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Monday, September 20, 2010

Candidates Should Expect Tough Seasonal Hiring Practices This Year

LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 10:  Employement se...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
Michigan's job seekers should expect stiff competition for seasonal employment this year with fewer job options in the state, the 13.1 unemployment rate and the large number of people are enrolling in community colleges at unprecedented rates. 

With these daunting figures, hiring managers can be more selective how and when new workers are hired. The larger candidate pool, will lead some employers to perform longer series of interviews and demand increased expectations for job candidates, at some locations.

Candidates Face Tough Competition for Seasonal Employment Opportunities

One retailer in Lansing cited only hiring about 20 percent of the candidates that applied for Seasonal Positions in 2009. Michigan's unemployment rate only decreased by -1.2 percent from this time last year. 

"Last year, we had about 500 applications and then did about 125 interviews," said Annelise Christensen, executive team leader for human resources at discount retailer Target Corporation south Lansing store on Edgewood Boulevard to Business Lansing.com. "We hired about 25 of them." 

Unemployed job seekers should expect similar results for this year’s seasonal jobs.

Michigan Retailers Association Three Month Outlook 3rd Quarter report for 2010, stated that that 11 percent of retailers around the state planned to hire from August through October, which includes the start of holiday hiring. Ten percent of the state's retailers planned to cut staff and 79 percent forecast no change.

Some Employers will wait to Hire; to Determine Consumers’ Buying Moods for the 4th Quarter

Mark Reffitt, regional economic analyst with the Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth noted to Business Lansing, the state does not make holiday hiring projections but so far this year, retail jobs are down about 900 jobs on average compared with this time period, in 2009.

Still some companies that plan to hire for the 4th quarter season, which begins in October. Employers might hold back on hiring until later into the season, as it becomes clearer to them, how much consumers plan to spend.

"Earlier in the year, we were expecting things to ramp up a little more than they have been," Tom Scott, senior vice president of the Michigan Retailer Association stated. "I think some retailers are holding off a while to see what happens," he cited.

Retailers Toys R Us and Target are beginning to start their seasonal hiring processes, as are shipping companies such as UPS and the U.S. Postal Service, so far.

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