This holiday season, employers are getting creative to fill thousands of seasonal job openings.
One new trend: on-the-spot seasonal hiring events, where job seekers can walk in to local retail stores and walk out with a holiday side gig. In October, four national retailers are jumping on the trend to kick-start their recruitment efforts in preparation for the holiday season.
The Penny Hoarder has tallied almost a half-million seasonal job openings available this fall at big-name national employers.
Companies Hosting Upcoming Seasonal Hiring Events
Here’s where and when job seekers can snag a retail gig before the holidays.
Gap Inc., Oct. 5
Gap Inc. is slated to hire more than 30,000 seasonal workers this year across all brands, including Athleta, Banana Republic, Gap, Janie and Jack, and Old Navy.
On Oct. 5, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. local time, candidates can visit their local Gap Inc. stores to interview on-the-spot for a seasonal position. The company expects to hire as many as 5,000 candidates during the one-day event.
Call centers and distribution facilities in Arizona, California, Ohio, New York and Tennessee are also participating. The company recommends that job seekers review the seasonal hiring landing page to find their nearest location and apply online before attending the event.
Seasonal workers are eligible for store brand discounts of up to 50%.
Last year, Gap Inc. hired an estimated 90,000 seasonal employees.
“Our total is lower this year compared to last year, because we are investing in our current employee base and offering them the opportunity to pick up more hours during the holiday season,” a spokesperson told The Penny Hoarder, “something many of our employees have been asking for.”
Kohl’s, Oct. 5
Kohl’s declared Oct. 5 its first-ever National Hiring Day.
All company department stores, distribution centers and e-commerce fulfillment hubs are participating in the day-long event, which seeks to put a 5,000-person dent in its overall goal of hiring 90,000 seasonal employees.
According to the event announcement, candidates can apply online or in-store and use the seasonal hiring event as an opportunity to score an interview. If all goes well, “receive a verbal offer on the spot.”
In-store employees receive a 15% discount, and all seasonal workers are paid on a weekly basis. Seasonal positions may translate into long-term roles.
Best Buy, Oct. 10 and 11
All Best Buy stores are participating in a seasonal hiring event over two days.
Candidates can visit their local Best Buy between 12 p.m. and 7 p.m., Oct. 10 and 11, to chat with recruiters and interview for a seasonal opening. Applications may also be submitted online.
A variety of part-time and full-time positions are available, a spokesperson told The Penny Hoarder, including positions in sales, customer service, merchandising and inventory.
Seasonal employees are eligible for a 401(k) retirement plan and merchandise discounts.
Target, Oct. 11, 12 and 13 (and Nov. 2 and 3)
Target is leading the pack in terms of seasonal job openings with an estimated 130,000 holiday positions up for grabs at its retail stores and distribution centers.
It plans to fill many of those positions over the course of multiple seasonal hiring events at all of its nearly 1,800 retail stores on Oct. 11, 12 and 13 and again on Nov. 2 and 3. The in-person hiring events are geared toward candidates interested in customer service, sales, barista and other retail-related positions.
Target’s company-wide minimum wage is $13, and all seasonal employees are eligible for store discounts and bonus pay on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Never Attended a Seasonal Hiring Event Before? Here’s How to Prepare
Walking into a store alongside dozens of other candidates may sound stressful. We’ve compiled tips from hiring event recruiters to help you feel confident.
Check if you need to apply online
Each company has different policies. Some stores like Best Buy and Target may have application stations for you to apply to a position on-site. Other smaller stores may not have those resources available. Always double check beforehand.
Dress business casual
Retail hiring managers say business casual is the way to go. If you’re still unsure, drop by the store before the day of the event and scout out what employees are wearing. Then match your outfit to the job you want.
Be ready to interview
After a couple screener questions, it’s common to be interviewed on-the-spot at hiring events. Come prepared to answer behavior-based interview questions, which try to gauge how you react under certain circumstances. The best way to do that is by giving detailed examples in a situation-behavior-outcome format.
For additional tips, read our guide to preparing for an in-store hiring event. Then go get yourself a new job.
Adam Hardy is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He specializes in ways to make money that don’t involve stuffy corporate offices. Read his latest articles here, or say hi on Twitter @hardyjournalism.