The Christmas shopping season seems to start a little earlier each year. Right next to bags of Halloween candy, you can already find rolls of Christmas wrap and bags of red and green bows at many stores. According to retail forecasts, we can expect fat jolly snowmen to start crowding colorful scarecrows and dour pilgrims off store shelves well before Thanksgiving turkeys start appearing in grocery freezer cases.

The December holiday shopping season is make-it-or-break-it time for the retail industry. Strong sales last December helped bump the economy onto the road to recovery, and retailers are hoping for equally brisk sales this year. High expectations herald good news for job seekers. According to an article in The Dallas Morning News, retailers plan to hire more temporary holiday workers this year; and there’s an excellent chance that those part-time holiday jobs will turn into full-time employment after the holidays.

Last year, 30% (nearly 1 in 3!) of Target seasonal workers and 15% of ToysRUs holiday workers were offered year-round employment after the holidays. According to a survey by the Hay Group reported in The Dallas Morning News article, this year 43% of major retailers plan to skip that “probationary period” and hire more permanent workers outright during the holidays. In addition to in-store sales jobs, many of the new jobs will be available at retail warehouses and distribution and fulfillment centers where more hands are needed to process ecommerce orders.

The early bird gets the job!

It’s not too soon to start filling out applications. Some retailers have already started hiring for the holidays, and many, like Kohls, expect to wrap up seasonal hiring by mid-November. Other retailers, such as Target and Walmart, usually continue seasonal hiring into December. While many seasonal jobs require no prior experience or special skills, this year the holidays will also bring increased demand for people with advertising and merchandising experience. Experienced warehouse workers who know how to operate power equipment and are familiar with fulfillment procedures and product documentation will also be in demand.

Watch for updates on seasonal job opportunities on The Zoondy Daily.