The labor shortage is a common problem across America. "Now hiring” signs are posted on just about every storefront.
Kelly Morton, a bakery manager, says finding help has been no small task.
"We'll get a bunch of people who will send in applications and then not respond, or we'll get people signed up for interviews that won't appear," she said.
Morton handles marketing and social media at The BonBonerie, a bakery known for its specialty pastries.
They have lines of customers every day, but no line of people applying.
"Hiring has been difficult all year," she said. "But it's especially difficult now just because there are so many amazing small businesses, just businesses in general, looking for that extra holiday help. "
Job seekers have the upper hand right now
Raji Srinivasan, professor at the McCombs Business School at the University of Texas at Austin, says it is a job-seekers market right now, or a "seller's market" when it comes to hiring.
"I think you have a choice of deciding where you want to work," Srinivasan said. "And I think you might even be in a position to negotiate these entry-level jobs, which is something that's been unheard of in previous years."
As a result, companies are offering all sorts of hiring bonuses and extra perks.
Even bakeries have to add extra incentives to get workers this holiday season.
"When you're working on your shift here, you get to eat basically whatever you want," Morton said.
With workers in the driver's seat, experts advise job seekers to ask for better pay, better benefits, even more vacation if they are looking for a full-time job.
And they say be choosy because you can.
"Whether it's Nordstrom, or it’s, Sam's Club or Costco or Walmart, the kinds of salaries you're seeing being offered are as much as $18 or $20, and all kinds of benefits, including, for example, and college tuition. I think that seems to me, something that we've never seen," Srinivasan said.
Some of the companies offering perks, according to a report by Slate, include:
- Amazon: offering $15 an hour plus sign-on bonuses.
- Target: raising raised its lowest wage from $13 to $15 an hour.
- Kohl's: offering up to $400 in sign-on bonuses.
In the meantime, the BonBonerie is still hoping to bring in some extra workers for the busy holiday baking season.
They hope the lure of the sweetest benefits in the world convinces some people it's a great place to work.
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