Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, October 18, 2019

Retail vs. gig: What’s the better deal for seasonal workers?

Want to work a second job or grab a temporary gig from mid-November through early January?

What’s the better deal, working behind the counter at a department store or grabbing a spot in an e-commence fulfillment center? Or driving for Lyft or Uber? Or plugging into some other type of gig economy slot that lets you pick and choose?

It depends on when you want to work, what you want to do and what you want to get out of it, says Brenda Franklin, senior director of operations for Hire Dynamics.

“We typically see folks inquiring about retail jobs, where not only do they get a competitive hourly wage but get some perks like discounts on merchandise, which tends to stretch their holiday budget further,” Franklin says. “Additionally, those who are working full time will often take short-term positions offering 40 hours on different shifts to earn extra pay to get through the holiday season.

“These positions tend to be in supply-chain businesses, and many of our supply-chain customers will offer swing shifts or modified shifts to capitalize on the talents’ availability and ensure their product is getting out the door.

“Companies like Uber and Lyft create a flexible and, many times, a lucrative option to supplement their household income.”

It’s also wise to think about all the factors, not just hours and wages, adds Chris Nichols, client solutions manager at Endevis, a recruitment process consulting and systems firm.

“The great thing about the Ubers and Grubhubs of the world is that you come and go as you please,” he says. “You control that income. If you are at a department store or warehouse, you have a more controlled schedule.

“If you’re a retiree or someone with some flexibility, that can be OK. If you have kids and need to factor in childcare, then those jobs may not be a good fit unless you have some help locked down for the times you are out earning that extra income.”

– Joe Morris