- Retail and transportation employers are tapping the breaks on hiring for the upcoming holiday season, historically their busiest, according to an Oct. 12 report from talent acquisition technology provider iCIMS. By contrast, applications for these roles remain high, providing talent acquisition teams with a robust pool of candidates and making it more competitive for job seekers, the report said.
- Updated research from iCIMS’ proprietary database found that compared to this time last year, retail hirings and openings decreased by 12% and 25%, respectively, while job applications increased by 46% from September 2022, the platform said. In the transportation sector, hirings declined by 22% and openings decreased 2%, with job applications increasing by 13%.
- “In two years, we’ve seen a shift in these industries from hiring teams looking for warm bodies to fill roles to an influx in applicants,” Rhea Moss, iCIMS’ global head of workforce and customer insights stated in a release. “There’s a lot less pressure now to hire just anyone, and teams have the chance to be a little more tactical in their hiring as they approach their busy season.”
Whether the shift in hiring points to a cooling economy, the impact of rising retention rates, or the start of a year-end slowdown for the labor market has yet to be determined, iCIMS noted in the release.
What’s clear is that TA teams continue to work at a fervent pace, at a time-to-fill rate of about six weeks, despite overburdened teams and an influx of applications, the platform said. The pressure may be causing candidates for recruiter positions to “[wave] the white flag,” iCIMS added: Applications for these roles dropped by 20% since last month, according to the report.
Research by Indeed Hiring Lab also points to the seesaw shift in the labor market. Postings for seasonal or holiday-related jobs on the platform reached their lowest point since 2019, an Oct. 2 analysis found.
The trend indicates workers are more comfortable with in-person work after years of public health emergencies, Indeed noted. It also signals that employers are confident their current workforce will be sufficient to weather the holidays, the analysis said, although there are outliers, such as Target and Macy’s both announcing plans to hire thousands of seasonal workers, according to HR Dive’s sister publication Retail Dive. E-commerce giant Amazon plans to hire 250,000 workers for the season.
To avoid getting caught short-handed and meet the changing demands for in-store holiday shopping, employers need the right hiring tools, a July report from iCIMS advised.
When it comes to finding jobs this holiday season, retail and transportation applicants showed a strong preference for Indeed’s platform above other popular sites, like Google and LinkedIn, according to iCIMS’ October report. However, for transportation roles, LinkedIn wasn’t far behind, accounting for 42% of applicant activity, iCIMS said.
Another hiring tip: With more than half (52%) of all applications — and nearly three-quarters (72%) of retail applications — coming from job seekers’ phones, mobile apps are key for finding candidates, iCIMS said.