Much is up in the air this year, but here's something you can count on: seasonal jobs. Lots of them.
As we head into the holiday season, major employers are recruiting en masse just like previous years. And in several cases, they have the same -- or even more -- openings than last year.
The Penny Hoarder tracked hiring initiatives by well-known retailers that typically go on hiring sprees this time of year. We tallied more than half a million jobs -- many starting at $15 an hour.
Here's a look at who's got the jobs this year, how to apply and how to keep the gig after the holidays are over.
Target: 130,000 Seasonal Jobs
Target is a top seasonal employer, recruiting in the six figures each year. In its 2020 hiring announcement, Target did not mention a hard number but said it plans to recruit about the same amount of seasonal workers as last year, which was 130,000.
A slew of in-store and distribution center jobs are available. In-store gigs include retail associates, cashiers and Starbucks baristas. The main distribution center jobs are general warehouse workers, packers and fulfillment center workers.
New this year is the companywide implementation of a $15 minimum wage. Seasonal workers also get some benefits, such as employee discounts and free virtual doctor's visits.
Here's a closer look at Target's seasonal hiring plans:
How to apply: Use Target's online job board.
Wages: $15 or more.
Amazon: 100,000 Permanent Jobs
With Amazon's latest hiring announcement, the company's workforce is inching toward the one million mark, second only to Walmart. The 100,000 new jobs are primarily in delivery, logistics and grocery shopping roles.
Openings include full- and part-time positions in Amazon warehouses, Prime Now and Whole Foods locations. According to job listings, no resume is required to apply, and you may start working in as little as one week.
Amazon has a companywide $15 minimum wage. In some cities, Amazon will pay signing bonuses of up to $1,000.
Although the announcement comes at the onset of hiring season, an Amazon spokesperson told The Penny Hoarder that these jobs are permanent. The company has not yet announced any temporary, seasonal positions. More jobs are likely coming.
Here's a closer look at Amazon's hiring spree:
How to apply: Use Amazon's job board for part- and full-time jobs. For delivery gigs, sign up through the Amazon Flex app.
Wages: $15 or more.
UPS: 100,000 Seasonal Jobs
Despite the pandemic, UPS expects a strong holiday season this year, with its usual 20-million-per-day package rate slated to double in the coming months.
To handle the surge, the company plans to hire 100,000 part- and full-time seasonal workers. It hired the same number in 2018 and 2019.
Seasonal UPS gigs fall into three main categories: drivers, driver helpers and package handlers. According to the job listings, these positions are entry level, though driving-related jobs have additional requirements unrelated to work experience.
For driving positions, you need a valid U.S. driver's license and may need to meet certain age requirements and pass an exam by the Department of Transportation.
UPS boasts a strong culture of internal promotion and says about 35% of seasonal package handlers end up moving into permanent positions.
Here's a closer look at UPS' seasonal jobs:
How to apply: Use UPS' online job board or visit your local UPS branch.
Wages: $11 to $21, according to Glassdoor estimates.
Kohl's: About 90,000 Seasonal Jobs
This year, Kohl's expects a surge in online orders and plans to staff its stores and distribution centers accordingly.
The department store did not share a hard number in its hiring announcement, but a spokesperson told The Penny Hoarder that seasonal hiring will be comparable to past holiday seasons. Kohl's hired more than 90,000 seasonal workers the past two years.
Kohl's splits its seasonal jobs into two categories: store jobs and distribution jobs.
Store jobs include retail sales and fulfillment associates. Distribution jobs include warehouse workers and loss prevention associates. All positions are entry level, though some relevant experience is preferred.
Here's a closer look at Kohl's seasonal hiring initiative:
How to apply: Use Kohl's seasonal job board or text APPLY to 24508.
Wages: About $10, according to Glassdoor and Indeed.
FedEx: 70,000 Seasonal Jobs
FedEx expects this holiday season to be busier than most, resulting in a need for 27% more seasonal workers.
In a brief statement, FedEx announced it's hiring 70,000 new workers ahead of the holidays, with a focus on FedEx Ground operations. It hired 55,000 last year.
FedEx Ground jobs primarily consist of general warehouse workers, forklift operators and package handlers, though the company's job board shows many immediate openings in logistics and retail positions as well. Full- and part-time jobs are available.
According to job listings, if you work weekends as a package handler, you'll get a $3-per-hour boost.
How to apply: Use FedEx's online job board.
Wages: $13.50 to $22, based on Glassdoor estimates and job listings.
Walmart: 20,000 Seasonal Jobs
Due to a surge in online orders spurred by the pandemic, Walmart expects to fill about 20,000 new seasonal roles at its e-commerce fulfillment centers.
Walmart has far fewer fulfillment centers than retail stores, which limits the hiring spree to a dozen states: California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Texas.
Seasonal positions include freight loaders, order fillers and packers; and forklift, pallet-jack and other industrial equipment operators.
Walmart doesn't have a companywide minimum wage, but seasonal wages start at $15.75, according to its hiring announcement.
Walmart also stated that it's continuously recruiting part- and full-time workers for permanent in-store roles.
Here's a closer look at Walmart's seasonal hiring efforts:
How to apply: View job descriptions and apply via Walmart's seasonal job board -- or by texting FC to 240240.
Wages: $15.75 to $23.75.
Michael's: 16,000 Seasonal Jobs
This year, arts and crafts retailer Michael's is focusing on staffing its stores to fulfill pickup orders that are placed online. Its job portal indicates a demand for workers in retail sales, stocking, management and framing.
Seasonal employment at Michael's has a high chance of turning permanent. The company said it retained the majority of seasonal workers it hired last year.
All Michael's employees get a 30% discount.
How to apply: Use Michael's career page to find seasonal jobs.
Wages: About $9 an hour, according to Glassdoor.
1-800-Flowers.com: 10,000 Seasonal Jobs (Remote Options)
Gourmet food and gift provider 1-800-Flowers.com is quadrupling its workforce with the recruitment of 10,000 seasonal workers. The parent company is also hiring at The Popcorn Factory, Cheryl's Cookies, Harry & David and other brands.
Part- and full-time seasonal gigs are available mostly in production, gift assembly, customer service, and distribution- and fulfillment-center operations.
The majority of the jobs are on-site in Illinois, Ohio and Oregon, but about 10% are available remotely. Chris McCann, the company's CEO, told New York's Newsday that 1,000 customer service positions will be home-based.
Employees receive company discounts, and some positions have signing bonuses.
How to apply: Use 1-800-Flowers' seasonal job board for on-site and remote jobs.
Wages: $10 to $15, based on Glassdoor estimates and job listings.
Gap Inc.: At least 10,000 Seasonal Jobs (Remote Options)
Gap Inc. is bringing on seasonal workers in storefronts, contact centers and distribution centers, and some gigs are remote.
Gap Inc. is hiring at Gap storefronts, as well as its sister brands Old Navy, Athletica, Janie and Jack, Banana Republic and Intermix. In-store jobs are mostly retail sales and stocking.
Distribution center positions include general warehouse workers and merchandise handlers. Professional technicians and other senior positions are available as well.
Contact centers comprise customer support, fraud and chat specialists and may be remote or on-site. Remote positions require at least a high school diploma and some customer service experience. In some cases, a bachelor's degree and additional experience is required.
Gap's hiring announcement didn't include how many seasonal workers are needed. A spokesperson told The Penny Hoarder that the company is filling "more than 10,000" total seasonal jobs but did not specify how many are remote.
How to apply: Use Gap's seasonal job board.
Wages: $11 to $18, according to Glassdoor estimates.
DHL: 7,000 Seasonal Jobs
International shipping and logistics company DHL is no stranger to the surge in e-commerce. To meet that demand, it expects to recruit 7,000 seasonal workers in North America.
General warehouse workers, order pickers, material handlers and forklift operators represent most seasonal gigs. Most jobs are entry level. A high school diploma is required for some, and you may need to earn a forklift credential over the course of employment.
Depending on the job, you may need to complete a virtual job tryout during the application process. The tryout is part job preview and part assessment.
Several listings mentioned an overtime requirement, and some positions are eligible for peak wage bonuses that boost pay up to $17.75 an hour.
How to apply: Use DHL's online job board.
Wages: $14 to $17.75, according to Glassdoor and seasonal job listings.
Best Buy: At Least 2,000 Seasonal Jobs
Best Buy is looking to hire sales and customer service agents, automobile installation technicians, distribution center workers and more.
The company mentioned it needs "thousands" of workers but didn't provide a specific number. All employees -- including seasonal workers -- are eligible for a 401(k) plan and employee discounts. Plus, this year, the company implemented a $15 minimum wage.
Best Buy's seasonal positions are entry level. Some customer service experience is preferred.
For the automobile installation technicians openings, a Mobile Electronics Certified Professional credential is needed, but the program can be completed after onboarding. A valid driver's license is also required.
Here's a closer look at Best Buy's seasonal recruitment blitz:
How to apply: Use Best Buy's online job board or text BBYJOBS to 97211.
Wages: $15 or more.
How to Keep That Job Once the Season Winds Down
Your holiday gig doesn't have to have a hard end date. It's possible to turn seasonal positions into permanent ones.
Treat the seasonal gig like an extended interview. Many seasonal employers promote internally, and your manager may already be drafting a short list of potential permanent candidates. If you approach the seasonal position as a pathway to a new job from the get-go, you're sure to be on the top of the list.
Prove yourself. The temporary nature of seasonal gigs may tempt workers not to take them very seriously. Don't fall into that trap. Basic attributes like a strong work ethic, punctuality and flexibility go a long way.
Ask your supervisor directly about staying on. Letting your boss know that you want to stay on is the most overt step you can take to secure a permanent position. Since seasonal jobs are fast-paced, consider asking your boss to chat for five or 10 minutes after your shift to avoid any awkward interruptions. Make this move at least a few weeks into your gig so you can point to your proven track record.
-- This story was originally published by The Penny Hoarder.
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