Across the world, the 2022 holiday season is officially over and a new year has begun. However, one thing that never changes year to year is that no industry is more synonymous with that season than retail.
In 2022, consumers in the USA planned to spend an average of $1,455 each on holiday gifts, of which an average of $880 was in the retail category, according to Deloitte.The large seasonal demand for retail means whether consumers are purchasing in-store or online, the industry needs to have the necessary number of employees to meet that surge.
According to the US Labor Department, employment in retail usually grows by 450,000 over the holiday season, and another 350,000 seasonal workers also take positions in warehousing and delivery.
The seasonal hiring surge showed a similar trend in Europe as well, with British health and beauty retailer Boots alone having planned to add more than 10,000 temporary workers, with 27,694 seasonal jobs actively under recruitment in the UK as of early November 2022, a 5% increase from the previous year.
Workers’ motivations for seeking seasonal employment vary considerably.
For some workers, seasonal employment is an intended step into a larger career or an opportunity to grow and gain experience. For example, 36% of seasonal employees want to turn a seasonal job into a full-time position, 34% want to develop skills in other areas of work, and 28% want to “bulk up” their resumes.
Alternatively, 73% of seasonal employees noted needing additional income because of inflation and the current economy, with 44% specifying the income is simply to help pay for holiday gifts. A smaller number of seasonal workers, 22%, specified an employee discount as a motivation.
Though there were large numbers of seasonal employees, expectations were also pessimistic. Despite 47% of seasonal workers having planned to work at least two jobs during the season, 77% of employees were not confident in finding a seasonal job, and 41% thought seasonal jobs offered low wages and no benefits.
In less than one year, retailers will again be facing not just the task of rapidly hiring seasonal staff but getting them ready quickly to work through a busy holiday season. This means recruiting that helps to not just find candidates that reflect the retailers’ brand values, but also fills open positions faster, workforce management that can model changing store environments and support hourly workers, and payroll that is efficient, compliant, and configurable across the globe. Also very important is talent management that enables the onboarding of new associates and bringing them up to speed with role-based learning, but also helps retailers to identify potential among the 36% of seasonal employees who are seeking full-time employment outside of the holiday season.
Oracle Fusion Cloud HCM is a complete cloud solution that connects every HR process, and every person, across your enterprise. For retailers, this means energizing the face of their brands- their people. This includes:
There are other HCM products who claim to support the needs of the retail industry. Workday, for example, claims to offer “retail solutions that adapt to change”. It offers recruitment, though it does not gives candidates an option to engage via digital assistant with recruiters through channels such as Facebook Messenger, WeChat, or smart speakers. Workday does not have full native health and safety functionality, requiring third-party integrations, and its payroll solution is currently only localized in four countries with investments in two more.
Similarly, SAP SuccessFactors depends on a network of 80+ partner apps to give its recruiting solution full functionality and health and safety features require a third-party integration. In contrast with Oracle Digital Assistant that can help facilitate many HR functions including recruitment and onboarding across multiple channels, SAP SuccessFactors Digital Assistant is still in early adopter program and currently unable to support those same functions even on a mobile device.
Even companies wanting to run payroll on competing clouds have had difficulty doing so, but were able to do so using Oracle Cloud HCM.
Oracle Cloud HCM is different from other HCM offerings or solutions on the market. It is the broadest and deepest suite offering everything retailers need, including a best-in-class employee experience, cloud-native infrastructure, and continual innovation which can lead to a more productive workforce, happier customers, and a more profitable business.
One of many retailers who have realized the value of Oracle Cloud HCM is AutoZone. During the COVID-19 pandemic, AutoZone kept its stores open but also introduced online ordering, curbside pickup, and free next-day delivery. This required hiring thousands of new employees. Management implemented Oracle Cloud HCM, starting with Talent Management and later Core HR, Payroll, and Absence Management. As a result of the implementation, during the first 30 days, AutoZone received more than four times the number of job applications than during the same time the previous year.
Deskless workers are the customer-facing heart and soul of retail organizations. See how you can manage staff and store associates and connect all HR processes, from hire to retire, across stores. Discover Oracle Cloud HCM for more information.
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 “ORCL: Notes from the Road”, Guggenheim, 28 October 2022
Jeff Wilson is a director of global competitive strategies at Oracle, focusing on Cloud HCM. He also previously led competitive insights for cloud software products at companies including Sage and Datto, Inc.