National headlines about country-wide labor shortages suggest doom and gloom for businesses. But one of Minnesota's most prominent companies says it is having little issue finding — and keeping — workers.
Target leaders, during a conference call Wednesday celebrating another quarter of growth, said staff turnover is actually below pre-pandemic levels, and that stores are finding the workers they need as the retailer enters the all-important holiday season.
"Our stores have been hitting their seasonal hiring milestones," said Target VP and COO John Mulligan on the call. "And because of the advancements we've made in scheduling this year, average hours per store team member are running significantly higher this year in comparison to past years."
The company said in September it planned to bring on another 100,000 workers for the holiday shopping season, promising a bonus $2 an hour during peak times, on top of the minimum $15-an-hour wage Target offers.
Employees across industries have been leaving their jobs in record numbers this year, with experts floating various theories for the cause of this "great resignation" (most tied to the pandemic). Mulligan said Target's goal has been to keep hold of its workers by being flexible with scheduling, bumping pay and benefits and focusing on training.
"As we've said many times, our investments in the team are the most productive ones we've made," he said, noting this is "unlike what you're hearing from many others."
Overall turnover is below what Target experience in 2019, said executive VP and CFO Michael Fiddelke. He said that means the retailer is "really well-positioned for the fourth quarter, and more importantly, for beyond the fourth quarter, because labor is going to continue to be tight, and we will continue to focus on retaining our existing team."
Said Mulligan: "This is something we've been on top of for a very long time. We've made investing in our team an absolute priority. ... And so that all starts and leads to retaining our current team. And from our perspective, that's the way we achieve our staffing goals, is retain the team we have."