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As retailers begin their holiday season hiring sprees, Target has another plan.
The big box retailer said it’s giving five million more hours to current stores team members this holiday shopping season and it’s banking on a new mobile app to help it do so.
The additional hours will result in $75 million more in pay for Target’s existing team, the retailer said. To make it work, Target launched a new mobile scheduling app this summer to all associates so they can conveniently choose or swap shifts that align with their schedules. The mobile scheduling app also makes it easier for associates who opt to work “on demand” to pick up shifts that align with their schedules.
“This has quickly become a popular option among team members who are full-time students, retirees, and those who want to work less frequently,” said Target. It’s On Demand program has more than 20,000 team members and is still growing.
As a result of Target’s work to provide team members with the schedules they desire during the holidays, hourly team members are already working nearly 15% more hours than they were a year ago, on average, the retailer said. The company will build on this during the holiday season by having store leaders regularly check in with existing team members to understand their scheduling preferences and offer them the opportunity to work additional hours if they’re interested.
[See more: 2021 Holiday Retail Forecasts and Predictions]
Target has also been offering back-up training to team members for more than a year to support in-demand areas like Order Pickup and Drive Up, which also provides the opportunity for workers to pickup an additional 4-8 hours per week. Target said it has tripled the number of its store fulfillment expert roles over the last two years and this year it’s offering all workers the option to go through this back-up training.
As a result of these moves, the company said it will hire fewer seasonal team members than previous years. However, Target still plans to hire 100,000 seasonal workers to supplement its current team. Interested candidates can visit TargetSeasonalJobs.com to apply for seasonal store and distribution center positions. Virtual and pre-recorded video interviews will continue to be leveraged this year, and distribution center candidates who apply online will also have a contactless hiring experience.
“Our strategy is only possible because of Target’s incredible team,” said Melissa Kremer, chief human resources officer, Target. “We have worked to provide our team members with more consistent schedules, which means more consistent paychecks and a more consistent way to manage their life. Additionally, we are offering more hours to team members who want them and continuing our important investment in training and development. When we invest in and care for our team we know that guest service improves, turnover goes down and team members can more easily build rewarding careers at Target.”
In addition to doubling down on existing workers for peak selling season, Target launched a Debt-Free Education Assistance Program to more than 340,000 frontline associates this fall. All part-time and full-time retail associates working in Target stores, distribution centers and headquarters locations in the U.S. will be eligible for debt-free assistance for select undergraduate degrees, certificates, and certifications, as well as free textbooks with no out-of-pocket costs starting on their first day of work at Target. In 2020, Target moved to a $15 starting wage for all team members.
“Our store teams continue to step up to serve our guests and communities when they’re counting on us most, time and time again,” said Mark Schindele, Target’s chief stores officer. “They are at the heart of our winning strategy, which is why Target continues to invest in providing training, consistent hours and schedules and support, to take care of them as they deliver for guests and power our business.”