Last year’s holiday period was a roller coaster for both businesses and consumers. Due to a slew of supply chain concerns, shopping behaviour shifts, travel challenges, and shipment delays, COVID-19 wreaked havoc on the holiday shopping scene, resulting in an unprecedented season.
With COVID restrictions loosening up, 2021 is looking at another even wilder roller coaster this holiday season. According to the National Retail Federation, the holiday sales forecast for this year is predicting an 8.5% to a 10.5% growth over 2020 to between $843.4 billion and $859 billion.
According to a survey conducted by RetailMeNot of 1082 adults, it was found that 83% will get started on their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving and will be spending 15% more than what they did last year. While this sounds like good news for retailers, the current labour shortage could be proving otherwise.
Issues Facing Retail & 3PL Industries
Supply Chain and Labour Shortages
Supply chain disruptions and staffing shortages, according to the Retail Trade Organization, have generated concerns about product inventory and total sales. Retailers are having trouble getting components and completed goods as a result of the disrupted global supply chain. These troubles began in industries last year when COVID-19 outbreaks drove firms across Asia to curtail. Businesses can’t sell their products if they can’t get them, which is leading to warehouses and 3PLs not being able to satisfy customer needs.
The COVID-19 pandemic’s economic ramifications are pressuring businesses that are struggling to find staff, as chronic labor shortages continue to stymie many industries. According to a new study from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), labour shortages are impeding the growth of 64% of Canadian businesses. In the second quarter of 2021, there were 731,900 job openings according to Statistics Canada. These vacancies are visible across all provinces but are particularly relevant in Quebec, Ontario, and B.C. Deloitte Canada found that at least 30.3% of Canadian organizations are reporting labour shortages.
August alone had a number of job vacancies in the manufacturing sector in Canada, as reported by Statistics Canada. At least 65,900 positions were found vacant in this sector in the second quarter of 2021. The retail trade sector took an even worse hit due to the pandemic with at least 84,300 roles unfilled.
Competitive Labour Market and Skills Shortages
Problems appraising potential employees’ skills and increased competitiveness in the labor market are two of the factors cited by employers for the hiring shortage. Companies also claim to be dealing with a skills mismatch, with individuals missing both hard and soft abilities. Some companies claim that no one is applying at all. According to a franchise owner in Vancouver, there is a significant disparity between the skills that job searchers possess and the abilities that employers require. Particularly in skilled trades and physically demanding industries. Furthermore, due to a large number of job opportunities available, job seekers feel confident in turning down jobs that they feel do not meet their needs.
In order for businesses to find relief in face of a demand spike this holiday season, temporary workers can be a manna for organizations to handle the seasonal demands instead of relying on full-time employees which can be cost-intensive.
To hire workers effectively, retailers and 3PLs need to be adaptable and innovative.
Tips to Attract Talent This Holiday Season
Below are some of the ways organizations can attract holiday workers:
1. Increasing Hourly Wages
Whole Foods Market, which has ten locations throughout Canada, is providing increased overtime and bonuses to its staff for hours worked during the bustling holiday season. Hourly retail and facility employees will get increased over time equal to two times their base rate, as well as a one-time “appreciation” incentive, for hours worked between Oct. 4, 2021, and Jan. 2, 2022. Employees will receive a one-time incentive of $2 per hour, while team leaders will receive a bonus of $3 per hour.
Walmart has also stated that it will hire 150,000 more retail employees in the run-up to the holidays, a measure that is likely to assist the fulfillment of consumer demand. On average, higher pay will be offered throughout seven months. According to the firm, the average hourly income will be hiked to $16.40, with jobs in Walmart stores paying as much as $34 per hour.
Canada Post is searching for an additional 4,200 seasonal employees across the country to fulfill this annual surge in sales. They will be providing plenty of job opportunities in Montreal and across Quebec that will pay $21.80 per hour for a contract that lasts from November 15th to January 15th.
2. Referral Incentive
Studies show that employees working with friends are more likely to be happier and efficient. By offering referral incentives to employees who bring in a friend during the holiday season, not only will they benefit financially but will also create a more productive environment at their posts.
3. Technology Staffing Solutions
Technology staffing agencies are a great way for employers to connect with temp workers quickly. SPOT App is such a resource that can not only connect businesses with temp workers on short notice, but can also let employers select their candidates. The SPOT App can find qualified workers locally who have previously been pre-vetted and rated by other firms. Furthermore, the SPOT App lets employers actively view candidates’ employment experience. SPOT’s remote learning management system can also provide specific training that meets individual employer needs directly on the platform, resulting in faster placement, hard and soft skill development, and higher success rates for incoming staff. This holiday season your organization doesn’t have to go understaffed. SPOT can help provide your organization with an agile and competent workforce that can keep up with the growing seasonal demands.