LIMA — Due to an expected increase in sales during the holiday season, national retailers such as Macy’s, T.J. Maxx and Big R are looking to hire 10 percent more temporary workers than in 2017, according to National Retail Federation President and Chief Executive Officer Matthew Shay.
NRF expects retailers will hire between 585,000 and 650,000 temporary workers this holiday season. During the 2017 hiring season retailers hired 582,500 employees.
“Our forecast reflects the overall strength of the industry,” Shay said in a news release. “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. While there is concern about the impacts of an escalating trade war, we are optimistic that the pace of economic activity will continue to increase through the end of the year.”
HIRING IN LIMA
As of Friday, there were 106 temporary jobs available within a 10-mile radius of Lima, according to the OhioMeansJobs website.
Joe Patton, executive director of OhioMeansJobs Allen County/Job and Family Services said that October is a great time for people to begin applying for seasonal jobs.
Job seekers who go to the Allen County Job and Family Services office, 1501 S. Dixie Highway, will be matched with a job coach, who will help them explore available options and help place them in a position that suits them best.
A job coach will help contact employers who are hiring, contact hiring agencies such as Spherion and will send over a job seeker’s resume to set up a time for an interview, said Patton.
“We’re here to help employers with hiring events, promote what they are looking for and if they are looking for part time help we are definitely here to help,” said Patton. “Retail work is great for everyone, especially younger folks, because it gives them a customer service experience which is valuable for any position across the board.”
Spherion of Lima, 216 N Elizabeth St., is helping staff seasonal employees for the Best Buy Distribution Center, 14401 County Road 212, Findlay. The distribution center is looking to staff about 600 employees for the holiday season.
“When you get paid a decent amount of money in that short amount of time, you would be surprised with the amount of people who are interested in going there,” said Karen Grothouse, Spherion of Lima CEO.
Grothouse admits that this year is the first time in 18 years that it has been difficult to fill positions for the holiday season.
“We have never struggled,” Grothouse said. “We have always met our goals. We are concerned this year because there are so many job opportunities available. The economy is good which means more people will probably be buying more products this year.”
Job seekers who are looking for a seasonal job can go the Spherion website, www.applyohio.com, and apply for jobs of interest. It takes about 2 minutes to fill out the information, and an agent from Spherion will contact the individual to set up orientation and a interview, said Grothouse.
“We have so many more varieties of jobs that we can place you at,” Grothouse said. “We can place you in a job that is fit for you. Also if someone does not have experience or has a negative experience and is ready to turn their life around, we can help them as well.”
Grothouse said the main objective is provide as many people who want jobs with positions in the area.
“Today we don’t want anyone not to work, if they want to work,” Grothouse said. “That’s an important accomplishment, to be able to have a reason to get up in the morning. That’s a win, win situation.”
Lima-area employers’ seasonal hiring
T.J. Max Corporate Communications Manager Bethany Corcetti said T.J. Maxx’s seasonal hiring will most likely fall in line with previous years. Anyone who is looking to apply is encouraged to apply in the store.
“We are again staffing up for the holiday season, and although we aren’t providing the specific number of additional holiday associates we expect to hire, our store base continues to grow, and holiday staffing in stores varies by location and by region,” said Corcetti.
For the second year in a row, Walmart will be provide current associates with the hours available during the holidays.
“It’s worked very well for us, and the feedback from customers and associates has been overwhelming positive, which is why we will do this again during the upcoming holiday season,” said Erica Jones, Walmart Corporate Communications.
Macy’s does not have a specific number of jobs it hopes to hire, but it is looking to hire a variety of positions dealing with customers and some behind the scenes, said Carolyn Ng, Macy’s manager of media relations. Applicants can apply online at Macysjobs.com
“Our seasonal hires help us provide the best experience for our customers,” Ng said. “While some retail experience is helpful, we are looking for individuals with a great attitude who are enthusiastic about helping serve customers.
Prospective employees are not required to have experience.
“We prepare our new colleagues in every position to be successful, empowering them to do what’s right for the customer,” Ng said.
This year seasonal employees will qualify for a 20 percent merchandise discount on their purchases at Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s Backstage stores. Seasonal employees will also be eligible for the Path to Growth Incentive, a sales incentive for sales employees.
Big R Store Director Steve Cope said the location on 975 N. Cable Road is looking to hire 10 or more employees during this holiday season for stocking crew, apparel, cashier, farm supplies and pet department positions. Applicants can apply at Bigr.com
Big R does not require applicants to have a high school diploma or have prior retail experience. The store is hiring applicants who are 16 years of age or older.
Employee incentives include a 20 percent discount off of store merchandise, a flexible schedule and potential Christmas bonuses. There is also potential for seasonal employees to become full-time once the holiday season is over.
“This is my third year here, and we are killing and beating last year’s sales numbers,” Cope said. “We have been crazy busy. But its a great place to work because we have a lot of fun.”
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews