Christmas casuals hunting earlier

BY Australian Retailers Association
20 October 2015

resume, job, employmentData from job site, Indeed, indicates that Australian job seekers started looking for casual Christmas work in August, a month earlier than the historical pattern of searching in late September and peaking in November.

This is significantly ahead of company recruiting schedules.

Over the Australian summer period, the economy benefits from a 170 per cent increase in casual roles, with the biggest boom coming from retail, representing 87 per cent of the Christmas casual roles listed on Indeed.

The retail brands attracting the most interest from job seekers this year are Cotton On, Dusk, Smiggle, Myer and DFO.

Indeed also expects the hospitality and tourism industries to hire up on a casual basis to cover seasonal demand, with opportunities for those with experience and interest in those areas to benefit.

Currently, Christmas casual job searches outweigh open roles by nearly 140 to one. There are more job seekers this year, with searches increasing 257 per cent over last year. At the time of writing, there are five per cent more casual Christmas roles in the market than 2014, although this is likely to increase further in the run up to Christmas.

Job seekers looking for casual work over the summer period are taking a hyper-local approach to job hunting, with significant numbers looking for jobs that include the names of specific shopping centres and suburbs.

Chris McDonald, MD of ANZ at Indeed said the secret to attracting the best applicants is making sure to use search terms that job seekers are likely to use.

"Remember that Christmas casual work is often a person’s first experience of entering the workforce, so keep job titles simple and make the job relevant by including a location,” said Mr McDonald.

“Globally, job seekers are looking for more flexibility, and for many Australians, the opportunity of securing a casual job over the Christmas period is a chance to gain important experience and help plan for the year ahead.

"Young people in particular benefit from casual job opportunities over the summer months, as it gives them the flexibility to earn without having a negative effect on school, college and university work. Older workers also benefit from these roles as they are looking for flexibility in their work commitments.”

According to the Australian Retailer's Association,  in 2014, $45.2 billion was spent in the period leading up to Christmas, with those aged over 14 spending an average of $2500 on Christmas retail each.

According to the ABS, approximately 2.2 million Australians are employed on a casual basis, and in 2013 just over half of all casual workers were under 30.

“Our research shows that businesses benefit from the ability to tap into a more flexible employee pool in line with demand. As industries including retail, hospitality and tourism experience seasonal peaks, casual work can offer a more flexible solution.”

Most searched shopping centres:

  1. Highpoint Shopping Centre, Maribyrnong, Victoria
  2. Macarthur Square, Campbelltown, NSW
  3. Westfield Fountain Gate, Narre Warren, Victoria
  4. Melbourne Central, Victoria
  5. Chadstone Shopping Centre, Malvern East, Victoria

Most searched suburbs:

  1. Chadstone
  2. Greensborough
  3. Doncaster
  4. Robina
  5. Carindale

Most searched terms:

  1. Part time
  2. Sales assistant
  3. Customer service
  4. Retail assistant
  5. No experience required



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Australian Retailers Association

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association representing Australia’s $310 billion sector, which employs more than 1.2 million people. As the retail industry’s peak representative body, the ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit or call 1300 368 041.

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