by Diane Tuazon
MIDLAND - It's only October, but retailers are already scoping through applications looking to hire qualified employees for seasonal positions.
"October is the start of the holiday season. It's going to be different. Retailers will be more efficient with labor," Mike Williams, General Manager of Best Buy, said.
Stores like Toys R Us and Best Buy have already seen double the applications compared to last year, but due to the recent increase in unemployment rate, retailers say competition will be tough for seasonal jobs as they become available.
"We've seen a very diverse talent pool this year. Quite a bit of experienced applicants that you may not have seen in the past," Williams said.
Jacob Claxton was one of the few who got hired for a seasonal position and he says finding a job was a lot harder than he'd imagined.
"It's certainly a lot tougher than it used to be. I remember two years ago, I looked for a job and it was a lot easier. From what I remembered, the guy who interviewed me said there were about 200 applicants for this job," Claxton said.
For several retail stores in the area, October is the perfect time to train new employees for the holiday season ahead.
"We start hiring in October and get them trained for Black Friday, which is the one of the busiest times during the holiday," Williams said.