The outlook for seasonal hiring in the fourth quarter of 2009 is projected to be similar to 2008, according to a new CareerBuilder survey.

Eighteen per cent of hiring managers plan to hire seasonal workers to meet business needs associated with the holidays and end-of-the-year wrap-ups, on par with 17 per cent in 2008. At the same time, competition for holiday work is heating up.

In addition to unemployed workers pursuing seasonal employment, 12 per cent of employed workers plan to take on a seasonal job to help make ends meet.

Popular Seasonal Positions
Seasonal positions may prove to be the break job seekers are looking for as three-in-ten (31 per cent) hiring managers indicate they are likely to hire a seasonal worker for a full time position. The most popular positions identified for seasonal recruitment include customer service, retail sales, administrative/clerical, hospitality, shipping/delivery, inventory, technology and accounting/finance.

Seasonal Pay: While some hiring managers (12 per cent) say they plan to increase pay for seasonal workers, 15 per cent are planning a decrease. Forty-four per cent of hiring managers expect to pay $10 or more per hour and 12 per cent expect to pay $16 or more per hour. Thirty-four per cent of hiring managers plan to pay between $8 and $10 per hour and 20 percent expect to pay between $6 and $8.

“Competition for seasonal positions will be intense as the job market is flooded with qualified candidates vying for a smaller number of open positions,” said Brent Rasmussen, President of CareerBuilder North America. “Employers tell us they are accepting the majority of their seasonal applications during October and November, meaning job seekers need to identify and apply for those opportunities now.”

Some recommendations: Start applying early: Seventy-seven per cent of hiring managers do not plan to accept applications for seasonal workers beyond November.

Do Your homework: Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of hiring managers say that having no knowledge of the company or products deterred them from hiring a seasonal candidate in the past.

Show enthusiasm: Almost half (48 per cent) of employers say they were turned off by a candidate who lacked enthusiasm during their interview.

Dress the part: If you are interviewing for a job in a retail clothing store, it’s a good idea to show up dressed in an outfit from that store.

Be flexible regarding your schedule: Forty-seven per cent of hiring managers said they were turned off candidates who refused to work certain hours.