For the past five years, Snagajob has surveyed hiring managers charged with hiring hourly employees for the busy holiday season to get a feel for the seasonal job market. The past few years have shown incremental improvements from the recession, but this year’s results are the best we’ve seen in five years!

Survey results showed that many more hiring managers with responsibility for seasonal hiring will be hiring this year: 63 percent versus 51 percent last year. That’s almost a 24 percent (12 percentage point) increase in the number of hiring managers who are hiring this year. And hiring managers plan to hire almost 50 percent more seasonal employees this year as compared with last year. On average, each hiring manager, including those not planning to make any hires, expects to hire 6.1 employees this year, up from 4.1 last year.

The increase in hiring is likely driven by improved sales expectations. Thirty-two percent of hiring managers expect an increase in sales this year, up from 25 percent last year. This represents a 28 percent increase, year-over-year.

So what does this mean for hiring managers?

With so many businesses hiring this season, competition will be fierce for the best talent. And to add another log on the fire, our survey shows that hiring managers are wrapping (pun intended) things up earlier this year, with 23 percent more hiring managers planning to complete hiring by October. To avoid losing star seasonal employees, you need to implement a seasonal hiring strategy that will get you in front of job seekers quickly, drive traffic to your postings and help you identify the best candidates quickly so you can add them to your team before the competition does.

See what others are saying about holiday hiring:

Holiday hiring is headed for a five-year high
Fortune/CNN Money

Holiday hiring predicted to be best in 5 years
CBS News

Retailers bullish on economy as holiday hiring soars
Fox Business

Need a job? Stores are hiring for the holidays
Headline News (also featured on

This holiday season will put the ho-ho-ho in seasonal hiring
Business News Daily

Holiday hiring up for 2012

Survey predicts best holiday job market in five years
Virginia Business

Holiday hiring expected to be best since before recession
Chicago Sun-Times

Hiring survey indicates best holiday job market in five years
Retailing Today

Hiring survey indicates best holiday job market in five years
Drug Store News

Survey indicates holiday hiring gains
Richmond Times-Dispatch

Snagajob seasonal job outlook
WRIC (ABC station)

Study: Richmond will see more jobs over holidays
WWBT (NBC station)

Snagajob says this is the best holiday job market in five years

Analysts predict strong holiday retail hiring, but job seekers must act fast
The Star-Ledger

Holiday hiring on the rise
Charlotte Observer

Act now to apply for holiday jobs
Kansas City Star

Seasonal jobs likely to be more plentiful this year
Fresno Bee

Seasonal jobs expected to sizzle this holiday season