Oct. 14--Several large employers, including Kohl's, Amazon and UPS, say they are adding more workers than usual this holiday season to handle anticipated demand, including hundreds of jobs in the Lehigh Valley.
Here are some quick facts:
How many jobs are available? Amazon says it plans to hire more than 7,000 seasonal positions in Pennsylvania. UPS is planning to add 340 seasonal jobs in Lower Nazareth. Traditional retailers Target, Kohl's and Bon-Ton area planning to add 70,000, 69,000 and 13,000 sales associates, respectively, nationwide. Even Macy's, which made headlines recently for store closings, is looking to add 83,000 people.
What type of jobs are available? While warehouse workers who fill and package orders make up a majority of the seasonal jobs at Amazon, forklift operators, safety specialists, online medical representatives, supervisors, industrial maintenance technicians, quality assurance specialists and other managerial positions are available, according to Amazon's jobs site. UPS is seeking drivers, driver helpers and package handlers; and Target, Macy's, Kohl's and Bon-Ton want sales associates, call center workers and fulfillment center employees.
When should you apply? Now. Kohl's ramped up hiring in August and UPS in September, though there are many positions still available. Some companies add jobs as needed to meet demand. Seasonal jobs usually last through January or February, a time when companies are dealing with a large volume of returns and exchanges.
Could seasonal work turn into full-time work? Yes. Many companies try to transition seasonal hires into full-time employees, filling positions that went unfilled during the year. UPS spokesman Dan McMackin said 37 percent of seasonal hires last year were transitioned to full time. Amazon is already seeking 500 full-time workers in Palmer and plans to add several hundred more full-time workers in the coming months.
What you should do during your search: The Better Business Bureau gives this advice to job seekers applying to seasonal positions.
* Apply to stores where you often shop. You'll be familiar with the company and its products already, giving you an advantage during the interview. Plus, many companies give their employees discounts, which keeps more money in your pocket if you're a frequent customer.
* Always dress your best for the interview or when picking up an application, even if it's for a job where you'd dress down for work.
* Be flexible. Seasonal employees are often used to fill in for full-time workers who take off during the holidays. Don't expect to get your pick of working times. Go in with that understanding and you'll be less frustrated.
* Never give out financial information to a prospective employer. You don't have to pay to apply to a job and no company will have a legitimate need for your credit card information. And beware of companies that overpay you, then ask you to electronically transfer the balance of your paycheck.
* Try different industries. While retailers are often hiring the most workers during the winter holidays, other businesses, like restaurants, will also be adding workers.
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