Looking for a Holiday Retail Gig? Check Twitter This Year

Shops recruit seasonal help via social

As part of an unorthodox new recruiting strategy, retailers are tapping their social media followers for temporary employees as the holiday season approaches.

According to The Wall Street Journal, companies have been using e-mail newsletters and tweets to attract loyal customers as potential employees. In addition to making job posts more accessible from news feeds and inboxes, it also attracts candidates with an existing interest in the company.

Beverages and More Inc., a chain of liquor, beer and wine stores in California, increased its online applications by 66 percent from the previous month by tweeting in mid-October about the 1,000 seasonal associate positions it needed to fill. Other retailers such as Crate & Barrel and Carter's Inc. followed suit with tweets of their own, while Container Store Inc. sent out 1.6 million emails to customers looking for potential employees.

Last month the Journal reported that the labor force participation rate (the measure of everyone currently employed plus everyone over the age of 16 who wants to be) is only 62.7 percent.

While this is near the lowest participation rate since the late 1970s, social media now allows companies to exploit their advertising and customer service channels to spread available job postings by digital word-of-mouth.

Kevin Knapp, Container Store's head of recruiting, told the Journal, "Our customers are huge proponents of our brand. If they're not looking for an opportunity, they might pass it along to someone who is."