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Making recruitment in the retail sector simple: Attracting the right employees


There are many benefits to a career in retail, however many of these can often be overlooked; possibly as a result of outdated views on what the sector has to offer in terms of career development and opportunities for progression. The younger generation still seem to have misconceptions about working in the retail sector, following the belief that it is all low paid work that serves only a temporary purpose.

It seems now that a career in retail is becoming a much more tempting career choice as these views are beginning to be side-lined. With more clarity in what candidates expect from employers, employers must be clearer with what they expect from candidates. This openness will help to ensure that, as a retail business, you will fulfil the requirement of having the right calibre of staff which is essential for you as an employer. The retail sector is currently at the point where over 60% of employers have reported that applicants lack customer handling skills and only 11% of employers say that employees have all the necessary skills to work in their store (Labour Market Review).

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When acquiring staff, those in the retail industry can struggle to capture the attention of the right quality of candidates. The reason for this is that the hiring process is often left to the individual store managers whose budget can sometimes be seen to stretch as far as a notice in their shop window or a placement in the local job centre.

There will be few who will know what is better for the store than the shop managers, but it’s important to introduce the manager at the right time. A manager will be able to add more value to the business during the interview stages where his experience and knowledge as to what the store needs can be utilised. Introducing the manager during the shortlisting stage where he will have to sift through potentially hundreds of applications is a less productive use of time, and regardless of managerial involvement at this stage, it is impossible to guarantee that you choose the best fitting candidates if you recruit via a manual, paper or email inbox method of recruitment.

Have a look at how Aldi and Rohan are leading the way within retail recruitment, see their case studies here.

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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