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The Biggest Challenges In Retail Recruiting (And How To Tackle Them)

Retail is one of the most volatile, fast-paced industries out there. Organizations need to be able to adapt to changing technology, changing customer bases, and changing seasons. Recruiting against these elements can be a major task. Let’s look at some of the biggest challenges inherent in retail recruiting and how to deal with them head-on.

Challenge: High Turnover

Retail is consistently one of the largest job sectors, and certainly one with major churn. According to a recent study, nearly one-third of human resources professionals at major retailers saw an increase in turnover in 2018. That means there are more jobs to fill at any given time, increasing the pressure to recruit and hire—not only fast, but also in high volumes.

This is where technology can be your best friend. An automated software platform can take applications, screen applicants, schedule interviews, handle pre-employment tests and onboarding, and manage candidate and employee information. Increased digital efficiency can help you reduce the time to hire and keep your positions filled.

Having a large, diverse talent pool is also helpful, giving you a deeper resource when you need to fill jobs seasonally or quickly.

Challenge: Finding Ideal Candidates

This may be easier said than done, right? Ideally, you want better candidates coming in all the time. But if you want to get more and better applicants, the right place to start is your own outreach. Writing better job descriptions, which include highlighting skills, experience, and other necessary elements, can help you get applicants who align closely with your ideal employee.

Building a strong employer brand is essential here. Your corporate brand as a retailer is key to your customer base, but if you want to improve your employee base, it’s time to focus on that side as well. Your company recruiting site should be frequently updated, with clear information about your mission statement, your company, and what you offer employees.

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Challenge: Keeping The Best Employees

One of the most significant challenges in retail recruiting is that most retail jobs are easy to leave. However, there are ways to help alleviate that burden. Your organization should be hiring for longevity whenever possible—not just temporary position-filling.

When recruiting and hiring, make your employer brand front and center. Make sure it’s clear to candidates what the employee value proposition (EVP) will be. What are the benefits? What types of compensation do you offer? What are the most positive parts of your corporate culture?

Your outreach and hiring materials should be clear on what long-term benefits your company can offer employees—education benefits, management training opportunities, and professional development options. Help them see why they should not only join your team but why they should also think about your organization as a career investment.

Pre-hire assessments can also help you identify candidates who are in it for the long haul, versus applicants who will be exceptional employees for a shorter amount of time. AI platforms can help you use metrics and employee data to predict which hires are good candidates for long-term development and investment.

By investing in your recruitment strategy at all levels, and making each step of the process both more robust and more efficient with information and technology, you’re giving yourself an advantage. Whether you’re recruiting seasonal help or management candidates, your organization can reach and bring in the best people for years to come, regardless of how the industry shifts and changes.

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