 jobs in October, with employment ramping up in healthcare, professional and business services. Hourly wages rose in October, too, up $0.10 to $25.92 per hour. That rate is 2.8 percent higher than it was a year ago.

At the same time, holiday spending is projected to be high this year, while labor market conditions remain tight across most areas of the country. The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book report for October reveals upward wage pressure in some sectors and geographic areas, with specific mentions of hiring difficulty in manufacturing, hospitality, healthcare, truck transportation and sales.

Against this backdrop, the fourth quarter is traditionally strong for those seeking part-time, temporary or temp-to-hire opportunities.

What’s more, some workers — particularly those who demonstrate flexibility, efficiency and enthusiasm — may be able to parlay a temporary job into a permanent role. For example, e-commerce firm Amazon transitioned about 14 percent of seasonal positions to regular full-time jobs last year, and expects to build on that trend this year.

It's not too late to land a temp #job this holiday season:

Extra incentives for temps

Many companies offer permanent workers bonus compensation at year’s end. In fact, an estimated 75 percent of human resource (HR) and hiring managers report that their company plans to give employees monetary holiday bonuses this year, according to a recent 2016 Holiday Bonus and Hiring Survey.

Salary or tenure-based bonuses don’t apply to contract employees, unfortunately, although some companies make temps eligible for extra pay tied to milestones, such as the number of hours worked. Nonetheless, it makes sense for employers to compensate and treat their temporary staff well. Perks for seasonal workers may include merit raises, discounts on company products or services, vendor coupons, meal vouchers, gift cards and movie tickets.

Get a jump on getting hired

Is it too late to secure a temporary job for this season? No, but it’s best to get hired early in the cycle.

Half of HR and hiring managers initiated their recruiting process in October (29 percent) and November (21 percent), according to recent research. Candidates who haven’t started their search yet shouldn’t delay any longer. Once January rolls around, new recruiting cycles drop to only 15 percent among HR and hiring managers.

Keep in mind that seasonal employment can help those seeking to re-enter the permanent workforce in terms of rounding out experience in a targeted industry and establishing a network of supervisors and managers who may be able to provide references for future job opportunities.

For specific guidance on seasonal jobs in the professional sector, contact your local Ajilon office.

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