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Eye on Retail: Hourly seasonal hires could receive more perks this year

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

There is good news for temporary hourly workers this holiday season.

Employers, including retailers, hotels, and restaurants, said they expect to fill more jobs and offer significantly higher wages than they did last year, a move they hope will help attract seasonal workers in the fourth quarter, according to the “2018 Annual Holiday Hiring Survey,” from Snag, a marketplace for hourly work.

The average hourly wage for seasonal workers is expected to jump nearly 32%, from $11.70 in 2017 to $15.40 this year. Retail is leading the way in expected seasonal wage growth, jumping by as much as 54%. Hospitality companies follow at 51%, and restaurant wages will rise around 33%.

In addition to hiring in the tightest labor market in nearly two decades, employers are expecting to face fierce competition to snag skilled hourly employees. As a result, companies are using different tactics to attract candidates. In addition to paying more, employers will begin recruiting earlier than usual in order to attract talent. A majority of employers (77%) will also offer perks and benefits, including paid time off, training opportunities, childcare, tuition stipends, health insurance, and even transportation reimbursement, the study revealed.

Additional findings include:

• The number of companies that began recruiting in August or earlier more than doubled compared with last year.
• Managing employee schedules during the holiday period is expected to be one of the biggest challenges, according to 54% of employers.
• The lack of qualified workers and competition from other employers are the major challenges employers are facing as they seek to fill jobs.
• More than a third (37%) of employers expect to rehire between one and five employees from the 2017 holiday season.
• A majority of employers (62%) have increased their use of social media to recruit hourly workers this year.

“A growing number of hourly employers understand that having the best workers improves the customer experience and increases revenue,” said Snag CEO Fabio Rosati. “In order to attract and retain the most qualified seasonal workers, many companies are stepping up their game and offering more hours and benefits, higher wages, and flexible schedules.”

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