Amid the retail industry's much-discussed labor crunch, Target Corp. announced Thursday that it plans to hire 100,000 seasonal associates this year—down from the approximately 130,000 it added in 2019 and 2020.
The Minneapolis-based retailer didn't note that latter point, however, in its announcement, instead playing up the fact that it will offer current team members up to 5 million additional hours at the holidays. A new, shift-swapping-friendly scheduling app, as well as enhanced flexibility through Target's On Demand program—designed for team members looking to pick up sporadic shifts as their schedules allow—will give employees more flexibility to adjust their hours this holiday season, Target stated.
"We’re giving our frontline store team members what we know they want: more pay, flexibility and reliable hours during the holidays," the company said in a news release. The 2021 holiday staffing strategy builds on Target's existing incentives meant to attract, retain and develop talent, including a $15-an-hour minimum wage (implemented in July 2020), fully paid college tuition and career-building opportunities, the retailer added. "When we invest in and care for our team, we know that guest service improves, turnover goes down and team members can more easily build rewarding careers at Target," Chief Human Resources Officer Melissa Kremer said.
In the company's second-quarter earnings call in May, Target COO John Mulligan said that the company's turnover was down significantly from 2019.
"And as turnover decreases, you get so many benefits, right?" he said at the time. "We get team members that know their jobs. We get team members that know their guests that are in their stores because they're in there weekly ... [It] kind of gets to the service model where the idea is to engage with our guests, make them feel welcomed."
On the customer-service front, Target noted that it will have even more workers supporting its popular Drive Up and Order Pickup services this holiday season. In the past two years, Target said, it has tripled its number of store roles focused on order fulfillment. The retailer also will station dedicated team members at store entrances to clean and disinfect carts.
"Our store teams continue to step up to serve our guests and communities when they're counting on us most, time and time again," Target Chief Stores Officer Mark Schindele said. "They are at the heart of our winning strategy."