'Tis the Season for Holiday Hiring - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

'Tis the Season for Holiday Hiring


With the Halloween season now officially over, the busy holiday shopping season is just around the corner, and businesses have already been hiring extra help.

At least when it comes to retail, hiring is expected to be up this year.

According to a survey from CareerBuilder.com, 39 percent of retail hiring managers nationally say they plan to hire seasonal workers this year. That's up slightly from 36% last year, and up from 29% in 2011.

Here in the QCA, at least one big retailer we talked to has big plans for holiday hiring this year:

"Compared to last year, we brought in about between about 40 and 50 people, and this year we're looking to bring in well over a hundred," Scott Klingbiel, Talent Resource Leader at the JCPenney in Davenport, said.

It's a big change in hiring practices prompted by a big change in JCPenney's business model.

"We're back to sale events and coupons we're participating in Black Friday in a very big way this year compared to last year," Klingbiel explained.

And, to bring on enough employees to fill that need, they've been actively recruiting since the beginning of October.

"We've really gone above and beyond this year to get the best of the best and to really build up a great team this year," Klingbiel said.

Klingbiel says they're looking for people of all ages for that team, mostly for service and support specialist positions. And they've found no shortage of people looking to fill those jobs.

"I've seen a great pool of applicants," he said, "I'm seeing between 10 and 15 a day."

But, seasonal hiring does not seem to be up across the board around here.

The Sedona Group says, by this time in the year, it usually has at least some customer service clerical and delivery job postings specifically for the holiday season.

Right now, there is not a single one.

In fact, the only seasonal jobs listed right now are for the upcoming tax season.

Still, Sedona Group officials say the lack of holiday seasonal job postings now is not necessarily an accurate gauge of holiday hiring this year.

It may be a few more weeks before employers will turn to staffing services for help filling unfilled positions.

At JCPenney in Davenport, hiring managers say they're in good shape already.

"We're just about where we need to be," Klingbiel said. "I still would like to get another couple good rounds of people, maybe upwards of 20, and if I go over that number, that's just fine with me."

For now, they are still accepting applications, looking for the best candidates to fill the jobs.

"I'm not taking my foot off the pedal yet," laughed Klingbiel.

Nationally, JCPenney is expected to hire 35,000 temporary seasonal workers this year, putting it at number 8 on CNNMoney's top 10 list of big holiday hirers.

Macy's is number one on that list, and it's expected to hire 83,000 people this year.

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