Help wanted: Businesses struggling to hire seasonal workers


WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Businesses across the nation have been struggling to hire employees. With the holidays around the corner, it’s causing even more stress.

“It’s a difficult year for us, and Santa needs lots of elves,” said Steve Jahn, owner of The Nifty Nut House.

The Nifty Nut House has been around for decades. The holidays are their peak season. Jahn says they do a month’s worth of business in a week. He added that he has never struggled so much to hire seasonal workers.

“Typically, we have 60 to 80, helping us at our seasonal peak, so we might have 45 right now or 50. We’re about halfway there,” he said.

Jahn says they are struggling to get people to come in for interviews.

“We will schedule interviews and say we have 10 scheduled. We might have five show up, and of those five, we hire three, and of those three, only one or two show up.”

Businesses across a variety of industries are feeling the same burden.

“I think it’s just a lot of different things. There’s less people going back to work, less people looking for secondary jobs, just less people in the market,” said Angie Nath, Five Star Call Centers’ director of human resources. “People are really looking at what’s important to them. Maybe they want to get into a different sector of the work environment versus what they were doing before.”

“I think it’s the monies that are out there like Amazon at $15 or $18 an hour; just far beyond what is normally out there for labor,” Jahn added. “Either the pool of people is smaller or people are staying at home getting paid not to work. We really don’t know the true reason why.”

Jahn has tried using temp agencies and raising wages to entice workers. A trend many businesses are doing.

“We’re trying flexible scheduling, attendance bonuses, you know, casual dress environment, the possibility of regular employment after the holiday season,” Nath said.

The hiring struggle is being seen beyond the holiday season, bringing new opportunities for job seekers.

“In the past, a lot of seasonal jobs might have ended, you know, at Christmas or New Year’s, but I think there’s a lot more potential for part-time to full-time seasonal to permanent hiring. So individuals should really go out there and look at what might interest them,” explained Amanda Duncan with the Wichita Workforce Center.

You can find jobs by clicking here.

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