Key Challenges in Retail Recruiting

Retail Recruiting

The term retail recruiting covers a variety of sectors, from boutiques and small groceries to supermarket chains, large department stores and big-box retailers. That’s a lot of ground cover, and with it comes a hefty list of unique challenges. Over the last two years, those challenges have been exacerbated by pandemic-induced restrictions and even closures. Now, as we enter the fall of 2021, and retailers begin to ramp up to the holiday season a new challenge has come to the forefront: Qualified, experienced staff had to be let go to keep stores afloat through the turbulence of COVID-19, now they are struggling to regain workers who have moved on and in some cases even switched industries. 

In this article, we’ll look at some of the key challenges in retail recruiting during the wake of COVID-19. We’ll also discuss a few talent acquisition solutions to help you overcome them.

Holiday Hiring Guide

State of the Industry 

The retail industry contributes as much as 12% of all US jobs with the Bureau of Labor, reporting that over 15 million people work in the sector. And, in an industry that is so vast, the National Retail Federation, shows that the retail turnover rate is regularly above 60 percent. A statistic that is more than 3 times the all-industry average. What’s more, for part-time, hourly employees, the number is even higher.

Retail Recruiting Challenge #1: High Volume Hiring

As discussed above, the retail industry makes up one of the largest employment sectors and has one of the highest turnover rates. This means that the retail industry needs to fill a massive number of job openings on regular basis and that doesn’t even include annual pushes to meet seasonal workforce requirements.

How to Tackle This Challenge?

Automation paired with social media is the key to high-volume hiring. Partnering with Work4 can help you harness the power of social recruiting to reach candidates a high volume of candidates to fill your open positions faster. With candidate lead sourcing, automated job postings, scrape technology and SMS text nurturing of candidates, our proprietary systems make it possible to move your candidates through the hiring funnel faster. An important factor when you consider that the faster you can move candidates through your recruiting processes, the more competitive you can be in obtaining top talent.

Retail Recruiting Challenge #2: Competing for Local Talent

When it comes to retail recruitment, every store in any geographical location is competing in the same talent pool. That means local candidates have a lot of “options” to choose from. You’ll need to create a strong and diverse plan to actively build and engage your local talent base, otherwise, you’ll miss out on the top talent in your area.

How to Tackle This Challenge?

Use the key functions of your applicant tracking system (ATS) to build a deep talent pool and keep them nurtured. From resume parsing to candidate nurturing many of today’s modern HR tools make it easier than ever before to create and manage a talent database. Remember that particularly in retail, your employees are also your customers. Create a system to sign up potential talent in your customer base for job alerts, local hiring events, and social networking.  

Routinely tell them about the perks (such as discounts on the store merchandise and more) that your employees get.

Managing Your Candidate Data Base

Retail Recruiting Challenge #3: Attracting the Right Candidates

The influence of modern technology is rapidly changing the retail industry. Consequently, retail job positions are changing too. Retail employees now need a wider range of skills including tech-savvy know-how to excel at their jobs. As a result, retail employers are facing difficulties finding qualified candidates. 

How to Tackle This Challenge?

Unlike jobs in other industries, retail doesn’t necessarily require particular qualifications, educational backgrounds, or experience. This means people with varied educational backgrounds and experience levels might be eligible. In our recent hourly candidate survey, over 80 percent of candidates noted salary and location as their top two priorities in their job hunt. To attract the right candidates make sure you are offering a competitive wage and don’t be scared to list compensation in the job title. 

Retail Recruiting Challenge #4: High Turnover Rate

According to a recent study by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, retail is among the top 5 industries with the highest turnover rate. That in and of itself is unsettling, but a study by CAP ups the ante by unveiling that even for a low-tier employee the replacement cost is on average $ 3,328 each. Not only do you need to find and hire the right talent, but a strong strategy will also encompass retaining them. 

How to Tackle This Challenge?

A good retention strategy should go above simply offering a higher salary, yes, everyone likes to get a bigger paycheck, but it’s not the only factor. Our own survey findings also showed that while compensation was the number one decider in job satisfaction, factors like benefits, location, scheduling and training/development also ranked high for hourly candidates. This means that simple things such as adequate career advancement opportunities, generous (yet low-cost) perks, and better company culture may be able to help you bring down the employee turnover rate for your business.

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You’ve Gotta Have the Right Tool for Every Job

The right recruiting tools can help you hire the right talent at scale. One of the best tools you can have in your toolbox is a partnership with Work4. Our HR technology will not only help you generate more candidate leads but also help you nurture them through the application process all in one easy-to-use platform. If you’d like to see how Work4 can help your retail company fill its vacant positions faster, book a time to find out about our free trial below.

 

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