Retailers hiring more workers to head off busy holiday season

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – 'Tis the season to get a job, as manyretailers have begun looking for people to work through the holidays.

The seasonal hiring push has already started so that storescan step up their workforce ahead of the busy holiday season, which the NationalRetail Federation estimates will account for anywhere from 20 to 40 percent ofa retailer's annual sales.

The NRF also expects retailers to hire between 720,000 and780,000 seasonal workers this holiday season.

Most of the big box stores in Jonesboro are looking to hireseasonal help, but anyone that's interested needs to act quickly to try andland some of these jobs.

This holiday season, many people will go to Best Buy tocheck off at least a few items on their loved one's wish list, but more thananything what the store itself wants right now are a few new employees.

"We think about the holidays year-round," Jody Simpson, the salessupport supervisor at Best Buy, said. "We want to serve our customers as bestwe can. Our normal staffing does not cover the amount of customers we have, sowe have to really extra staff our warehouse, our sales floor, everything."

Simpson says her store began hiring seasonal workers lastmonth, and she hopes to bring on a few more qualified people in the next fewweeks.

"We don't want somebody that doesn't necessarily want tohelp people," she said. "That's the biggest priority. We can teach electronicsand technology, but we need people that like other people."

Best Buy is just one of the local stores that have posted 'helpwanted' signs lately. This holiday season, Target plans to hire about 70,000seasonal employees, while Wal-Mart will bring on an additional 55,000. Kohl'sintends to hire an estimated 53,000 new workers, and JC Penney will add another35,000.

Some of these stores may try to keep their best seasonal workerseven after the holiday decorations are taken down. Last year, the NRF estimatesthat Target offered year-round positions to more than a third of their seasonalworkers. Simpson says Best Buy usually plans to keep on some, too,

"We always have open positions in the store year-round," shesaid. "If we find some really great candidates during our seasonal times, wekeep them on. We keep the good people. There's no way we're getting rid ofthem."

Simpson hopes to have the Best Buy store in Jonesboro fullystaffed by the first week of November, so she encourages anyone interested inapplying to turn in their applications online as soon as possible.

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