- JCPenney is looking for ways to stand out from the crowd as a “war for talent” hits the retail sector.
- On Tuesday, JCPenney hosted a nationwide hiring day where applicants were invited to come in to its stores and interview for jobs. To entice workers, it offered expensive prizes to eight lucky candidates.
- According to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, there are 704,000 seasonal job openings for the holidays this year, which is the highest number reported since the company began recording the data in 2012.
As the “war for talent” intensifies with the beginning of the holiday-shopping season, JCPenney is doubling down on its efforts to entice workers.
On Tuesday, the department-store chain, which is on the hunt for 39,000 holiday workers, hosted a nationwide hiring day to aid in its search. Applicants were invited to come in to JCPenney’s stores and interview for jobs, and offers were made on the spot.
To sweeten the deal and stand out from its competitors, JCPenney said in a press release that it would be offering eight successful candidates expensive prizes like $5,000 all-inclusive trips to New York City, Miami, or Banff, Canada; or thousands of dollars worth of technology or outdoor equipment.
This is the latest attempt by the retailer to woo workers in an increasingly tight labor market. And it’s not alone – Target, Macy’s, and Kohl’s have all been rolling out new incentives to attract workers.
Kohl’s announced 15% discounts and “associate shopping days” for seasonal workers. Macy’s, which is looking to hire 80,000 workers for this holiday season, said its part-time workers would be eligible for its “Path to Growth Incentive Plan,” which awards employees a quarterly bonus based on performance.
According to outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, there are 704,000 job openings this holiday season, which is the highest number reported since it began recording the data in 2012.
“The competition for seasonal workers is intense, especially as companies expand their compensation and benefits offerings,” Andrew Challenger, vice president of outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc said in a press release on Wednesday.
This surge in hiring has come as consumer confidence has hit its highest point in 18 years, according to Challenger. In September, the consumer confidence index reached 138.4, its highest level since September 2000, and close to the record of 144.7 in May 2000.
Retailers are expecting spending to rise 5.6% from last year to a record $1.1 trillion from $967.13 billion, according to the National Retail Federation.