Retailers are ready to hire as the economy recovers and consumers return to retail shopping after the pandemic slow-down. Yet “help wanted” signs on shopfronts are commonplace as the labor shortage continues to hamper the availability of workers.
In response, retailers are increasing benefits to attract new hires, including higher pay and incentives such college tuition assistance, hiring bonuses, and quick access to earned pay. Many companies are even rethinking traditional hiring and recruitment processes by expanding the seasonal hiring cycle, exploring digital recruitment, and hiring for skills, not experience.
Timely Solutions for Retail. A Practical Guide to Increasing Employee Productivity and Improving Retention
Traditional retail shopping will remain strong, fueling the need for workers:
Consumers like to make returns in physical stores, so customer service is key:
Celebrating with loved ones is a time-honored way to spend the holidays—but seasonal events are also a time to shop! An NRF survey explored consumer spending on holidays and found that Back-to-College and Winter Holidays are consistently strong, while one-day holidays like Mother’s Day and Easter are also significant. Here’s how the holidays stack up:
Source: National Retail Federation
Is Digital on the Menu?
Last year, concerns about supply chain shortages led consumers to start their holiday shopping early. Many shoppers say they always like to get a head start and avoid the stress of last-minute shopping.
Will this trend continue in 2022?
Over the last two years, hiring in the retail industry has hit two extremes. The early days of the pandemic resulted in hiring freezes and layoffs, while economic recovery led to a market where unfilled job openings rose in 2021 to 10 million, exceeding the 9.5 million reported to be unemployed.
Today, “The Great Resignation” continues and the competition for workers is fierce. To attract talent, retailers find themselves focusing on the employee experience as much as the consumer experience. Here are some ideas to stand out in a competitive market:
Seasonal jobs are usually for a short period of time, so they are a good match for workers who want flexibility without a long-term commitment.
Typically, retail stores have hiring projections for the season in place by September. It’s a good idea to start lining up talent to avoid being short-staffed on Black Friday.
Seasonal retail jobs give workers a chance to develop new skills, whether in customer care or working with technology. Honing these skills looks great on a resume for future job searches.
To stand out in a crowded market, consider raising starting pay or offering a hiring bonus—such as this retailer that lifted its average starting wage to $18/hour last year to meet seasonal demand.
Attract and retain workers by helping to cover the cost of college tuition. One big box retailer covers the full cost of programs aligned to their business, such as computer science and business management.
Create opportunities for advancement and increasing responsibilities to help workers feel valued and take pride in the work they do.
Retailers can attract seasonal talent by casting a wide net when it comes to finding potential workers and offering a range of employee benefits:
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