Bluecrew and Toluna study finds seasonal workers aiming for flexibility, not higher pay

Jobs Editor

November 10, 2019

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Bluecrew and Toluna recently announced the results of the Bluecrew 2019 Holiday Hiring Report, which revealed that job seekers looking for holiday hourly jobs would prefer to have flexible schedules and as many hours as possible over the highest pay rate. The survey of more than 800 holiday job seekers was conducted jointly by Bluecrew, the on-demand staffing platform exclusively for flexible W-2 work, and Toluna, a leading consumer intelligence platform that delivers insights on demand.

The key findings showed that hourly workers this season are prioritizing flexibility over jobs with the highest pay – in fact, highest pay ranks among the least popular criteria for holiday job seekers this year. Following access to a flexible schedule they control, seasonal workers cited "as many hours as possible" and "a good company and/or great atmosphere" as other top criteria. These three priorities accounted for the majority of responses over other considerations including: perks and/or discounts, opportunities to stay on as permanent employees, benefits and worker protections like overtime, and good locations.

The report also showed that the majority of job seekers (63%) began looking for holiday employment before October. Some workers started as early as July (15%) and August (25%), while an additional 34% started searches in September. Nearly a quarter of respondents (21%) will begin to look in October.

"As the competition for quality workers continues to increase, employers that want to attract the best and brightest need to understand how the employment landscape is changing and what workers are really looking for," said Adam Roston, Bluecrew CEO. "The Bluecrew 2019 Holiday Hiring Report reveals that above all else, holiday workers want the flexibility to work when they want and as much as they can."

Key Findings on the Changing Worker Landscape

  • Flexibility matters most – Respondents prioritized a flexible schedule and the ability to work more hours over getting the highest pay rate when looking for a holiday job.
  • Demand for seasonal work is strong– 38% of the total surveyed population and 66% of 18 to 34-year-olds are looking for a seasonal or holiday job.
  • Multiple jobs are common – 55% of respondents plan to work two or more jobs during the holiday season compared to 40% that will only work one job as their only source of income.
  • Workers want hours – 55% of respondents would like to work 26 hours or more per week, but a majority (63%) expect to be given 25 hours or less per week by their employers.

"Brands benefit immeasurably from direct contact with the people who matter most to them. Whether they be millennials, doctors or seasonal workers, Toluna can tap a panel community 30 million members strong for candid feedback that results in high-quality insights into what these audiences think, feel and do," said Jay Rampuria, EVP of Global Business & Corporate Development at Toluna. "The results of the Bluecrew 2019 Holiday Hiring Report indicate that employers and economists promoting short-term gigs might not understand the needs and expectations of seasonal employees."

Additional Findings on Worker Plans and Expectations

  • 32% of respondents expect their hourly rate to be $13.26 or higher, nearly double the federal minimum wage.
  • 58% of holiday workers are taking on a holiday job to earn extra money while 40% plan to use the money to cover their monthly expenses. 
  • Retail stores were the top pick for job seekers according to 25% of respondents, followed by restaurants (16%), customer support (15%), and warehouse/logistics (14%). 
  • 63% of respondents feel it will be easy to land a holiday season job compared to 28% who feel it will be difficult.
  • The primary sources for respondents to look for a seasonal job are online job marketplaces or job boards (30%), social media (23%), and mobile apps (16%). 
  • More than half of those surveyed prefer traditional W-2 employment versus working as a gig contractor.

The survey was conducted by Toluna QuickSurveys between August 27 – September 3, 2019 of over 800 respondents looking for seasonal holiday jobs across the U.S.

Check out the infographic for a visual guide to the survey findings

SOURCE BlueCrew and Toluna

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Simon Baker is the Founder and Executive Chairman of Online Marketplaces and Property Portal Watch. Involved with property portals for 15 years, he’s a well-recognized expert and industry consultant.
As former CEO/MD of the REA Group for 8 years, Simon led the group to its current market-leading position. When he joined REA Group in 2001, it had $4m in revenues, $6m in losses and an $8m market cap.
By 2008, the company presided over $155m in revenues, $35m in EBITDA and enjoyed a peak market cap of $1b. Simon is currently Chairman of the Mitula Group and Real Estate Investar and a serial portal founder and, investor.