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Temporary Seasonal Retail Staff: Hiring During Covid-19

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​September to December is traditionally a busy time for seasonal retail staff and at this time of year shops would normally be booming. This year the landscape is different, but the retail sector is still hiring a large volume of seasonal employees to meet changing demands and levels of shopping.

The latest CSO figures (Sept 2020) show Hardware, Paints & Glass (+4.2%), Clothing, Footwear & Textiles (+3.1%) sales have all increased compared to the same period in 2019. Supermarket sales are unsurprisingly also up year on year.

The main change for retailers this Christmas is the unpredictability and more volatile need for reliable, temp retail staff so retailers can focus their energies elsewhere. Retailers are now outsourcing temporary staff for their seasonal needs and availing of temporary staff to flex up their workforce on short notice, where staff have been out sick or need to self-isolate.

These are just some of the new challenges Covid-19 has introduced for the retail sector alongside the introduction of new safety equipment, reduced store capacities and the closure of the sector altogether. Another huge obstacle for retailers is short staffing and the difficulty predicting when and where they will need extra staff.

Preparing your business for seasonal ramps ups this Christmas

Cpl’s Retail team recruit a variety of contract and temporary, full-time and part-time retail workers across fresh food & grocery, fashion retail, hardware & DIY, luxury goods, pharmacy, buying and head office.

We have hundreds of candidates available for work and are helping retailers across Ireland this Christmas season. Here are some of the ways we can help you.

1.Provide staff on short notice

As we specialise in retail, we have a workforce of experienced temporary workers within our database who are available to work at short notice. These candidates usually have experience working onsite with other clients so they will be pre-approved and strong performers. This means they can get to work quickly and are available when you need them.

2.Reduce costs and save time

Advertising roles can be costly, but at this time of year retailers can also lose out financially if they don’t have adequate staff to serve customer’s needs. Recruiting temporary staff can also take quite a lot of time if you don’t have the right experience, which again can be detrimental during the seasonal period.

By engaging with agencies, employers can cut out the more intensive side of recruitment as agencies can find the right candidates quicker. Cpl Retail look after sourcing, screening, and onboarding candidates. We can also handle the payroll side for temporary staff which reduces administration costs for the employer.

3.Greater flexibility

As mentioned above, using agencies for temporary staffing allows you to scale up your headcount on short notice. Another benefit of using agency staff is that there is no commitment. As temporary staff are employed by the agency, the employer does not have to commit to short term contract which can take the pressure of employers, particularly this year as the market is incredibly unpredictable.

Christmas is always a stressful time for retailers, with increased demands and tight margins. This year Covid has brought extra stressors and while temporary roles at this time of year tend to be entry-level, the process of recruiting for these roles is still time-consuming and costly for the employer.

If you need help and would like to discuss how temporary agency staff could benefit your business please get in touch. For retail job opportunities view the Cpl job board.