One in four businesses to take on Christmas staff

Thursday 14 November 2013

According to a recent survey, approximately one in four (24 per cent) of employers will take on seasonal staff as businesses try to keep up with higher footfall throughout the Christmas season.

The figures were published by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), which found Christmas to have an extremely positive impact on overall employment in the UK, and not just for the festive season.

Over one in four businesses (27 per cent) said they would keep Christmas staff on for a permanent position. A further 32 per cent said they were unsure whether or not they would retain temporary employees for a year-round position.

REC chief executive Kevin Green said: "This is great news for people looking to find work this Christmas and shows that temporary work can act as a stepping stone into full-time permanent jobs for people who want to make that transition."

This year’s outlook seems to be even better than Christmas 2012’s, with nearly one in ten employers (nine per cent) saying they will hire more seasonal staff than last year.

Approximately 15 per cent of businesses who participated in the REC’s survey have hired the same amount of employees as they did last year, with two per cent remaining unsure of whether or not they would need additional staff to cope with the Christmas rush. The remaining 74 per cent said they did not need to take on temporary workers, or that it was too early for them to start hiring seasonal staff.

A total of 200 small, medium and large enterprises spanning multiple sectors, including public, private and non-profit, were asked to participate in the REC’s survey. The complete results have been published in the REC’s latest issue of its Jobs Outlook, a monthly publication designed to assess the state of the jobs market, particularly in regards to temporary positions.

At the moment, demand for temporary workers is at its highest level of the year, with jobs databases advertising thousands of seasonal positions. Amazon alone is expected to hire 15,000 temporary workers – an increase of 50 per cent compared to its Christmas workforce last year.

Director of operations at Catherine McDermott described the hustle-and-bustle of the Christmas shopping season: "On our busiest shopping day last Christmas, customers ordered a total of 3.5 million items during one 24-hour period at a rate of 44 items a second."

According to her, "seasonal associates play a critical role in making sure we meet increased demand from customers". Last year, Amazon offered permanent roles to ten per cent of its temporary workers. Many high street retailers will likely do the same once the Christmas season comes to an end.

For now, there is a plethora of festive jobs to choose from. Nearly 4,000 part-time temporary jobs are available on Reed, over 1,500 temporary Christmas staff positions are listed on Indeed, and hundreds of Christmas roles are posted on TotalJobs – offering a wide range of options for potential workers to choose from.

If you are looking for fulfilling employment throughout the festive season and for the New Year, Brookson’s job search feature can help you find the perfect role to match your skillset.

By Victoria McDonnell

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