Seasonal retail jobs shifting to e-commerce roles

Holiday Hiring

More retailers plan to hire seasonal workers this winter, with many looking to fill roles that support online sales.

A survey of 2,300 hiring managers and human resource professionals conducted by CareerBuilder found that 33 percent of companies plan to hire seasonal workers, compared to 26 percent last year. The outlook for permanent work is also positive, with 47 percent of employers expecting to move some seasonal workers to full-time positions, up from 42 percent last year.

Additionally, 37 percent of employers said that they plan to raise pay for the season, a large jump from only 10 percent in 2014.

Macy’s is hiring 85,000 seasonal workers, Target is hiring 70,000 and Wal-Mart is hiring 60,000, according to the Associated Press. GameStop aims to grow seasonal hiring by 12 percent, and Kohl’s is hiring 2 percent more seasonal workers this year, at about 2,000 people.

Amazon is surpassing the traditional retailers, however, and plans to hire 100,000 workers for the holiday season, AP reported. This is a 25 percent increase from last year, when the e-commerce giant hired 80,000 seasonal employees.

The source reported that while the National Retail Federation anticipates that holiday spending will increase only 3.7 percent this year compared to 4.1 percent last year, online spending is predicted to grow faster this season. The NRF predicts online spending will grow 6 percent to 8 percent and reach $105 billion, faster than the 5.8 percent growth seen last year.

The lofty hiring goals of Amazon reflect a shifting holiday shopping landscape, with more customers buying online and retailers recruiting more workers for roles that support online sales.

“It used to be that the bulk of holiday hires would be in customer-facing positions on the sales floor and behind the cash register, said John Challenger, CEO of career transitioning firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, in an interview with AP. “These extra workers would also help pick up the slack in the backroom, helping to receive and stock increased deliveries. Now, as more and more shopping is completed online, the holiday hiring is shifting away from stores and into the warehouses.”

AP reported that leading traditional retailers like Wal-Mart and Target are building large e-commerce facilities and hiring warehouse workers to better support online orders and compete with Amazon.