by Christopher Blomquist

Help is still wanted this holiday season.

A new survey to be formally released next week by San Francisco-based company reveals that 86 percent of retailers who hire seasonal employees report being short-staffed this holiday season.

The company surveyed 1,250 retail store owners and managers over the course of two days to harvest its data.

The number of workers these affected businesses lack varies. Twenty-four percent are between one and 25 seasonal employees. Sixteen percent are short-staffed by 26-50 employees and 11 percent have between 51 and 75 unfilled seasonal positions.

The biggest trials retailers report facing when hiring seasonal workers in 2021 were finding and retaining employees. Forty-four percent of retailers could not find qualified candidates while 40 percent did not get enough applications.

In addition, 41 percent of retailers report no-shows for interviews and 38 percent hired employees who then did not show up for their shifts. Almost half (44 percent) of retailers had seasonal hires who only stuck around for a few shifts before quitting.

“There is a pervasive energy out in the workplace that is resonating with all workers, that there is something better out there for them,” career counselor Stacie Haller says in the report. “With the abundance of job opportunities available, and the messaging from the media that now is the time to get the job you want, job-seekers feel empowered to do as they please during the hiring process. Seasonal employees may continue to look for permanent positions and will leave when they find them, even if it’s only a few days after starting a new position.”

“Seasonal work has traditionally been for workers looking to make extra money during the holidays,” she adds. “Since remote work has taken hold, many people are exploring other routes for extra income. With the same retail and hospitality skills, workers can find other jobs where they have more flexibility, can earn more money, and don’t have to worry about Covid exposure.”

To ameliorate the situation 49 percent of those surveyed offered higher pay this year. Other solutions included signing bonuses (44 percent), employee discounts (40 percent), health insurance (38 percent), permanent job offers (36 percent) and paid time off (34 percent).