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Nearly One-in-Five Employers Plan to Hire Seasonal Workers This Year, Finds CareerBuilder Survey

CHICAGO, October 21, 2009 - The outlook for seasonal hiring in the fourth quarter of 2009 is projected to be similar to 2008, according to a new CareerBuilder survey. Eighteen percent of hiring managers plan to hire seasonal workers to meet business needs associated with the holidays and end-of-the-year wrap-ups, on par with 17 percent in 2008. At the same time, competition for holiday work is heating up. In addition to unemployed workers pursuing seasonal employment, 12 percent of employed workers plan to take on a seasonal job to help make ends meet. The survey, "Seasonal Hiring 2009," was conducted from August 20 to September 9, 2009 and included over 2,900 hiring managers across all industries nationwide.


Popular Seasonal Positions
Seasonal positions may prove to be the break job seekers are looking for as three-in-ten (31 percent) hiring managers indicate they are likely to hire a seasonal worker for a full time position. The most popular positions identified for seasonal recruitment include customer service, retail sales, administrative/clerical, hospitality, shipping/delivery, inventory, technology and accounting/finance. Of those hiring seasonal employees in Q4 2009, 41 percent will hire 1 to 10 employees, 17 percent will hire 11 to 20, 17 percent will hire 21 to 50 and 25 percent will hire more than 50.

Seasonal Pay
While some hiring managers (12 percent) say they plan to increase pay for seasonal workers, 15 percent are planning a decrease. Forty-four percent of hiring managers expect to pay $10 or more per hour and 12 percent expect to pay $16 or more per hour. Thirty-four percent of hiring managers plan to pay between $8 and $10 per hour and 20 percent expect to pay between $6 and $8.

"Competition for seasonal positions will be intense as the job market is flooded with qualified candidates vying for a smaller number of open positions," said Brent Rasmussen, President of CareerBuilder North America. "Employers tell us they are accepting the majority of their seasonal applications during October and November, meaning job seekers need to identify and apply for those opportunities now."

Rasmussen recommends the following tips for those seeking seasonal employment:

  • Start applying early - Seventy-seven percent of hiring managers do not plan to accept applications for seasonal workers beyond November. Especially in a competitive job market, getting your resume in early will help your chances of securing a position.
  • Do your homework - Nearly a quarter (24percent) of hiring managers say that having no knowledge of the company or products deterred them from hiring a seasonal candidate in the past. Check out the company’s Web site before the interview and familiarize yourself with products, services, press announcements, etc so the hiring manager knows you’re serious about the opportunity.
  • Show enthusiasm - Nearly half (48 percent) of employers say they were turned off by a candidate who lacked enthusiasm during their interview. Convey that you’re excited about the opportunity to contribute to the success of the organization and stay away from saying the primary reason you want the position is for the employee discount.
  • Dress the part - If you are interviewing for a job in a retail clothing store, it's a good idea to show up dressed in an outfit from that store. One-in-ten (11 percent) hiring managers said candidates who interviewed for a job in a competitor’s ensemble were ultimately not considered for the open position.
  • Be flexible regarding your schedule - Forty-seven percent of hiring managers said they were turned off by a candidate who refused to work certain hours. Seasonal hours tend to fluctuate; you need to be open and flexible to alternative schedules.

Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder among 2,924 hiring managers and human resource professionals (employed full-time; not self-employed; non-government; with at least significant involvement in hiring decisions); and among 4,285 U.S. workers (employed full-time; not self-employed; non-government); ages 18 and over between August 20 and September 9, 2009 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With a pure probability sample of 2,924 and 4,285, one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 1.81 percentage points and +/-1.5 percentage points, respectively. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies.

About CareerBuilder®
CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract their most important asset - their people. Its online career site, CareerBuilder.com®, is the largest in the United States with more than 23 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 32 million resumes. CareerBuilder works with the world’s top employers, providing resources for everything from employment branding and data analysis to HR consulting. More than 9,000 websites, including 140 newspapers and broadband portals such as MSN and AOL, feature CareerBuilder’s proprietary job search technology on their career sites. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company, The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.

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