Job-seekers, take heart.Â This year, holiday hiring extends beyond sweater-folding and gift-wrapping. Companies with hundreds or thousands of professional jobs to fill â€” both full-time and temporary â€” have also put out the â€œhelp wantedâ€ sign.
In the next few months, hiring for temporary or temp-to-perm positions outside the retail sector is expected to increase by around 10% over last yearâ€™s holiday season, says Paul Shanahan, regional vice president at Adecco, a staffing company. And the jobs are good ones, in some surprising places: Companies like Omnicom Groupâ€™s MarketStar and Red Ventures are adding workers in greater numbers than they were a year ago â€“ including thousands of mid- and higher-level full-time positions with benefits.
This holiday season has coincided with a gradual increase in personal spending â€“ already up 2.6% from a year ago, according to the Commerce DepartmentÂ â€“Â on everything from gadgets to appliances to homes. And companies, which laid off workers in vast numbers over the last few years, are starting to respond. Thatâ€™s led to a year-end increase in hiring for jobs â€” some temporary and some permanent â€” that require a college degree and work experience. Many will last longer than just a few weeks and could grow into full-time positions that pay more than $100,000.
Here are five of the companies hiring at the holidays for jobs youâ€™d be happy to have on your resume.
Just as banks face ever-greater scrutiny in the lending process, consumers are starting to look at refinancing their mortgages and buying new homes. Refinancings and purchases have steadily risen in October, up 21% for refis and 8.5% for purchases the week ending Oct. 8. In anticipation of what a Wells Fargo (WFC: 26.11, +0.08, +0.30%)Â spokeswoman calls a â€œhuge wave of customers looking to refinance or buy a new home,â€ the bank is adding about 5,000 new positions in the next two months at loan processing centers nationwide â€“ including Denver, Minneapolis and Charlotte.
The company is looking for permanent, full-time loan administration managers, consumer loan underwriters and lending managers with previous related experience. Wells Fargo declined to discuss compensation, but average pay for a loan officer is $63,210, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In some divisions, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ: 42.87, +0.47, +1.10%)Â is still trying to cut costs. But the computer giant still needs help â€” particularly in the area of technology engineering and project management. To keep full-time staff numbers down, H-P is hiring on the cheap, bringing on temporary employees who donâ€™t receive benefits, says Trip Chowdhry, a senior analyst who covers the tech sector at Global Equities Research.
But many positions will last into 2011, so out-of-work tech gurus with server or database work experience might consider applying for the computer systems and software giantâ€™s limited-term positions around the country. Most jobs â€” with titles like database engineer and infrastructure technology project managerÂ â€”Â require a bachelorâ€™s degree in computer science, engineering, business and two to five years of experience in IT. H-P declined to comment, but median hourly pay for computer hardware engineers according to the BLS, is $47.51 â€” and just a few dollars less an hour for computer software engineers.
And there will likely be some full-time slots to come in sales and research and development, too, an area which H-P is expected to grow in the near term, says Michael Holt, an H-P analyst at Morningstar. (Openings of all kinds are listed here.)
Global Experience Specialists
Headquartered in Las Vegas, GES produces exhibitions for consumer and commercial products. And now that the convention business is picking up again â€“ attendance at Las Vegas shows is up 2.2% compared to last year, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority â€“ GES plans to fill 50 full-time permanent positions in the next two months. It’s moving quickly in part to prepare for the largest annual convention in North America, the International Consumer Electronics Show, which is held the first week in January in Las Vegas. There are other jobs, too, in other cities where the firm has offices, including Los Angeles, Chicago, Teterboro, N.J., Orlando, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and Dallas. The firm is looking for applicants with experience in event management and trade shows and a bachelorâ€™s degree. According to the BLS, the mean annual wage for operational specialists is $69,110.
As firms like Verizon (VZ: 32.09, -0.43, -1.32%), Sony (SNE: 33.43, +0.03, +0.08%)Â and Whirlpool (WHR: 85.56, +0.01, +0.01%) try to boost sales, MarketStar is hiring 1,000 people to help them. The Ogden, Utah-based company hires and trains product representatives on the finer details of electronics and appliances, then places these product â€œexpertsâ€ in large chain stores to answer shoppersâ€™ questions. Between now and mid-November, the firm is hiring approximately 1,000 temporary product representatives (apply here or here) to get through the holiday crush.
Although the initial gig could be as short as one month, those who excel could land a full-time position after the holidays, says Jeff Lefevre, the companyâ€™s retail marketing manager. The company typically hires applicants with at least two years experience with consumer electronics and a bachelorâ€™s degree; the jobs pay up to $15 an hour â€” almost double typical retail wages. And temps may get some freebies â€“ like smart phones, cameras or printersÂ â€“Â depending on what theyâ€™re promoting. MarketStar is also hiring several full-time representatives who will promote brands and train retail store associates. Starting salaries often range from $30,000 to $45,000, along with the usual cadre of benefitsÂ â€“Â plus stock options for parent company Omnicom Group (OMC: 43.23, +0.18, +0.41%)Â , which is now trading at about $43.
Thereâ€™s a marketing war on among high-speed Internet and satellite TV providers, which means business is good for Red Ventures, a company that promotes those products and services, among others, online. The companyâ€™s business volume has more than doubled this year, and it is expected to keep growing in the next few months. Thatâ€™s why the Fort Mill, S.C.-based company plans to hire around 340 employees in Charlotte, N.C., Fort Mill, and Miami in the next two months. Even better, because business prospects are looking up for 2011, these positions are full time.
The most senior positions â€” which require at least six years of marketing experienceÂ â€”Â include directors and vice presidents, for whom pay often starts at above $100,000 per year. There are also marketing manager positions, where three to five years experience is required, and sales positions, which are open to recent college graduates and offer an average total compensation ranging from $40,000 to $60,000 plus.
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