CRESTVIEW — Santa has elves to help him prepare for Christmas. Area retailers have seasonal workers.
Preparing for their busiest time of year, some area stores hire seasonal workers to help things go smoothly. That means getting extra stock for Black Friday and subsenquent holiday deals out of delivery trucks, off loading docks and onto shelves. In past years, big box stores like Bealls Outlet, Big Lots, Lowe’s and Wal-Mart have augmented their workforces with temporary workers.
“We’ve hired a good number of temporary associates,” Wal-Mart assistant manager Brenda Thompson said.
Typical temporary workers include college students, single parents and folks just looking to make extra money for holiday expenses, she said.
However, some stores make do with current employees. Tractor Supply Co. manager Pat Harper said his store didn’t hire seasonal workers this year, despite having sales specifically for Thanksgiving weekend.
The Crestview Big Lots had its temporary help in place early in November, an unidentified employee said. By Thanksgiving week, the store was staffed and ready to face the busy holiday season, she said.
“We always bring in temps this time of year,” the employee said.
Difficulty accounting holiday positions
Counting the number of holiday jobs available is difficult because most stores handle their own hiring, advertising temporary seasonal positions on their websites, said Anne Sheffield, the Crestview JobsPlus office’s business representative.
“Some of the employers will go through temp agencies as well. And they have a lot of walk-ins,” Sheffield said.
While JobsPlus doesn’t track the number of holiday jobs added to the employment rolls, Sheffield said the total is “significant,” but primarily centers on Okaloosa County’s south end.
“Actually, in the north end of the county, I haven’t heard too much from the stores,” she said. “In the south end, with the factory outlets and the mall in Mary Esther, (they really) beef up their staff.”
However, Lowe’s has used JobsPlus’ services by putting a link to its website’s employment listings at the local job placement office, Sheffield said.