2010 Holiday Hiring Seen as at Least Flat over 2009

November 3, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – More than 80% of organizations in customer service, consumer industries are hiring the same amount or more workers this holiday season than last year, according to Aon Hewitt.

A news release said the poll of the retail, hospitality and quick-serve restaurant industries found that 55% are hiring the same amount of seasonal workers this year compared to last year and 29% are hiring more employees. Only 16% are bringing on fewer employees.

Specifically, the study found 60% of respondents are hiring less than 100 employees companywide this holiday season, and of those organizations, 70% indicated this was the same amount as last year. Overall, 12% of respondents are hiring between 100 and 1,000 seasonal employees; 12% are hiring between 1,000 and 2,500; and 10% are hiring between 2,500 and 5,000. Only 5% are hiring greater than 5,000 employees companywide.

“These figures show that retailers, fast foods restaurants, hotels and other hospitality-oriented companies are still feeling the effects of the economy and are being cautiously optimistic,” said Patrick Tomlinson, senior vice president with Aon Hewitt, in the news release.  “The good news is most employers are still hiring during the holidays and almost 30% of respondents are hiring more employees.  While competition in this job market may be tough, there are opportunities for individuals with the right skills and availability to work in these consumer-facing, customer service roles.”

According to the news release, the survey also found:

  • 72% of respondents are not expecting any changes in demographics for seasonal hires this year compared to last year, but 21% are anticipating hiring more part-time employees than last year.
  • 69% of organizations are planning to convert the same amount of seasonal workers to full-time status after the holidays as they did last year; 17% will move more to full-time status this year; and 14% will convert fewer employees than last year.
  • Employers rely on walk-ins and employee referrals over other recruiting sources to hire candidates in this economy.

Aon Hewitt’s 2010 State of Hiring Survey is based on responses from 73 participants representing organizations in the retail, hospitality and quick-serve restaurant industries nationwide.