For businesses, it means it’s time to buckle down for a busy three-month period that could determine whether the company ends the fiscal year in the black. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that the 2008 employment gain during the holiday season was roughly 520,000. Although it accounted for three-fourths of the average holiday season hiring over the previous five years, it still provided a temporary boost to the national job situation.
The same is expected in 2011; many of the top eight industries that thrive during the end-of-the-year shopping blitz – sporting goods, electronics and clothing stores among them – began hiring in mid-September. Stores like Sports Authority, Eddie Bauer and Best Buy are flooded with thousands of applications from eager job-seekers, but how do you make sense of them? Who is the best person for the position?
The influx of new employees tends to bog down human resources offices with endless amounts of paper work, much of it in a bid to make sure there is no risk associated with each individual employee. Professional background screeners such as TruDiligence, a Lakewood, Colo.-based firm is taking advantage of the holiday season to give back. Its services help ease the stress of the hiring crunch, but its discounted rates and donations to companies that are hiring unemployed or underemployed people during the Christmas shopping season helps relieve the financial stress.
There are some who believe that it takes a collective effort to make things better, a “pay it forward”-type system that keeps the chain going and improves the situation for the greater good. The seasonal variations in hiring could potentially attract an employee who becomes a valued long-term asset to the company. If their background check can be completed for a lower cost through TruDiligence or another agency willing to extend a favor, than it’s all for the better.
The national jobless rate was unchanged at 9.1 percent in September, but was five-tenths of a percentage point lower than a year earlier, according to statistics on the U.S. Department of Labor website. It’s welcome news that things might be on the uptick.
Fortunately, Colorado already has a bright forecast for the future. It boasts an 8.3 percent unemployment rate, and the notable build-up of holiday reinforcements has only just begun.
Maybe it takes a strong will to succeed, and if anyone can, it’s the hard-working souls that make America tick. Maybe it takes a thrown-in incentive or two to speed things along, a mechanism that potentially frees up a few more dollars to enable a company to add another job. Those people working in tandem are doing so in the name of progress.