Guest Column: Retailers are shopping for seasonal workers
By Cesar Alvarado
Regional Public Relations Director, Better Business Bureau
Tis’ the season to hire seasonal employees, according to theNational Retail Federation (NRF). Retailers are expected to hire between 725,000 and 800,000 seasonal workers this holiday, a 14 percent increase from last year. These holiday positions offer hundreds of thousands of people the opportunity to also turn their seasonal position into a long-term career opportunity.
As job seekers start their search for those seasonal positions,Better Business Bureau serving Central, Coastal, Southwest Texas and the Permian Basin recommends those on the job hunt to research potential employers and be cautious of fraudulent job offers.
Here is some advice when seeking out that position:
- Research potential employers first. Find out which companies are offering seasonal employment opportunities. Use bbb.org to find additional information on the company, including how they handle complaints, customer reviews, and other details.
- Be cautious. If you are using online classifieds to search for local job openings, be careful. Scammers flock to these sites, posting fake jobs aimed at stealing money or the identities of job seekers. Watch for advanced fees. Never pay upfront fees when applying, especially for background checks or credit reports.
- Examine the job ad. Watch for misspellings, grammatical errors and unprofessional, amateurish writing in the ads. Also, generic job titles and phrases like “no experience needed,” or “immediate start” should be red flags.
- Protect your identity. Guard your personal information. Identity theft may be the goal. Do not give out bank account information or Social Security numbers until you have confirmed an employer’s legitimacy.
With the holiday season predicted to bring in over 600 billion dollars for retailers, according to NRF, employers may be choosy about candidates they hire. Here are some hints that may give you the upper hand:
- Knowledge is power. Employers want applicants that know their products. If you shop at a certain store frequently, you likely know a lot about the company and the merchandise they sell. This will make you an attractive choice since you have knowledge and passion for the products.
- An available schedule. Hiring managers are going to look favorably at candidates with wide open availability and a flexible schedule. Being seasonal means you will likely be working long hours and on holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.
Showcase your skills. Be prepared for the interview by not only brushing up on brand knowledge, but dressing the part. Focus on explaining your customer service skills. This is a must when dealing with stressed shoppers, long check-out lines and holiday returns.