TWIN FALLS — Before Halloween was in the rear-view mirror, many Twin Falls retailers were already wrapping up their holiday hiring.
November and December are typically the big months for stores — especially with the advent of shopping holidays such as Black Friday and Small Business Saturday to entice early Christmas shoppers. As stores were hiring dozens of employees far in advance, the Times-News reached out to find out how they were doing.
Here’s what six of them said:
Bath & Body Works
“We typically hire anywhere from 20 to 30 people for the holidays,” said Cindy Requa, manager at Bath and Body Works in the Magic Valley Mall.
Her shop started recruiting in September and wanted to be done by mid-November. Most applicants already have another job or multiple jobs, she said, and work around those schedules.
“I feel like it’s always a struggle to find people,” Requa said.
The company raised its wages by $1 per hour this year and offers discount benefits to attract applicants. Requa was down to her last five openings on Oct. 26.
Her seasonal workers will start around Black Friday and work through the first week of January. The store is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Costco typically adds between 20 and 30 seasonal hires to its staff of around 240 employees in Twin Falls, General Manager Bonnie Schaeffer said. The company normally begins recruiting in late summer.
“We like to be finished (recruiting) by the middle of October,” she said.
With positions filled, Schaeffer said she’d like to be able to hire more, if she could, due to a high number of requests for work. Costco is up-front with its seasonal hires about hours, telling them they can expect work to range from 0 to 40 hours per week, she said. The week before Thanksgiving and two weeks before Christmas are the busiest times.
Seasonal hires work until Christmas Eve. Costco is closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Fashion 15 Below
Owner Erin Rigel hired seven new people recently to help handle her business’ growth. Two of those are seasonal positions — one for processing online orders and another to help out in the Twin Falls store through the end of the year.
Rigel started her online store in June 2017 and launched an app this March. She moved her warehouse to Washington Street South this spring.
“It’s like operating a store,” Rigel said. “It’s its own beast.”
She also has a store in Pocatello she ships orders and product to.
In preparation for the Christmas shopping season, Fashion 15 Below has been bringing in more gift items.
“Black Friday is like Super-Bowl Saturday,” Rigel said. “We love it.”
She’s also planning out deals for Cyber Monday, the Monday following Thanksgiving. Fashion 15 Below will be closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas.
Fashion 15 Below receives job applications almost daily, and gets another boost when Rigel posts jobs on Facebook, she said.
Kmart store manager Bonnie Bratvold said in late October that her store had a variety of positions open — and not just seasonal jobs.
“We are still looking — we’re always looking,” she said. “I could have hired people three months ago.”
The Twin Falls Kmart typically tries to bring on at least 20 seasonal positions, and given the training it takes, Bratvold would like to keep people working there as long as possible — even beyond the holidays. A couple of national hiring events helped bring in applicants, she said.
Kmart is open on Thanksgiving but not Christmas.
Kurt’s Pharmacy and Hallmark
Kurt’s Pharmacy owner Kurt Hefner said his pharmacy is busy year-round, and the Hallmark store has had Christmas displays since July. The company had no plans to hire seasonal staff, but had recently hired two people who will continue working beyond the holidays.
Target hosted hiring events Oct. 12-14 and was able to interview 150 people for jobs, store Team Leader Lee Andersen said.
“We had a lot of luck,” he said.
From that grouping, the Twin Falls store hired 62 people — with hopes to hire a few more after it consults with its corporate officials.
The seasonal jobs are a boost from previous years, in large part because the company offers free two-day shipping from its online orders, starting Black Friday. And about 80 percent of those will be filled by stores, Andersen said, with employees pulling product from shelves and working behind-the-scenes to get those packages shipped.
The local Target began shipping orders last year, but expects the volume to as much as triple in the coming season. Employees have a minimum pay of $12 per hour and can expect to work 15 to 30 hours per week until the end of December.
This year, Target has added an extra incentive: one employee in good standing from each store will be randomly selected for a $500 Target gift card, plus a $500 gift card to a charity of his or her choice.
Training begun in October, but most of the seasonal workers will come on between Saturday and Nov. 10, Andersen said, with cashiers coming in last.
The seasonal workers have different stories, but most just want a little extra cash over the holidays, he said. All come on with the understanding that the job is seasonal, but Target will try to keep as many as they can afterward, Andersen said.
Target is open on Thanksgiving for limited hours, but is closed on Christmas.