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How to fix the recruitment problems in the retail sector


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There are a number of recruitment pains that are particularly hard-hitting for those operating in the retail sector, with the primary cause being the sheer volume of applications that they receive on average in comparison to some other sectors. Those in the retail sector currently employ more than any other private sector employer, employing 10% of the UK population (Labour market review).

When it comes to recruitment in the retail sector, businesses have a specific set of issues to deal with, and the fact that many retail businesses are still operating their recruitment processes using outdated methods, such as paper applications, it’s no wonder that panic can set in during seasonal periods of hiring when staff numbers are temporarily increased; not managing this effectively can lead to an under-staffed store, excessive queues, half empty shelves and many other problems, inevitably resulting in a poor experience for customers and a black mark against their brand.

It is important for retail businesses to maintain an effective recruitment strategy all year-round, not just during the seasonal peaks. In particular, the early months of the year present the perfect opportunity to review the success of the existing recruitment strategy; this should be continuously improving so to ensure a high standard of staff are in place for the quieter periods. What’s more, with the summer months being an up and coming candidate market, and a peak in itself, this is a great reason to start ‘talent pooling’ quality candidates that didn’t quite make the cut over the Christmas period.


Talent Pooling should be an integral part of the recruitment process for any business operating in the retail sector; by storing the details of those who were quality candidates, but just fell short of the selection process, whether in terms of ability or when compared against those that landed the job, you are able to build up a bank of talent that can be called on in the future; this ‘pool’ of potentially hundreds of candidates is the perfect solution to future short-term or quick turnaround hires.

The candidates placed in your talent pool can be kept in contact with via email or SMS and when an opportunity arises, contact can be made and they can directly be invited for an interview; this can massively reduce the time and costs associated with hiring. What is essential to remember is that these applicants aren’t alienated by the process, with the candidate journey becoming ever more prominent, these candidates should be treated like customers; the fact is, many of them probably are customers.

The shortcomings that retail are faced with when recruiting are fixable problems and there is a solution to make the whole process easier and more manageable. Without a candidate tracking system, it is difficult to deal with the spike in applicants during periods of seasonal hiring and incredibly difficult and time consuming to find the best candidates. Not only could real talent be missed, but the cost attached to an outdated recruitment strategy can be felt for much longer than the initial hiring stages.

If you think that your business is still using some of the outdated recruitment methods, or you would like to learn more about Talent Pooling great candidates, you can get a free demo and have a conversation with one of our team - CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE

Jay Staniforth

Jason has 5+ years' experience at Management level in Marketing and has worked across a range of sectors, including fashion, luxury vehicles, office equipment and software. With a BSc in Psychology, he takes an interesting angle with much of his work and has a great ability to focus on the value-add to the user in his writing.

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