Seasonal hiring gives hope to job seekers


The online stationary company Minted has made several new hires at its San Francisco headquarters.

"We've hired over 100 seasonal design associates and 18 customer service representatives," said Minted human resources director Loren Rozakos.

The designers and illustrators at Minted help turn their own art and pieces submitted by graphic designers around the globe into holiday cards, invitations and the like. The pay is $15 to $17 an hour. For Letitia Green, who's been out of work for a year and a half, it's like a gift from heaven.

"It's like a world separate from the world I came from. It's kind of like I moved from one place and now I'm in a new world where everything works," said Green.

A man came on as a seasonal hire right out of college and worked his way into a staff job. That's not the way it worked for many of his college classmates.

"Yeah, a bunch of my friends didn't have jobs. I was really lucky to find this place," said Minted employee Jack Knoebber.

"We're in a unique position to offer our seasonal design associates not only the ability to earn a very fair hourly wage, but also contribute to our organization through submitting their original pieces of art," said Rozakos.

The national jobless rate still hovers around 9.6 percent. In California it's more than 12 percent. But, staffing agencies say some clients are looking to hire. Some agencies are predicting a 20 percent increase over last year.

"We've certainly seen an increase to this year's hiring, certainly an uptick from last year. We're seeing a lot in the retail space, a lot of vacation coverage," said Lisa Gibello of Robert Half Inc.

But, Gibello says the number of jobs will be limited and competition will be fierce. She recommends job seekers put their best foot forward. Dress the part, and work a seasonal or contract job as if there's a potential full time position at the end of it.

"I really think that there's some long term potential that comes from short term opportunities," said Gibello.

Some of the big players are adding lots of workers as well. Toys"R"Us is picking up 45,000 seasonal workers. Macy's is hiring 65,000 across the country. Analysts say that shows some corporate optimism in this holiday season.

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