Companies that didn’t get ahead of the rush to put staff in place for the holidays are scrambling. The unemployment rate in Texas is 3.4% and the economy is humming along faster than a jack rabbit outrunning a prairie fire. There just aren’t that many low-skill workers available.
Creativity is the order of the day, suggests Houston-based Phil Willingham, District President for Robert Half, the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm. “Making sure that their job postings are attractive. I think also having some special incentives to attract individuals, even benefits that might appeal to this particular crowd,” he advises, ticking off recommendations manager should be considering.
Some companies are offering flexible hours to accommodate employees who are supplementing full time jobs, and some are offering signing bonuses to get the attention of those who are looking to pick up money for their own holiday shopping needs. “We’re seeing special bonuses for short-term workers as well as benefits even down to 20-hour-a-week employees,” Willingham offers.
The first thought back in the day for seasonal holiday employment used to be retail jobs, but the times they are a changing. Kohl’s and Target are among the Houston retailers that have been looking to add to their workforce, but UPS and Amazon are also hiring, and possibly paying slightly better wages. Amazon threw down the gauntlet last year when they raised their minimum wage to $15 an hour, and though some companies start at $13, many are finding to be competitive they are having to come up with a little more coin.