Amazon, IKEA Hire Rapidly In The Bay Area Before Holiday Rush

RICHMOND (KPIX 5) — Bay Area residents looking to make a few extra bucks this holiday season are in luck.

From Amazon to IKEA, there’s a big demand for seasonal jobs.

When you’re looking for work, every day is a challenge, but Thursday was better than most.

IKEA stores in Emeryville and in Palo Alto held job fairs. IKEA has 150 positions to fill and many of them are permanent, full-time positions.

“A lot of companies nowadays start you off part-time,” said Edgar Valdivia, a job-seeker from Richmond. “I think the fact they’re giving us the opportunity for full-time is really great.”

And the amazing thing is, this isn’t happening because the company is expanding. They just decided adding more employees would be good for their business model.

Lisa Ciccoli, an IKEA customer experience manager in Emeryville said, “We want people on the sales floor to help customers more often than we have in the past. So we’re actually adding positions.”

When was the last time you heard that?

A little farther north, in Richmond there was another job fair Thursday, this time for a company that is expanding for the Christmas season. Amazon is looking for about 800 seasonal workers to staff its warehouse and distribution centers during the holiday crush.

“I like seasonal work,” said Shelah Osbrink, a job-seeker from Oakland. “It’s a set amount of time and you just do it and get it done…and then you’re free!”

Applicants filled out online questionnaires, sat for face-to-face interviews and some, like Sylvonia, got job offers right on the spot.

“I’m a people person so I get along with people,” Sylvonia, a job-seeker from Richmond said, “like I’m talking to you, I talk to anybody.”

And then there’s Scott Womack who figures Amazon ought to hire him, considering all he’s done for the company.

Womack, a job-seeker from Pinole said, “I call myself an Amazon freak because I love Amazon. Everything I get, they say, where’d you get it? Amazon.”

The Amazon job fair was by online appointment Thursday, but the Ikea job fairs in East Palo Alto and Emeryville were open for walk-up applicants until 8 p.m. Thursday.

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