Saturday, 3 December 2016

Retailers need to solve an image problem to recruit top talent

Retail has an image problem with potential employees. Although working in retail can be interesting, rewarding and provide career progression it is seen as a dead end job taken only by those that can't get anything else by too many graduates. A high proportion of retail workers are 2nd income earners that go out to work in shops as a supplement to what the main earner brings in. But it doesn't have to be this way. The fact is that retail can provide good pay and conditions, career progression and a lifetime of learning.

What high quality potential new recruits want to see is where they can take their career and how quickly. This is even more important for the millennial generation (more of these in a moment) to be attracted to these roles.

Retailers have a duty to make their career progression more structured and promote this as widely as possible. The discount retailers, particularly Aldi and Lidl, have made great strides in recruiting people recently by offering a great salary and advertising it well. This has attracted good talent and these retailers will have a good chance of retaining that talent, even though they have a reputation for working people hard.

But what are other retailers doing? Where is the search for quality candidates? What can a retailer offer someone who graduates from a top university?

Many retailers need to look differently at how they position themselves in the recruitment market. They talk in similar tones to the likes of McDonalds in terms of camaraderie and fulfillment but the current group teaching the job market (towards the end of the millennial generation) want more from a career than that. The average millennial wants-

  • To work for a company that shares the same values as them
  • They are high users of technology and social media
  • They want a challenge at work and need to be stimulated

Now the clever retailer will hear their recruitment to these needs and find the best talent. Millennials can be found online, on social media and want to be engaged by potential employers. As a retailer you might well need to up your game. The content that you put out there will really help you to connect with millennials and show that you understand their space. How you go about changing the perception of retailing as a career is going to be down to the way that you present the opportunities you have. Giving your team the chance to get involved with the social media marketing or to work in different areas of the business will give people more of a reason to consider working with you. It might make the difference when you are looking for talent to fill your next vacancy.

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