One of the biggest costume-selling companies in the world is also one of the biggest seasonal employers in the region.
BuyFun.com, one of the places you’re sure to land if searching online for that Spider-Man or sexy nurse costume, already has hired about 800 workers to help handle the influx of hundreds of thousands of orders. And it’s still looking for workers to take overnight shifts at its North Mankato operation.
The company’s warehouse is a beehive of activity 24 hours a day during the months and, especially, the weeks leading up to Oct. 31. Some workers take orders sheets and run through the warehouse filling baskets with costumes. Other workers package those orders in trademark BuyFun boxes.
In the office, several dozen customer service representatives are busy helping customers resolve order issues or taking orders.
This is becoming a rite of fall, BuyFun owner Tom Fallenstein says.
The business relies on its seasonal workers to help get them through their bread-and-butter time of year. To that end, they’ve begun to do a few things to reward seasonal workers and make them feel like they’re part of the team.
First, Fallenstein says they’ll all be invited to an after-the-rush party thrown for both seasonal and permanent workers. Also, they’ve installed a program where returning seasonal workers earn 50 cents more per hour.
“Our temporary staff is key to our success every year,” said Matt Preston, BuyFun’s human resources manager. “(The party) is one way to kind of tip the hat to them.”
Of the permanent staff, between 60 and 70 percent started out as seasonal workers. And each year, a small number of seasonal workers end up staying on full time. Many more are asked to stay beyond Oct. 31 to help with inventory and other needs.
Fallenstein and Preston said they like to keep the work environment light. It’s not uncommon, they said, to have a dance-off out in the warehouse. And in customer service, they play games such as state bingo, getting a spot on a bingo sheet each time they deal with a customer from a new state.
The company’s permanent staff is growing, too. Last year at this time they had about 65 full-time workers. Today they’ve got about 100.
To apply, visit buyfun.com and click on “jobs.”