Retail Recruiting: Tips for Recruiting Retail Professionals

Kristina Martic | 9/17/2018 | Recruiting

Retail recruiting includes many challenges, such as high volume hiring, seasonal hiring and attracting the right type of candidates to avoid high turnover rate. Here are the best retail recruiting tips that will help you in recruit retail professionals more effectively!

Retail Recruiting: Tips for Recruiting Retail Professionals

What is retail recruiting?

The retail sector includes all the shops that sell goods to the ultimate customer, who buys them for personal and not business use. It encompasses all kinds of shops, from kiosks and small groceries to supermarket chains and large department stores.

Retail recruiting is is a term used for finding and hiring the right job candidates in the retail industry.

In other words, if you need to hire a cashier, store manager, sales associate or fill in a similar job within the retail sector, this article is for you.

Challenges in retail recruiting

Here are the 3 key challenges in retail recruiting:

Retail recruiting challenge #1: High volume hiring

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 15 million people work in the retail sector, and that number is expected to grow, as retail sales worker occupations make-up the second largest job growth projections in the country, according to The Guardian.

This means that retail industry needs to fill a massive number of job openings on regular basis - not to mention the seasonal “hiring frenzy”.

Retail recruiting challenge #2: Attracting the right candidates

The technology is changing the retail industry. Consequently, retail job positions are changing too. Retail employees now have to have different skills in order to excel at their job.

As a result, retail employers are facing difficulties finding qualified candidates. According to a recent Indeed survey

  • 70% of retail employers reported having difficulty finding in-store candidates with the appropriate technical experience
  • 82% of retail employers expressed difficulty finding candidates with appropriate cross-functional experience.

Retail-recruiting-challenges

Retail recruiting challenge #3: High turnover rate

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, retail is among the top 5 industries with the highest turnover rate.

Here are some more interesting retail turnover stats from a survey by Hay Group:

  • Retailers averaged 67% turnover for part-time employees
  • 26% of retailers said their employee turnover costs have increased.

High turnover is associated with high costs. A CAP study found it costs on average $3,328 to find, hire and train a replacement for a $10/hour retail employee.

How to tackle the biggest retail recruiting challenges?

To tackle the 3 key challenges in retail recruiting, HR professionals and recruiters need to:

  1. Use modern recruiting software
  2. Apply recruitment marketing tactics
  3. Build talent pools

Tips for recruiting retail professionals

Recruiting the right people for a retail industry can be a challenging task. However, if you leverage the latest innovations in retail recruiting, you can recruit retail professionals much easier and faster.

Here are the best retail recruiting tips that will help you effectively recruit retail professionals:

Retail recruiting tip #1: Write precise job descriptions

Start by writing job descriptions that attract the right type of candidates for retail positions you need to fill. Make sure you highlight the technical skills and cross-functional experience you are looking for in your ideal employees!

To help you save time, we created retail job descriptions templates. Feel free to use them and customize them to fit your own needs! 🙂

Retail-recruiting-job-description

Retail recruiting tip #2: Build your employer brand

Give your potential candidates a reason to apply to your open job positions. Why should they choose to work for you, and not your competition?

Differentiate your company by building a strong employer brand.

Here is a great example of showcasing a strong employer brand in an awesome recruiting video by Nugget Markets:

Follow a simple, 5-step strategy to build your own employer brand.

Retail recruiting tip #3: Highlight your employee value proposition

Besides showcasing a great employer brand, you need to define your employee value proposition. What are you offering to your employees?

To create a strong employee value proposition that will work as a magnet for attracting candidates, you need to highlight the right components of your employee value proposition.

Retail-recruiting-employee-value-propositiont

You don’t even have to offer the biggest salary if you want to attract (and keep!) high-quality retail professionals!

According to a survey by Hay Group:

  • 74% of retailers said their workers leave for better opportunities, rather than higher salaries.

This means that establishing career paths for employees or providing additional training could significantly improve your chances to attract the best candidates!

Retail recruiting tip #4: Look beyond the retail industry

When searching for retail candidates, think outside the box. Look beyond the retail industry! You might find some great candidates in other industries, too.

Here is some good advice from Rachel Kennedy, a Recruiting Manager at The Container Store:

At The Container Store, we face stiff competition; many of our retail employees don’t even come from a retail background. We hire teachers, firefighters, students, and people from all industries to work in our stores, warehouse and home office.

Don’t be afraid to hire candidates who don’t have a retail background. They might become your best employees and bring in fresh perspectives and innovative ideas!

Retail recruiting tip #5: Create an attractive career site

Create a great career site to stand out from your competition and attract the best retail professionals.

Take a look at the great example of Containers Store’s career site!

Retail-recruiting-career-site

Use your career site to:

  • Spotlight your “Best places to work” awards
  • Present your benefits
  • Showcase your company culture
  • Introduce your employees’ success stories.

Retail recruiting tip #7: Leverage employee referrals

Turn your current employees into passionate recruiters by setting up an employee referral program. Ask your current employees to recommend great candidates and offer them enticing employee referral rewards!

While setting up a structured employee referral program might take some time and effort, it’s well worth it. Research shows that employee referrals can significantly improve the time, cost and quality of hire.

Retail recruiting tip #6: Turn to your customers

Some of the best retail job candidates are often standing right in front of your nose! I’m talking about your customers!

Customers make great employees because they already know your business, products and services and love them.

What is the best way to advertise your open job positions to your customers?  Be creative! 

Here is an inspiring example of an awesome recruiting campaign Ikea, the world's largest furniture retailer, created to invite their customers to apply for their open job positions:

Retail recruiting tip #8: Always be recruiting

Industries with high volume recruiting and high turnover rate would benefit greatly from building talent pools. Talent pools can be especially valuable for seasonal hiring. Imagine if you had a database with thousands of potential candidates you can invite to apply for your open job positions! 😲 Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

It’s also possible - by inviting candidates to join your talent network. Talent networks are a great lead generation strategy for building a pool of potential candidates. Make it easy for people who are not quite ready to apply for your open job positions to stay up to date with your company - and your open job positions!

Retail-recruiting-talent-network-form

Retail recruiting tip #9: Use video interviewing

Leverage new technology and use video interviewing for screening candidates. Introducing video interviewing to your hiring process can help you save time and money. It also simplifies the recruiting process both for you as a retail employer and your candidates.

One of the biggest advantages of using video interviewing in the retail industry is reducing the number of candidates no-show.

Here are some interesting video interviewing tools you might want to check out:

Retail recruiting tip #10: Use recruitment software

Modern, all-in-one recruitment software offers many benefits that can completely transform retail recruiting.

Using recruitment software will automatize many time-consuming manual tasks and streamline your whole recruiting process, saving your time and money.

Here is how a great recruitment software can help you advance high volume hiring:

  • Automatize the time-consuming activity of resume screening and parsing
  • Automatically add all your applicants in one searchable database
  • Automatically eliminate candidates who are not qualified
  • Post jobs on multiple free and premium job boards with a single click
  • Create a branded career site (no coding knowledge needed)
  • Set up a structured employee referral program.

How can TalentLyft help you recruit retail professionals?

To learn how using all-in-in recruitment software such as TalentLyft can help you excel in retail recruiting, schedule a free personalized demo with our experts.


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