Kohl's is hiring workers for the holidays earlier than ever as the retail industry weathers a labor crisis

  • Kohl's announced on Wednesday that it is starting its hiring process for seasonal holiday workers.

  • The department store is getting ahead of the pack in finding workers amid a labor shortage in the retail sector.

  • Companies with less appealing offerings are more at risk here.

The summer solstice is only a week behind us, but Kohl's is already on the hunt for workers for the holiday season.

The department store announced on Wednesday that it had kicked off the application process for seasonal jobs at more than 300 of its 1,100 stores across the United States, MarketWatch reported.

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"We are hiring seasonal associates earlier than ever to ensure our teams are fully staffed, trained and ready to support peak shopping seasons," Ryan Festerling, Kohl's executive vice president of human resources, said in a statement to the press.

Kohl's is likely positioning itself to scoop up talent early as a labor shortage continues to impact the retail industry.

US unemployment has fallen to a 17-year low of 4.1%, which means that many retailers are struggling to hire and retain workers.

"Where we have a problem hiring is the lower level, the seasonal or entry-level employees," Melissa Hassett, vice president of client delivery for ManpowerGroup Solutions, told Reuters in 2017.

Hassett said that employees are seeking more flexibility, training, and pay, and that low-salaried retail jobs are becoming less appealing. The hourly median wage for entry-level retail workers was $11.21 in 2017, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Companies with less appealing work and perks are being hit the hardest, especially fast-food chains.

Dunkin' Donuts CEO Nigel Travis said that hiring and retaining workers is the biggest problem facing the fast-food industry at the moment.

"One franchisee always quotes, 'I can only get 60% of the labor I need,'" he told Business Insider.

With this in mind, the perks still seem to be limited for seasonal hires at Kohl's, who will be entitled to a 15% employee discount in the store along with the promise that they may be considered for full-time roles in the future.

"Whether individuals are looking to begin a career in retail, earn additional money for the holidays, or maximize their savings with great discounts this holiday season, Kohl's has a variety of positions available for interested candidates," the company said.

Kohl's is hiring for the holiday season as well as the back-to-school rush.

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