Sponsored by:

Comment, blog & share photos

Log in | Become a member
The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Sunday, December 7, 2003

Be creative in your search for holiday employment

By Dina ElBoghdady
Washington Post

When the crowds at the mall turn frightful, the job market still can be less than delightful.

Even if the holiday shopping season is as strong as expected, retailers might take a wait-and-see approach when it comes to hiring extra workers, comfortable that if they need additional help, they can dip into the pool of unemployed workers at any time.

Against this backdrop, John Challenger has this advice: Look for jobs at the less obvious places.

"There are more places to look than just the local mall," said Challenger, chief executive of outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. "Look at the warehouse jobs, the shipping jobs, the backroom supply jobs stocking shelves."

For instance, United Parcel Service Inc. will hire more than 50,000 seasonal workers in the United States this year, about the same number it did a year ago at this time, said Dan McMackin, a company spokesman.

And the company expects to keep hiring through the first couple of weeks of this month as need dictates in certain parts of the country, McMackin said.

Those jobs include package handlers, driver helpers, delivery drivers, and customer-service representatives at distribution facilities.

UPS expects to deliver 230 packages every second on Dec. 18, its peak day.

Another phenomenon that peaks during the holidays: parties.

"Talk to caterers and hotels and party planners," Challenger advises.

Speaking of food, don't forget restaurants, said Daniel Butler, vice president of retail operations at the National Retail Federation.

Eateries that promote special holiday-related items (such as take-home Christmas dinners) or the ones open on Christmas day might need extra help.