Holiday hiring is expected to rise as U.S. retailers anticipate increased consumer spending this holiday season, according to a new survey from Aon Hewitt, the global human resources solutions business of Aon plc , and HireVue, an on-demand digital interviewing platform provider. According to the survey, 53 percent of retail managers expect customers to spend more this year, and as a result, 48 percent plan to hire more seasonal workers than they did last year.
The Aon Hewitt-HireVue Holiday Retail survey of over 500 U.S. retail managers also reveals that the tenure for seasonal employees might not expire with the end of the holiday season. More than 80 percent of retail managers with hiring authority believe seasonal hires are the best way to find full-time employee prospects. In fact, 28 percent anticipate offering permanent positions to half or more of their 2012 seasonal hires.
"As the American economy improves, retailers anticipate a busier holiday season than last year, and hiring qualified talent to address this expected demand will be just one of many competing priorities for them," said Melissa Mounce, senior director and global operations leader at Aon Hewitt. "Finding and keeping qualified talent requires having both short- and long-term strategies in place that enable retail managers to easily connect with the right pool of candidates and make more informed hiring decisions based on personality, cultural fit and capability."
Despite seasonal hires providing an applicant pool for permanent employees, the Aon Hewitt-HireVue survey shows the seasonal hiring process remains inefficient. More than 85 percent of retail managers admit they have made a mistake when hiring seasonal staff in previous years, with the top mistakes being not interviewing enough candidates (53 percent), hiring the first person that walks in the store (19 percent) and managing the entire hiring process alone (14 percent). Fifty-five percent of respondents say they have hired sub-par seasonal help just to fill positions, making the process of getting the right people into the right jobs even more challenging at the busiest time of year.
"As everyone ramps up for the holiday selling season, many retail managers don't have enough time to dedicate to the all-important hiring process, which is particularly true during a year when they're expecting an increase in consumer spending," said David Bradford, CEO at HireVue. "But there are some relatively easy steps employers can take to get the right people in the right positions. Hiring managers should branch out from traditional hiring methods and consider new and emerging strategies like pre-screening applicants through video submissions. Our survey showed that 57 percent of retail mangers think it would be easier to hire for seasonal help if they could preview the candidates through pre-recorded video responses."
About the SurveyThe Aon Hewitt-HireVue Holiday Retail Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com) among 500 retail managers with hiring authority, between Oct. 4 and Oct. 15, 2012 using an email invitation and an online survey.
Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 4.4 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.
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