3 Secrets to Attract Retail Talent in 2022

Caroline Chessia | March 16, 2022

The past two years have taught all business owners that people are their greatest asset.Hiring has been quite the challenge for retailers across the board over the past year. The “Great Resignation” has hit retail hard – 4.5 million people left their job in November of 2021, and the industries hit hardest were retail and hospitality. When you factor in the current labor shortage, it makes hiring for retail challenging, but we have some ways you can overcome the candidate-driven market and fill your open positions.

The labor market is normalizing, but not back to normal. Difficulties facing HR professionals hiring for retail companies will not magically disappear throughout 2022, however, implementing a few key strategies will help those looking to fill positions and retain their staff. Things like branding, referral programs, prioritizing flexibility in the workplace, and a candidate-friendly hiring process can help give you the edge you need to attract and retain employees.

3 Tips To Help You Attract Retail Talent

1. Focus On Employment Branding 

Employment branding is a way for employers to promote their companies as a great place to work. Employers with strong employment brands average 28% less turnover. It is more important than ever as retailers vie for a limited pool of top talent.  Answer your own question – would I want to work here and why?

One way to promote your company is to make sure you have a strong Employee Value Proposition (EVP) and you’re promoting it. Your EVP outlines your companies’ values, mission, vision, and culture and is the guiding light of your employment brand. To attract and retain top talent, you need to stress the key points… competitive pay, work-life balance, growth opportunities, team spirit, and diversity & inclusion. Additionally, ensure that you are promoting this brand awareness across all platforms, otherwise, your candidates won’t know about your great work environment.

Another way to encourage employee loyalty is to focus on flexible scheduling. Given that the retail sector has vastly different operating hours than the good old 9-to-5, and requires workers at all different times of day, focusing and promoting flexible scheduling is key. Many retail employees seek out retail jobs specifically for the ability to fit the job into their life.  Whether it be a side-hustle, working through school, or a full-time gig, retail employees need flexibility. 30% of retail employees prefer to choose their own shifts versus 18% in other industries. So, promote your flexibility – mention it on social media, job boards, and any physical signs you have around your store locations.

2. Implement A Strong Employee Referral Program 

Great people attract great people, so take your employee referrals seriously and ask them to help you find new members that would fit into your team. When an employee is hired via a referral program, their retention rate jumps up 25 – 45%. Employee referrals also have the highest ROI – they reduce cost per hire and time to hire, improve the quality of hire, and strengthen your brand! The perks you offer within the referral program make for happy employees, and happy employees make loyal employees.

With those benefits, you should be chomping at the bit to get started, so here is the info you need to get your employee referral program up and running!

3. Simplify The Hiring Process And Focus On Your Candidates

Is your hiring process geared toward your candidates? In many ways, your hiring process embodies your employer brand. Many retailers deal in high volume hiring and need to screen as many applicants as possible during the recruitment process. Hiring in bulk can equate to a cold and impersonal experience for your candidates, which you want to avoid at all costs. Providing a candidate-friendly experience is paramount to starting your employer-employee relationship in the right way.

Some ways to provide an excellent candidate experience are:

  • Incorporating hiring technology into your recruitment process. Applicant tracking systems, automated email reminders for interviews, and interview scheduling technology can help you keep on top of applications and make candidates feel like they’re a top priority.
  • Avoid mile-long applications. Candidates more and more are looking for an easy application experience – and if you ask them to fill out 5 pages of information for your retail position, chances are the completion rate will fall quite a bit.
  • Screen candidates with pre-recorded video interviews. Candidates can complete these interviews on their own time, at their own pace – showcasing your company’s flexibility from the outset.

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Attract and Retain Retail Talent with interviewstream

The past two years have taught all business owners that people are their greatest asset. Which makes recruiting and retaining the right people all the more important. If you’re interested in simplifying your hiring process and providing a great candidate experience, reach out today. 

About The Author

Caroline Chessia is the Marketing Operations Specialist at interviewstream. She loves color-coordinated graphs, hiking in the mountains, and every dog she meets—especially the Golden Retrievers.


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