Getting Retail Hiring Right for the Holiday Season and Beyond
Retailers are gearing up for the busiest season of the year – but are they hiring the right people?
Recent years have brought tidal changes to retailing, but the holiday season continues to be a crucial time for retailers as it accounts for a sizable chunk of yearly revenues and profits.
Some commentators argue that disruptive business models and virtual shopping habits are stealing revenue from traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, while other research suggests that innovative store formats will continue to emerge and thrive.
An example that we’re all familiar with is Amazon. More people spend money online with this e-commerce giant, than with all other retailers combined; in the U.S., Amazon captured 49% of all online retail spend and 5% of all retail sales last year. And they’re now expanding their cashier-less grocery stores in more cities.
So, whether retailers need to hire individuals for the warehouse, transport workers, seasonal staff or customer-facing reps, one thing is certain, hiring and placing the right people in the right roles is pivotal to delivering great shopping experiences, all year round.
Three Opportunities for Better Hiring
The retail industry is clearly at an inflection point and the best-performing retailers understand that the shopping habits of their customers have changed. And in today’s competitive marketplace, these firms are dealing with the pressure of luring new customers, as well as competing to attract the best-fit people for their business.
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Too often, organizations undervalue the candidate experience. A poor experience can cause significant reputational risks to a company’s employment and product brands. As a result, research shows that job seekers are highly likely to tell friends about a poor experience and are likely to stop using or purchasing products or services from that company altogether.
What are the opportunities to improve hiring?
1. Consider every aspect of the candidate journey. That’s every interaction a job seeker has with your company in searching, applying, interviewing, and onboarding for a position.
It is these touchpoints that help candidates connect with an employer and influence their decision to invest their time and effort in pursing an opportunity, and will ultimately determine whether he or she will accept a job offer.
2. Preview real-life aspects of the job. Help applicants understand and experience what it’s like to work in a role and for the company through realistic job previews.
Placing candidates at the heart of the recruiting experience and assessing against the realities of the role empowers applicants to make informed career decisions while providing recruiters the insight they need to identify the right applicants faster and more easily.
3. Give and receive feedback. Having put in time and energy to progress through the hiring stages, candidates want feedback on how they performed, how their qualifications stack up, how they scored on assessments and how they could improve for future opportunities.
Companies don’t have to share a full report, simple hints and tips are helpful for guiding their development. It is also important to capture candidate feedback routinely to surface issues and understand engagement across the stages in the process.
Creating a positive and interactive candidate experience is a necessity and can really pay off.
Bringing a New Precision to Retail Hiring
Our research from over 40 years shows that with the right data, science and technology, talent decisions become easier and more accurate.
What’s more, studies continue to show that employee engagement starts during the recruiting process. Happy employees work harder, which should be reason enough to put the candidate experience front and center of hiring.
So, whether you’re hiring seasonal staff or employees for the longer-term, SHL Precise Fit for Retailers can efficiently help you select candidates who have the attributes most essential to success in retail, such as teamwork, courtesy, customer focus, initiative, responsibility, a positive first impression, and the ability to thrive and adapt under pressure.