Major retailers like Walmart and Target in the US are doing whatever it takes to convince people to work there

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  • Retailers such as Target, JCPenney, and Kohl’s are offering new perks in an effort to win over thousands of seasonal workers this holiday season.
  • Kohl’s is offering workers “unprecedented” discounts, Target is highlighting its higher starting pay, and Walmart is reportedly surveying workers on what perks they want the most.
  • “With record low unemployment, you better have a plan,” Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette recently said of the upcoming holiday hiring spree.

As the holiday season draws near, retailers in the US are doing whatever it takes to win over potential employees.

On Thursday, Kohl’s announced it is looking to hire 90,000 seasonal employees. Macy’s is trying to hire 80,000 temporary workers. Target is seeking 120,000 workers this season, up by 20% from the year before.

There were 757,000 retail-job openings across the United States in July, which is about 100,000 more than a year ago, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing the Bureau of Labour Statistics.

The influx of jobs is coming at a time when unemployment is low, at 3.9% in August. As a result, retailers are scrambling to figure out how to win over workers.

“With so many companies looking to hire tens of thousands of seasonal employees, employee engagement needs to be put first,” David Mallon, the chief analyst at Bersin by Deloitte Consulting, told Business Insider earlier this week.

Different retailers are offering different types of perks in hopes of engaging potential employees. JCPenney is offering workers paid time off and even making some eligible for 401(k) benefits. Kohl’s announced on Thursday that seasonal workers will receive an “unprecedented” 35% discount on all purchases from the retailer.

Even Walmart is contemplating how to best win over workers. On Friday, Bloomberg reported that the retail giant sent out a survey to employees, asking them which benefits would be most “meaningful to new hires.” Reported potential perks included child-care services, tutoring, pet care, and gym memberships.

“With record low unemployment, you better have a plan,” Jeff Gennette, the chairman and CEO of Macy’s, said at Recode’s Code Commerce conference in New York on Monday.

At some retailers, that plan includes actually increasing pay.

Target is emphasising that all new hires, including part-time seasonal workers, will receive a $US12-per-hour minimum wage. Earlier this year, Walmart raised its starting pay to $US11 per hour.

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