Holiday Hiring Market Shrinking, Competition Growing

jobhuntAmerican retailers are cutting back on the holiday hiring market, according to a survey from Richmond-based job-seekers’ website

The number of jobs is going down, while the number of people applying for jobs is going up. That means increased competition for fewer spots. And that means harder work for job seekers, who will have to come up with new ways to separate themselves from the pack this winter.

A survey of 1,006 American managers found that each manager, on average, plans on hiring 3.7 seasonal employees. That’s down almost 33 percent from last year’s holiday period average of 5.6 seasonal workers. The survey was conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, a third-party research firm, for

Fifty-seven percent of managers said that they don’t plan on making any hires this year.

Those who do plan to hire said that they are expecting to bring on nine workers on average, down from the 11.2 employees they hired during last year’s holiday season.

Thirty-nine percent of hiring mangers expect the number of applicants to rise this year compared to last year. Fifty-two percent expect the number to stay the same. Only 9% think they will see fewer applicants.

There is some good news for job seekers. Employers expect 46% of the workers they hire for the holiday season to continue to work for them into 2009. So if you’re looking for something more permanent, chances are you can find it.

If you’re just looking to improve your chances of getting hired, stay positive. Thirty-four percent of managers said that the most important quality in a potential hire is “a positive attitude and eagerness to have a job.”

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