We Counted 1.2M Openings. Here’s Who’s Hiring Ahead of the Holidays
As the holidays near, the same companies that you’re browsing through to find gifts and supplies are hiring — in the thousands. And maybe even tens or hundreds of thousands.
Just a week before Halloween, the number of permanent and seasonal positions needing to be filled in advance of the holidays is 1.18 million.
Seasonal jobs can help you recoup costs related to gift giving or traveling, and they may even blossom into a full-time career come January and beyond. But that fact that many of them are permanent extends stability into the new year.
Even in a “normal” year, it’s difficult for companies to find and onboard a fleet of new seasonal recruits. This year hiring for the holidays may prove especially tricky. Long before this hiring season, employers in the service industry experienced what they called a “labor shortage.” Basically, for reasons that are hotly contested, they couldn’t find or hire enough workers.
If you’re looking for seasonal work, this all translates to good news. To entice workers, many employers are offering $15 starting wages or higher, sign-on bonuses and interesting benefits.
Here’s a look at who’s hiring ahead of the holidays and how to apply.
Amazon: 315,000 Permanent and Seasonal Jobs
Since the start of the pandemic, Amazon says it’s hired more than 450,000 people. And it’s adding 315,000 more.
Amazon’s massive hiring spree was announced at the start of hiring season. However, all of the positions announced then were permanent — 165,000 of them. In recent years, Amazon has eschewed hiring temporary positions and instead has focused on permanent ones. However, in mid-October, the company announced it was looking for another 150,000 seasonal workers and sweetening the pot by offering hiring bonuses up to $3,000.
Major corporate and tech openings are in IT, engineering, administrative work, HR, customer service and other areas. The majority of Amazon’s openings are at warehouses and fulfillment centers, which include package sorters, delivery drivers and shoppers (which work in grocery warehouses or embedded in WholeFoods stores).
Amazon boasts a company-wide minimum wage of $15, and all full-time positions are eligible for health care, retirement and paid-time-off benefits starting the first day.
Walmart (and Sam’s Club): 170,000 Seasonal and Permanent Jobs
In recent years, Walmart’s seasonal hiring plans have been modest (20,000 last year) or nonexistent. This hiring season, however, Walmart reigns supreme with the largest hiring initiative we’ve seen so far.
Walmart first unveiled 20,000 permanent openings related to its supply-chain operations and then followed up with 150,000 more openings, “most of them permanent” and full-time, according to the announcement. Openings at Sam’s Club, which Walmart owns, are also included in these figures.
Supply-chain openings include:
- Order fillers
- Forklift operators
- Freight handlers
- Operations managers
In-store positions include:
- Online order fillers
- General merchandise retailers
- Auto-care retailers
- Pharmacy retailers
While Walmart does not provide a company-wide minimum wage, it says its average starting wage for in-store jobs is $16.40 with some paying as much as $34 per hour. For supply-chain positions, the average starting pay is $20.37.
UPS: Over 100,000 Seasonal Jobs
Between October 2021 and January 2022, UPS plans to boost its workforce with more than 100,000 seasonal workers. The shipping and logistics company frequently hires en masse ahead of the holidays to be able to handle an influx of packages.
A slew of part- and full-time roles are available this hiring season. In-demand positions include package handlers, delivery drivers, driver helpers and personal-vehicle delivery drivers (i.e., you use your own vehicle to deliver packages).
Eligible seasonal workers may receive up to $1,300 to offset college expenses, and the company has a track record of offering seasonal workers permanent positions.According to UPS’s hiring announcement, applicants may get a job offer within 30 minutes of applying.
Target: 100,000 Seasonal Jobs
Target is known for its mass hiring sprees each fall. And while 100,000 is a notable sum of openings, it’s 30,000 fewer than the previous two years.
Part- and full-time store-front positions are available, including roles in general merchandise, technology, beauty, guest services, order fulfillment and more. And those embedded Starbucks stores? They need a ton of baristas as well.
All seasonal workers at Target will be eligible for the company-wide $15 minimum wage, a 10% in-store discount (and 20% for certain wellness products) and free mental health counseling. Seasonal workers who are 18 or older also qualify for free virtual doctor visits.
This year, Target is also unveiling a new employee-scheduling app that is intended to make picking up, swapping and dropping shifts much easier.
“Many seasonal team members will have the opportunity to remain with Target following the holiday season,” the company stated in its hiring announcement, and those permanent employees — part or full time — are eligible for Target’s new debt free college program.
United States Postal Service: 100,000 Seasonal and Permanent Jobs
Widespread delays plagued the USPS this past year or so. A new $40 billion investment seeks to remedy that, and a handsome portion of the money is going toward onboarding 100,000 new postal workers.
This hiring initiative has been in place since the start of the year, but it will run until January 2022, and a massive chunk of the hiring will take place in preparation for the holidays.
Open positions include retail-counter clerks, mail couriers (on-foot and by vehicle), tractor trailer delivery drivers, mail-truck drivers, mail processors and more.
Part-time, full-time, permanent and seasonal jobs are available. The USPS doesn’t have its own agency-wide minimum wage, though several job listings for entry-level roles indicated hourly wages start at more than $18.
FedEx: 90,000 Seasonal Jobs
FedEx recently wrapped up its “National Hiring Day” in a bid to start filling 90,000 seasonal openings.
The company is hiring primarily for its “FedEx Ground” division, which specializes in package delivery services at stores and warehouses. Store-front customer service reps, truck drivers, package handlers, operations managers are a few of the many in-demand positions.
FedEx does not have a company-wide minimum wage, but according to PayScale, the average FedEx Ground wage is about $16 — but can range from $10 to $33 depending on the position.
Kohl’s: 90,000 Seasonal Jobs
Big box retailer Kohl’s is ramping up recruitment in its stores, distribution warehouses and e-commerce fulfillment centers. The company said it’s giving out bonuses of $100 to $400 for all hourly workers scheduled to work during the holidays.
Seasonal positions include stockroom, sales and customer-service workers, team leaders and general warehouse workers. Listings for in-store positions generally do not include pay. However, several listings for seasonal warehouse roles indicate wages between $14 and $17.
All hourly workers get a discount of at least 15% (35% on certain days), and those who work at least 30 hours per week can qualify for health insurance — seasonal workers included.
Kohl’s hiring announcement also suggests seasonal gigs have the opportunity to develop into permanent roles. Permanent employees who work at least 30 hours per week can also get dental and vision insurance.
Apply: www.careers.kohls.com or text APPLY to 24508
Macy’s Inc.: 76,000 Seasonal and Permanent Jobs
Macy’s seasonal hiring surge is nearing pre-pandemic levels. Macy’s Inc. comprises Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Bluemercury stores.
Last year, ostensibly due to the pandemic, the corporation did not announce a major recruitment spree ahead of the holidays.
This year, its announcement is big — and quite specific:
- Roughly 48,000 positions are seasonal.
- 28,000 positions are expected to become permanent.
- About 21,000 jobs are fulfillment-center related.
- Approximately 54,415 positions will be in-store (50,000 in Macy’s, 4,100 in Bloomingdale’s and 315 in Bluemercury).
- The remainder of the positions will be focused on tech and customer-service for Macy’s credit-card holders.
In-store positions are related to customer-experience, sales, merchandise and operations, and key fulfillment-center openings are for general warehouse workers, package pickers and forklift operators. Part- and full-time jobs are available.
Macy’s Inc. did not share wage or benefits information for seasonal positions in its announcement, and that information isn’t included on seasonal job listings either.
Publix: 30,000 Permanent Jobs
Publix, a Florida-based grocery chain with more than 1,280 stores across seven Southeast states, is looking to add 30,000 employees by the end of 2021.
The popular supermarket chain says its fourth-quarter hiring spree includes positions at its stores, distribution centers and manufacturing facilities. The company didn’t specify the starting pay or salary range for new positions. A search on the company’s career portal, jobs.publix.com, listed an Orlando warehouse select position — which involves pulling products for stores — with a base pay of $20.80 to $30 an hour.
Many companies are attempting to bolster their workforce ahead of the holidays, but Publix is among a growing trend of businesses hiring mostly permanent, nonseasonal employees this year. Major retailers like Amazon and Walmart also recently announced hundreds of thousands of new nonseasonal roles for those interested in a gig that could last into 2022 and beyond.
“As we continue to grow, having a dedicated team ready to meet our needs is vitally important,” said Publix Vice President of Human Resources Marcy Benton in a hiring announcement.
Permanent jobs at Publix include some attractive perks, including:
- Employee stock ownership plan that contributes Publix stock to associates each year at no cost to them.
- Annual holiday cash bonuses.
- 401(k) with a company match.
- Group health plan (with prescription benefits), dental plan and vision plan.
- Free flu shots.
- Tuition reimbursement benefits.
Publix encourages, but doesn’t require, new employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Associates who get the vaccine can receive a $125 Publix gift card.
Aldi: 20,000 Permanent Jobs
Fueled by “aggressive” growth, the discount grocer Aldi is hiring 20,000 workers. While the timing of Aldi’s announcement comes during peak holiday hiring season, these positions will be permanent.
The openings comprise part- and full-time positions. Cashiers, general grocery workers, warehouse workers and stockers are especially in demand.
Aldi is also raising wages so that its average starting pay is $15 for grocery-store positions and $19 for warehouse positions, the company said in the announcement.
Aldi employees are eligible for health benefits (but not insurance), paid time off and retirement plans.
Michaels: 20,000 Seasonal Jobs
Surpassing last year’s recruitment numbers, the arts-and-crafts retailer Michaels plans to bring on 20,000 new seasonal workers this year. It hired 16,000 seasonal workers last year.
In-store positions include cashiers, customer-service and sales team members, framers, stockers and more. Some positions are also available at Michaels’ distribution and support centers.
Michaels doesn’t offer a company-wide minimum wage, and pay isn’t included on most listings. Some warehouse jobs start between $16 and $17 an hour. According to Glassdoor wage data, retail and sales positions typically start around $10 or $11.
Seasonal workers are eligible for a 30% in-store discount but do not qualify for permanent employee benefits. However, the company stated in its hiring announcement that more than 50% of seasonal workers stayed on permanently last year.
Williams-Sonoma: 7,000 seasonal WFH Jobs
Williams-Sonoma — owner of Pottery Barn, West Elm and its flagship brand stores — is looking to fill 7,000 seasonal work-from-home customer service positions between now and the end of November.
Customer service agents will be trained to take calls and assist customers with placing orders, facilitating returns, locating products and scheduling deliveries.
Other job duties include addressing customer questions and concerns, providing product information and checking inventory.
Even though these jobs are fully remote, they’re not available everywhere. You must live in one of the following 12 states to apply: Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Idaho, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Virgina or Utah.
You’ll need a high school diploma plus a phone and an up-to-date computer or laptop with Windows 8.1, Windows 10, or macOS 10.15 or newer. You’ll also need anti-virus software, a webcam and a wired USB headset with a microphone.
These remote positions don’t allow you to use WiFi for security reasons, so you’ll need an ethernet cable hardwired into your modem/router or a USB-to-Ethernet converter.
Strong communication skills are a must for these roles, and it’s helpful if you have experience working a performance-based or metric-driven job.
Finally, there’s three weeks of paid at-home training, and 100% attendance is required.
Apply: Williams-Sonoma job portal
Adam Hardy is a former staff writer for The Penny Hoarder who specializes in stories on the gig economy. Staff writer Rachel Christian also contributed to this report.