Snagajob, the nation’s leading marketplace for hourly work, today released its 10th annual Holiday Hiring Survey. Findings reveal employers are taking new steps to accommodate today’s tight labor market, with an unemployment rate of 4.2 percent — the lowest in more than a decade. 

According to the data, 77 percent of employers will face challenges hiring seasonal workers this year, taking 14 percent longer to secure seasonal staff than it did in 2016. As a result, employers are finding new ways to bridge the gap: 35 percent plan to offer current employees more hours to cover open shifts, a third of hiring managers began recruiting for seasonal positions as early as September, and more than a quarter (28%) are offering health insurance benefits to seasonal employees.

“In order to attract and retain top talent, employers need to give workers want they want most — hours, schedule flexibility and stability,” said Snagajob CEO Peter Harrison. “With most hourly job seekers able to secure a job in less than a week, it’s clearly a job seeker’s market, and employers must pay close attention to this group’s preferences if they want to staff up adequately for the holidays.”

With one in three job seekers getting hired after submitting only one application, hiring managers are getting creative — 51 percent of this year’s seasonal hires will be rehires from last season, and a majority of employers (93%) plan to retain seasonal workers after the holidays are over. Additionally, 91 percent of hiring managers across all industries report they will pay seasonal employees more than the federal minimum wage this year. 

Additional findings from Snagajob’s holiday hiring and State of the Hourly Worker surveys include:

●      The majority of employers (89%) plan on filling seasonal positions by November, which remains steady year over year. However, given the tight labor market, they recognize it will take longer to fill positions this year. In fact, only 43 percent expect to have positions filled by October, down from 55 percent last year. 

●      Likely in response to workers’ demand for more hours, employers offering more than 20 hours a week increased almost five percent year over year. 

●      75 percent of hourly workers use mobile devices to search and apply for positions, up from 25 percent in 2012. This year, for the first time, job applications from mobile devices exceeded those from desktops and laptops. 

●      As in past years, retailers account for the majority of holiday hiring, including a fast growing range of fulfillment center jobs; Snagajob found that hourly workers are two times more likely to search for retail jobs than other industries. 

For its holiday hiring report, Snagajob surveyed 1,000 employers from the nation’s retail, restaurant and hospitality industries. Check out Snagajob’s 2017 holiday hiring infographic to learn more.