Wal-Mart has kicked off its busy holiday hiring season. The retail giant said in a statement it is:
Hiring 55,000 seasonal workers; and
Transitioning 70,000 part-time and full-time workers.
Of the 70,000, Wal-Mart plans to transition 35,000 employees from temporary to part-time status and another 35,000 employees from part-time to full-time status.
Wal-Mart joins other major US retailers that are adding thousands of employees to their payrolls. Similar to what Wal-Mart has done, retailers may choose not only to hire temporary or seasonal workers but also to modify the work hours and employment status of the current workforce.
Making strategic staffing decisions can be particularly challenging for organizations. An employer seeking to reach optimal staffing must take into account a number of considerations, including:
Legal protections or requirements; and
An employer may find it particularly important to focus on the effect that staffing decisions will have on benefits requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) during this holiday hiring season. For example, the decision to transition temporary or contingent workers to a part-time status may trigger compliance requirements under the ACA's pay or play mandate. In addition, the number of hours that an employer considers "part-time" may be considered "full-time" for purposes of calculating full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) under the ACA.
However, although an organization may incur additional costs resulting from increased health coverage for its employees, the decision to elevate employees to part-time or full-time status may make good business sense in the end. For example, when managing seasonal employees, it can be challenging to provide adequate training and ensure prompt customer service. An employer may choose to invest in a full-time, experienced employee in order to close additional sales - especially in the competitive retail marketplace.