Explore the changing face of today’s holiday job seeker

In recent blog posts detailing insights from our annual Holiday Hiring Report 2022, we’ve spent a good amount of time discussing the mindset and motivations of holiday job seekers.

Now we'd like to take a closer look into the demographics of these hourly workers. What’s their age? What’s their education level? What’s their current job status?

When you better understand the makeup of potential candidates, you’ll be better prepared to communicate in ways that align with their thinking. This will naturally give you the upper hand in reaching them and winning them over, which is critical as you staff up for the holiday rush.

In our just-released hiring survey, we asked nearly 3,800 hourly workers to tell us more about themselves. Here’s what they reported regarding their demographics.

Holiday job seekers are skewing younger

Here’s a breakdown of their ages.

  • 19% are under 18 

  • 16% are between 18-24

  • 14% are 25-34

  • 17% are 35-44

  • 16% are 45-54

  • 12% are 55-64

  • 7% are 65+

As you can see, the largest group of holiday job seekers are under 18 years old. This makes sense, as many in the age bracket anticipate having a few weeks off from school and want to put the time to good use. They’re also just now coming out of their post-pandemic shell, and relish the opportunity to socialize with others after two years of being cooped up in the house.

Pro-tip: For these younger workers, in both job posts and the entire recruiting process, it’s important to emphasize the social aspects of your job as well as your company culture. This weighs heavily in their minds. It’s particularly important in the restaurant industry, as these demographics show how young these job seekers are:

Restaurant:

  • 22% under 18

  • 21% 18-24

  • 2% 65+

However, “under 18” is not the largest bucket in all job sectors. Here are comparisons:

Retail:

  • 15% under 18

  • 19% 18-24

  • 10% 65+

Hotel & Hospitality:

  • 3% under 18

  • 27% 25-34

  • 3% 65+

Warehousing & Logistics:

  • 1% under 18

  • 29% 35-44

  • 3% 65+

Pro tip: If you’re hiring in these job sectors, which skew older, the social and cultural aspects become less important. Pay, benefits, and flexibility become more important. Take a look at our full Holiday Hiring Report for specific numbers and insights in each industry.

Holiday job seekers skew toward students

Many hourly job seekers report that they’re looking for work while on break from school. Below is a quick breakdown of their status. 

  • 34% are high school or GED students

  • 13% are college students

  • 24% are working moms

  • 14% are retired

  • 25% are working multiple jobs

Pro tip: Note that because they’re jumping into the workforce, it’s important to set expectations of what’s required for the job. Many will be first-time workers and may not know how businesses operate (know-how that you would expect from more experienced workers). 

As mentioned above when discussing age ranges, not all job sectors are the same regarding education and work status. Holiday retail and restaurant workers fit the mold nicely though:

Retail:

  • 30% are high school or GED students

  • 16% are college students

Restaurant:

  • 36% are high school or GED students

  • 12% are college students

But that being said, other job industries are less geared towards those in school:

Hotel & Hospitality:

  • 18% are high school or GED students

  • 13% are college students

Warehouse & Logistics:

  • 19% are high school or GED students

  • 12% are college students

Pro tip: When recruiting in these industries, think about long-term employment. Since many are not in school and won’t be returning to class schedules, they’ll be more open to continuing the work relationship. Also note that across the board, 55% of holiday job seekers report they’ll be using their holiday work experience to determine if they want to transition into that particular role more permanently. So, make it a good experience and you’ll have a win today and tomorrow.

Naturally, we’re just scratching the surface here with the demographics of today’s holiday job seekers. For the complete picture, browse our complete Holiday Hiring Report.

Browse report

PS: For a holiday hiring 2022 deep dive into the Retail, Restaurant, Hotel & Hospitality, or Warehouse & Logistics industries, check out our four industry-specific editions. Plus there’s also our infographic with a quick snapshot of the report’s findings.

Darrell Jones |
Darrell is Snagajob’s Manager of Content & Copywriting, where he enjoys writing and editing advice that helps workers and businesses align and succeed. His first hourly job was totally chill, bagging ice at an ice cube f-f-f-factory.