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Attract the Best Retail Workers This Holiday Season

By Insights Team on October 16, 2018

The holiday season is the biggest time of the year for retail. Many retail stores staff up and add extra workers for the holidays. These seasonal workers likely look to holiday work to earn a little extra income to pay for holiday gifts or to help cover the bills. In either case, attracting the right seasonal retail workers in a strong economy may take more than a good hourly wage.

While planning for the holiday season this year, look for unique ways managers can get seasonal and part-time employees engaged, excited, and ready to help businesses reach record sales on Black Friday and beyond.

Early access to earned pay

Retail companies are not likely to jump at the chance to give seasonal employees an advance on their salary, but with the right tools, retailers can offer earlier access to pay for hours already worked.

With PayActiv, which comes at no cost to employers, employees can get pay for hours worked but not yet paid in a few taps on their phone. PayActiv integrates directly with popular payroll providers for a seamless experience. And, unlike predatory payday lenders, employees pay just $5 in the period they use the service.

This can help those workers get paid early for holiday shifts to give them an opportunity to buy gifts for family and friends without credit card debt.

Better opportunities for financial services

Many seasonal retail workers look to the holidays as a time to pick up a second job to pay off debt or lower the stress of pending bills. As an employer, retail businesses can offer opportunities to fix financial problems with free PayActiv budgeting and automatic savings tools.

Retail workers make up about 10% of the total US workforce, and many retail workers fall into the 38% of Americans who make less than $20 per hour. A third of these workers, according to the State of the Hourly Worker survey by Snag.

Working extra hours makes it difficult to get to the bank, but retail employees are likely to be included in the 7% of households that are unbanked or the additional 20% that are underbanked. Financial services for this population are time-consuming, expensive, and fairly limited. Helping them get better access to financial services could turn around a precarious financial situation.

PayActiv’s savings tool helps employees save before the cash hits their paycheck, and it works even if they don’t have a bank account.

Alleviate stress during the most wonderful time of the year

The holiday season is called “the most wonderful time of the year,” but it can mean hard work and long hours in retail. Retail employees have a unique set of stresses that may not apply to other industries. Unlike those with a steady 8:00 am to 5:00 pm work schedule, retail workers often have to head to the store during hours everyone else is on break. That means weekend, holiday, and evening hours in addition to weekdays.

In addition to the busy rush of holiday shoppers, holiday employees may be giving up time with their family and get the brunt of stressed out shoppers looking to grab that last minute gift or deal. While managers can’t change the way their customers behave, they can help employees have the best holiday season both at work and at home.

Setting schedules far in advance, making worker comfort and wellness a priority, and supporting their overall well being can help grow employee satisfaction and engagement. That reduces turnover, hiring costs, and makes the holiday season smoother for any retail business.

Attracting the best retail workers this holiday season

In the current strong job market, retail stores have to compete for seasonal workers. In addition to hiring earlier and paying higher wages, employers are thinking outside the box for ways to attract and retain cashiers, stock workers, and other roles in the retail landscape.

Here are some other strategies retailers should consider:

  • Incentivize employee referrals - Savvy businesses know and trust their employees. Employees are the best-suited people to know what a job is like and are in a great position to share openings with family or friends. Paying an incentive to employees for successfully hired referrals makes employees more likely to share an opening.
  • Advertise employee discounts to customers - Best customers may be future best employees. After all, they are already familiar with the brand and inventory. If they also want to earn a little extra spending money this season, they can also save on purchases with an employee discount. That makes them great prospective employees.
  • Offer extra perks and benefits - Financial and health wellness benefits like PayActiv make an excellent added incentive for someone to pick one job over another. Never underestimate the value of a well-designed employee benefits program.

Take a well-rounded approach to retail hiring

The right staff could be the difference between a smooth and profitable holiday season and one filled with stress and losses. When retailers combine the right hiring practices and benefits, the process is much easier. For employers and employees alike, it is a win-win that everyone can be excited about.

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