Sainsbury’s has launched its biggest ever pre-Christmas recruitment drive, hiring 20,000 seasonal staff.

Last year the supermarket giant hired 12,000 staff to help it through its busy Christmas period.

Around 1,000 of the staff hired for Christmas are likely to be kept on in permanent roles according the The Sun.

Sainsbury’s retail human resources director Helen Webb said: “If you are enthusiastic and hard working then Christmas is one of the best times to work in retail.

“We are looking for people who take pride in giving exceptional customer service.”

This year department store Debenhams will also take on 7,500 Christmas staff.