November means Thanksgiving, blustery weather, first frosts, and seasonal employment. Thousands of retailers are now in the process of hiring extra staff for temporary positions through the holiday season and into January’s mass merchandise returns. This year, seasonal hiring may be particularly tricky. Low unemployment coupled with good consumer confidence could lift this year’s holiday retail season. But it will also present a headache to companies trying to find good workers to fill seasonal slots in their stores and operations.
According to National Retail Federation (NRF) President and CEO Matthew Shay, the association is predicting that retailers will hire 650,000 seasonal workers for the holidays in 2018, up more than 10 percent from last year’s seasonal hiring. NRF is forecasting that annual retail sales for 2018 will increase at least 4.5 percent over 2017. This number is the highest since 2014, when unemployment was around 6 percent, compared with a nearly five-decade low of 3.7 percent in October of this year.
“Our forecast reflects the overall strength of the industry,” Shay said. “Thanks to a healthy economy and strong consumer confidence, we believe that this holiday season will continue to reflect the growth we’ve seen over the past year.”
That’s the good news. The bad news is…where are retailers going to get all these seasonal employees in a time of record-low unemployment?
Wage Competition Will Be Fierce
With minimum wages edging up in cities around the country and unemployment below four percent, companies will also be paying its seasonal workers more. Amazon has said it plans to finish filling seasonal positions by early December. The company’s new minimum wage of $15 an hour will likely attract the best candidates for seasonal positions.
Who’s Checking the Candidates?
When it gets difficult to hire good workers – especially when those workers are only temporary – it’s tempting to skip some of the bells and whistles of the hiring process. Many companies will look the other way on less-than-ideal candidates, but this could put their business and their other employees at risk. Background checks are important, even for seasonal candidates.
Call the Professionals
A pre-employment background check company can help you safely expand your pool of job applicants while continuing to protect your business and your existing employees.
DataCheck is a full-service background investigation company that specializes in obtaining pertinent information via criminal background checks, past employment, and background history information as well as background investigations for DMV history, credit reports, drug screening, and many other issues.
Contact DataCheck to discuss your employment background investigation needs today.