Last weekend while driving the backroads near Snoqualmie Falls, I noticed, amidst the signs advertising U-Pick pumpkin patches, a billboard announcing "SANTA INC IS HIRING".
I thought WOW, competition for seasonal jobs is gearing up and even the big guy is having to advertise this year. Retailers are planning to hire 100,000's of temporary workers and with the US unemployment near 4.4%, a 16-year low, they are having to offer perks such as retention bonuses and employee discounts lure workers. And it not just the big box retailers hiring, with the rise of e-commerence and over-night delivery the big demand is for warehouse workers and delivery personnel.
Holiday Hiring: 95,000
Pay: Starting $10.20/hour for package handlers and driver helps.
Perks: Some locations offer a retention bonus of $100 to $200/week, plus UPS requires extra workers through to January to handle holiday returns.
Holiday Hiring: 104,500
Perks: 10% merchandise discount, 20% discount on healthy items like fruit and vegetables.
Holiday Hiring: 27,000
Pay: Up to $16/hour
Redial provides e-commerce services for companies like GameStop and DSW, including fulfillment and customer service centers.
Holiday Hiring: 1000's of warehouse positions
Pay: about $13.50/hour
Holiday Hiring: 4,000
Perks: 40% employee discount
Williams-Sonoma includes Pottery Barn and West Elm. Hiring includes stores, distribution centers and work-from-home customer service.
Holiday Hiring: 50,000
Pay: $12-$14/hour for package handlers and $16/hour for drivers
Toys 'R' Us
Holiday Hiring: 13,000
Pay: $9/hour for sales associates and $12/hour for warehouse positions. They will also be hiring for about 1,000 work-from-home call center positions.
Holiday Hiring: 80,000 (mostly in sales positions, but includes 18,000 warehouse and 1,000 on-line and over-the-phone customer service jobs).
Pay: $9/hour for sales and $10/hour for warehouse
Perks: 20% employee discount
Holiday Hiring: 40,000
Pay: estimated $9/hour
Perks: 25% employee discount
Holiday Hiring: 120,000
Pay: $10-$13/hour for warehouse positions and $10/hour for at-home customer service positions
The Bon-Ton Stores (includes Bon-Ton, Boston Store, Bergner's, Carson's, Elder-Beerman, Herberger's and Younkers)
Holiday Hiring: 10,000 sales positions and 500 positions for distribution and e-commerence
Holiday Hiring: 13,650 part-time and full-time sales positions, 2,200 warehouse positions
Holiday Hiring: 6,000 positions in e-commerence warehouse, distribution and logistics
Holiday Hiring: 12,000
1-800-Flowers (including Harry & David, Cheryl's Cookies and The Popcorn Factory)
Holiday Hiring: 8,000 positions mainly in production, retail, distribution and customer service
Gap Inc (including Banana Republic, Athlete and Old Navy)
Perks: 50% employee discount
Holiday Hiring: 67,000 (an average of 50 positions for each of its 1,163 stores) and including 9,300 positions at their distribution centers
Holiday Hiring: 15,000
Perks: 30% employe discount
What could Santa Inc offer to compete I wondered? Unlimited shortbread cookies and eggnog fountains?
Plus were would I fit the Santa organization?
Management? I do have belly that shakes like a bowl full of jelly and I definitely have a twinkle in my eye, but sadly I lack a snowy white beard and my ho-ho-ho's need work.
Care and feeding of Dancer, Prancer et al? Sorry, I'm allergic to reindeer.
I guess that leaves a back office position? Working shoulder to shoulder, so to speak, with the elves on wish fulfillment or loading the sleigh.
Imagine my disappointment when I Googled Santa Inc and found out that it was a excavation and haulage contractor based in Redmond, WA.