Q: Does the BBB have advice on how to seek employment for the holiday season?
A: Today many major retailers are posting "help wanted" signs, and forecasts point to an increase in seasonal employment opportunities. Well-known retailers say they will be hiring thousands of people to help out over the holidays as they prepare for an increase in holiday sales.
A recent survey by www.snagajob.com found that 51 percent of managers will hire temporary help this season, up 8 percent from 2008.
In addition to bringing in extra money over the holidays, a temporary job can sometimes lead to a permanent position. Hiring managers prefer to employ people who are already working.
Aside from employment opportunities within the retail sector, delivery companies are looking for staff to help deal with the end-of-year peak in holiday package handling. Catering and floral businesses
also look for extra help at this time of year.
Better Business Bureau offers the following tips for people looking for seasonal employment:
• Start now. Retailers begin screening candidates in October. However, seasonal hiring grows through November and December as in-store traffic increases.
• Keep all options open. Do not confine yourself to large retailers and department stores. Smaller stores in malls also take on extra help to deal with the growth in holiday shopping.
n Be resourceful. Register with temp agencies, search online job boards and network through family and friends. Use search engines and social networking sites to find valuable leads using keywords such as "temp" or "seasonal."
• Be prepared. When looking for opportunities at the mall, dress for success and bring resumes with you in case a potential employer wants to interview you right away.
• Be flexible. Full-time employees usually get the first choice of work hours, and holiday jobs usually require working long hours, evenings and weekends.
Seasonal work provides opportunities for permanent positions, as well as new skills, including multitasking, customer service, team work and time management. Even if no full-time positions open up in the New Year where you are hired over the holidays, monitor the store's website for opportunities and network with your manager.
Get answers to your questions each Friday from Jim Winsett, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau Inc., which serves Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia. Submit questions to his attention by writing to Business Editor Dave Flessner, Chattanooga Times Free Press, P.O. Box 1447, Chattanooga, TN, 37401-1447, or by e-mailing him at dflessner@ timesfreepress.com