Harry & David is primed to hire 4,000 workers to fill seasonal positions in company facilities in Medford, Eugene and Ohio and in scores of stores and kiosks throughout the country.

Harry & David is primed to hire 4,000 workers to fill seasonal positions in company facilities in Medford, Eugene and Ohio and in scores of stores and kiosks throughout the country.

Beth Lindsay, talent management vice president for the Medford-based company, said the overall numbers are up because the Eugene call center is being reactivated in a former U.S. post office building.

It was shuttered three years ago when the company outsourced much of its customer-service work.

Seasonal staff levels are up substantially from last year's 3,380 hires, but are less than two years ago when the company hired much of its holiday staff at the last minute.

Lindsay said Harry & David has 2,000 permanent staff members, up a bit from last year but short of what it was 10 years ago when there were more salaried employees.

The company is hiring between 360 and 400 seasonal workers to augment its more than 60 stores in outlet centers and malls around the country. Another 30 or 40 pop-up stores and kiosks will be added for the holidays as well.

Historically, 55 percent of the company's seasonal staff are returning workers. A year ago, temporary hiring began while Harry & David Holdings was in the midst of its Chapter 11 restructuring. The company emerged from bankruptcy last September and had a solid holiday performance.

"Our seasonal people were glad to come back," Lindsay said.

"They were relieved that we were coming through bankruptcy. They were thinking worst-case scenario and when they got called back, they were relieved. There were a lot of high hopes and everyone wanted to do a good job and have a wonderful season. And they did."

Harry & David is looking for help in the bakery and candy kitchen, orchards, packing house and for forklift operators and call center customer service representatives.

She said a few administrative, marketing and merchandising employees are needed as well as maintenance workers.

Lindsay said the company has put more focus on planning for the seasonal movement than in the past, allowing workers to move from its peach and pear orchards to the packing house, call center and other areas as the year progresses.

"It has allowed us to keep people longer and helped us because we didn't have to hire as many short-term people," she said.

"We get better-skilled people who are happier because they are here longer."

Demand has given the Eugene call center a new life, Lindsay said.

"There just wasn't enough desk space here (in Medford)," she said.

Prospective seasonal workers can stop by the hiring center at 2800 S. Pacific Highway, Medford, to fill out forms or take required tests.

Employment applications also can be filled out by going to hndcorp.com and clicking on the job opportunities tab.

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or email business@mailtribune.com.