In anticipation of what’s expected to be a busy holiday shopping season, retailers already strapped for talent have been announcing plans to hire seasonal workers. Meanwhile, Target last month said it would scale back its holiday hiring, not because it’s been immune to the effects of the retail industry’s labor shortage, but because it believes doing so will allow it to better invest in current employees.
By bringing on fewer holiday hires, the company said it could offer year-round workers more flexibility in the form of additional shift options, not to mention the opportunity to earn top dollar—Target has also announced it will pay those who work weekends and holidays an extra $2 an hour, on top of its $15 minimum wage.
This sort of attention to its workforce helped Target climb 117 spots to earn No. 25 on our annual list of the World’s Best Employers. Forbes partnered with market research company Statista to compile the ranking by surveying 150,000 full-time and part-time workers from 58 countries working for multinational companies and institutions. Survey participants were asked to rate their willingness to recommend their own employers to friends and family. They were also asked to evaluate other employers in their respective industries that stood out positively or negatively. The list is composed of 750 companies that received the highest scores.
Labor shortages have in recent months led employers to offer more competitive compensation packages in an effort to attract and retain workers. In addition to its seasonal bonuses, Target is also investing $200 million over the next four years into its debt-free education assistance benefit. Unveiled this year, it offers its more than 340,000 full- and part-time employees in the U.S. the chance to participate for free in associate and bachelor’s degree programs and bootcamps through a partnership with Guild Education; Target will pay up to $10,000 annually for master’s programs.
Damu McCoy, Target’s vice president of talent acquisition, says perks such as this benefit both individual employees and the corporate culture. “You don’t stay just because you get your paycheck. You stay because you’re inspired by the people you work around, you believe in the organization,” says McCoy, who joined the company as an intern nearly 30 years ago. “Our secret sauce is our culture. It’s how it feels to be a part of the Target team.”
Target was just one of 236 U.S.-based businesses to make the 2021 list. German companies clinched 91 spots, followed by China with 57. Though firms in engineering and manufacturing were among the most represented, the top 10 is flush with tech companies, including South Korea’s Samsung (No. 1), IBM (No. 2), Microsoft (No. 3). Amazon secured the No. 4 spot, despite recent allegations of racial and pregnancy discrimination, and pay inequities, its vice president of workforce development Ardine Williams, saying “We are absolutely committed to an employee population that can best serve our customers.”
To that end, Amazon, like Target, has invested in education benefits, to the tune of $1.2 billion by 2025. Beginning in January, Amazon’s more than 750,000 warehouse workers—including the 400,000 who’ve joined since the pandemic began—will be able to earn their associate and bachelor’s degrees, as well as high school diplomas, GEDs and ESL proficiency certifications at no cost to them.
“We want to put people onto a career path,” says Williams. “They may have career aspirations that are different than what’s available in their location with Amazon.”
During their time at Amazon, though, employees can join any of 13 affinity groups, including the Black Employee Network and…
Read More:Meet The World’s Best Employers 2021