As retailers begin gearing up for the holidays, some job hunters could get an early present this year in the form of seasonal work. According to the National Retail Federation, retail sales are expected to increase nearly four (4) percent this holiday season. As many retailers will be looking to add to their employee roster, Better Business Bureaurecommends applicants apply early, research potential employers and come prepared for the interview.
According to release from the National Retail Federation (NRF), retailers are expected to hire between 720,000 and 780,000 seasonal workers this Holiday Season. For the 11.3 million jobseekers in America, a seasonal job may provide some relief and hopefully at least a little bit of cheer.
While this sounds good for those either seeking to supplement their income this season, or to land a job when positions are scarce, job seekers are increasingly becoming prime targets for unscrupulous employment practices.
“Unfortunately, crooks don’t have to work very hard to get rich off of those in search of some extra cash”, said Mechele Agbayani Mills. “That’s why it’s so important for job seekers to make sure they’re applying at a reputable company.”
BBB recommends applying early and taking a few simple steps to increase your chance of landing a legitimate seasonal job.
· Do research ahead of time. Figure out what job suits you best and then identify companies you would like to work for. Check with bbb.org to find trustworthy companies that might be hiring seasonal staff. Many companies direct applicants to their website to apply for a job, so make sure to apply there instead of through a third party Internet site.
· Be suspicious of “too good to be true” job offers. Many consumers use online classifieds to search for local job openings. Unfortunately, scammers flock to these sites, posting job scams aimed at stealing money or the identities of job seekers. Never pay for a background check, a job application or for anything else before you are hired.
· Work where you shop. Employers want applicants that know their products well. So, if you shop at certain stores frequently, chances are you know a lot about the company and the merchandise they sell. This will make you an attractive choice because they won’t have to spend as much time and money training you.
· Be available and flexible. Holiday hiring managers are drawn to candidates who will be available and have a flexible schedule. Seasonal employees will likely find themselves working long, sometimes inconvenient hours and even holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.
· Put your best foot forward. Job hunters need to dress their best and be prepared for the interview. This includes being familiar with the company's brand and its products. Retail job hunters in particular need to focus on impressing potential employers with their customer service skill set – which is a must when dealing with stressed-out shoppers, long check-out lines and day-after-Christmas returns.
To check the reliability of a company and find trustworthy businesses, visit bbb.org. To report a fraud or scam, call the BBB Hotline: (903) 581-8373.