Lori Macias

Lori Macias

  • Warehouse for holidays

Companies Are Struggling to Find Holiday Help. What Are They Doing About It? 

In a recent survey of Wonolo’s customers, about two-thirds (66%) of the respondents reported that the current labor shortage is complicating efforts to find help for the holidays.

The survey, featuring responses from companies representing a wide swath of industries, sheds light on how businesses across the country are struggling to meet the seasonal demand for labor … and what they are doing to address the issue.  

The Holiday Hiring Struggle Is Real

The demand for seasonal workers skyrockets during the holidays, and this year is no different. 

There are currently more than 10 million open jobs on the market, and many companies are struggling to find enough workers to fill in all the gaps. Many large retailers, including Walmart and Target, are offering huge incentives to attract and retain workers. These incentives include monetary sign-on bonuses, education reimbursements and additional paid-time-off.

Monica Plaza, Wonolo’s VP of Strategy, said the survey reflects ongoing staffing concerns that many businesses feel could linger for the rest of the year, and perhaps into next year, as 85% of respondents said their holiday season staffing needs are either the same or above those of last year’s holiday season.  

“Among the companies we spoke to, almost 40% are concerned about increased compensation for workers to address the labor shortage,” said Plaza. “Considering more than half (55%) anticipate supply chain issues to continue throughout the remainder of the year, finding quality workers, especially without adding major incentives, could continue to be a real issue for some businesses.”

What Businesses Are Doing to Meet Seasonal Demand

In order to attract talent to navigate the holiday season, companies are trying a combination of different methods. Wonolo’s survey revealed that, collectively, 63% of respondents are increasing wages, posting more jobs, and posting jobs earlier to try and address staffing challenges.

So how early did they start trying to tackle their seasonal hiring challenges? Almost a quarter (about 23%) of companies said they started looking in September to meet seasonal demand.

In addition, about 29% have increased internal hiring, and about 28% have brought in additional vendors in adjusting their approach for finding holiday labor.

As more people become comfortable with spending the holidays together in person, companies expect consumers to be more comfortable shopping in stores this year than they were last year. U.S. retail sales hit $625.4 billion in September as consumers began to head back into restaurants and retail stores. 

“In our survey, 21% of companies said they acquired additional temp vendors to manage the expected increase of in-store shopping this holiday season compared to last year’s holiday season,” said Plaza. 

Looking Ahead …

As businesses continue to look for ways to ensure they are prepared and remain fully staffed throughout the holidays to meet consumer demand, they are also planning ahead knowing supply chain issues and labor shortages could continue into next year.

In fact, about 39% of surveyed companies said they plan to increase the overall percent of flex/contingent workers in their 2022 plans.