Christmas provides lots of job opportunities for those of us looking to earn some extra dosh and gain experience in the workplace. With the summer holidays coming up fast lots of retailers are looking for Christmas casuals, and many have started the recruiting process now. Last year Cotton On hired over 2000 Christmas employees.
Why Christmas Casuals?
Christmas is the busiest time of year for retailers so they often need extra workers to help with meeting the demand. Retailers are especially busy from mid-November through to early January. Many people also go on holiday during this period; therefore there are shortages in labour that need to be filled by temporary employees. Interestingly, as holiday-makers flock to the seaside and other places of tourism over summer, the shops in these areas are at their busiest and require casuals to help meet the workload. So if you live near a tourist area, you’re in luck.
Knowing how employers roll
Different employers have different recruitment processes. Most of the large employers like Coles, Woolworths, Target and Myer have online systems for you to apply through. Generally you will have to create a login, fill out your details and submit your resume through their system. This way both you and the employer can keep track of your application, and you can be notified of any positions available in your area. You also have the option of staying in their system for any future positions.
If your application makes it through to the next round, you will be asked to come in for a group interview session with other applicants. Often these sessions are quite large and you will be asked to do some tasks with other applicants. These tasks are often quite fun but give employers a chance to see who is suitable for what position. If you are successful the employer will contact you and let you know of any job vacancies in your area.
Some businesses are franchises, including Pizza Hut, Bakers Delight and Hudsons Coffee. This means that the each store is owned by a different person or group of people. Depending on a store’s needs over Christmas these franchises post job opportunities on the company’s website. However it is still a good idea to visit your local store in person, as each franchise owner may post job opportunities in store only.
Jennifer got a job as a Christmas casual at Cotton On in 2011. Here are Jennifer’s top tips for other young people looking for holiday work.
• Apply early and to as many stores as you possibly can.
• Have a look at your friends’ resumes to help you spruce up your own.
• Include a cover letter to show you went that extra mile.
• Be prepared for the potential call – have answers to “What makes you right for Cotton On?”, for example.
• If offered, choose the earliest possible interview session both date- and time-wise.
• Dress comfortably and well (like you would if you were going out to dinner with friends, perhaps).
• Make sure you have all required documents and are familiar with the interview location, plus travel there.
• Keep a copy of everything just in case you lose something.
• Be friendly and unique! I think (appropriate, tasteful) humour can only do good.
• Learn about the company and know some of their facts to show that you’re a cut above the rest.
Some employers require trained staff
There are some Christmas casual jobs that will require you be trained in a certain field. Jobs such as life saving and baking will require you to have qualifications in that area, however you can still work in other parts of the company.
Even Santa’s reindeers have rights
Christmas is a busy and stressful time for many, and it is the time of year when hours and working conditions are at their most irregular. However Christmas casual workers are like any other casual worker in Australia, and you will have agreed hours negotiated with your employer. You are also entitled to the same workplace rights as other casual employees. This includes fair pay, a safe workplace, adequate breaks, freedom from discrimination and reasonable hours (minimum four hours and absolute maximum of 12 with adequate breaks). Remember also that you must be paid for any work you do on the job, including trial work, and receive pay slips no later than a day after your wage is paid.
Hard work pays off; you may get a permanent job out of it
One of the greatest things about Christmas casual work is the potential for permanent employment. Depending on the size and requirement of the store you may be offered a permanent position at the company, or if it’s a large company be invited to transfer to another store in the area. Major retailers like Coles, Woolworths and Kmart will maintain a list of employees who have worked with them in the past, and offer them future job opportunities as they become available.
Where to from here, Captain?!
Get searching! Employers such as Myer have starting advertising for Christmas casuals in September and employees will be commencing work in store mid-October. Other companies like Target are recruiting on a regular basis in the lead up to Christmas, so it is wise to submit your application now and note that you are available for Christmas casual work. Kick-start your search by checking out the websites of top employers here and visit your local store in person. Ask the store manager about their plans for the Christmas season and the best way to go about expressing your interest.
Australian Curriculum Links:
Work Studies/Year 9/Career and life design: Gaining and keeping work
Investigate formal and informal recruitment processes:”researching the variety of processes employers use for recruitment.
Work Studies/Year 10/Career and life design: Gaining and keeping work
Use a range of tools, methods and skills for accessing work relevant to 21st century recruitment and selection processes.