The National Retail Federation says retailers are expected to add at least 730,000 extra workers this holiday season. A national unemployment rate of 5.9 percent, the lowest since 2008, isn't helping either.
To combat this shortage, some retailers are turning to social media to recruit employees. The Wall Street Journal reports that companies are opting to use social tools because they're not only immediate, they'll increase the chance of getting spotted by potential new hires.
"Social-media pushes broaden the pool of candidates by attracting workers who aren’t actively looking for jobs," notes the Journal article.
Companies such as San Francisco-based apparel chain The Gap, which operates 3,263 stores nationwide, took to Twitter to find applicants, hoping to turn the pool of loyal customers into a stronger staff.
Why don't companies just start hiring earlier? They don't know how many employees will be needed until holiday sales forecasts are completed.
Newspaper ads don't work when you're hiring this many workers this quickly, notes Ellen Davis of the National Retail Federation's Talent Acquisition Group. "Using existing [social] channels to reach prospective hires is smart and economical," she adds.
Employers may be changing the way they recruit new workers, but they're not paying more for them. "In September, nonsupervisor retail wages increased 2.1 percent from a year earlier," notes the Journal. That's roughly in line with inflation.