14 December 2020

Recruitment in retail: how to attract and onboard retail staff

A worker in a garden centre helping a customer

The retail industry attracts a lot of job seekers as it offers flexible working hours, constant motion and growth opportunities.

Recruiting the right talent for your job vacancies is vital for running and growing your organisation, whether you are recruiting for full-time, part-time or temporary seasonal workers. It’s important they have the right skills and qualifications for the job to get the greatest return on your people investment, increasing customer experience, efficiency and productivity – both in-store and behind the scenes.   

Attracting retail candidates

Attracting the right candidates to your job advertisement can be challenging for organisations that don’t have an efficient talent sourcing strategy.

Recruitment in retail can be stressful; with the number of candidates applying increasing year on year it can be difficult to find candidates with the right experience and technical skills. According to an Indeed survey, 70% of retail employers reported having difficulty finding in-store candidates with the appropriate technical expertise. Using HR analytics such as our Match and Gap tools, retailers can simply and efficiently filter through the candidate’s skills and pair them with available vacancies that suit their skills, ensuring you find the perfect candidate for each role.

Within the retail industry, nearly all your applicants have the potential to also be customers, so it is particularly critical that your recruitment process, no matter the outcome, remains a positive experience. Ph.Attraction reveals that one in four British jobseekers have either entirely stopped purchasing (12%) or purchased less (11.5%) from a brand because of a negative candidate experience. Not only is a negative experience damaging for your brand but having a poor candidate experience can lead to:

  • 63% rejecting the job offer
  • 72% telling other about their negative experience either online or in person

Having a recruitment process that is efficient, transparent and quick is vital; Robert Half found that 57% of candidates will lose interest in the job if the recruitment process is lengthy. With top candidates only staying in the job market for 10 days - according to ERE Medis Research - it is crucial that your recruitment processes are efficient so that you can secure the right candidates, with the skills you need.

Onboarding retail staff

Having a positive and seamless recruitment experience is essential not only for employee engagement but also retention. It needs to be supported by a good onboarding process to help you increase employee engagement and retention. With the retail industry having one of the highest employee turnover rates at 38%, it can cost organisations thousands of pounds.

It can be a daunting task when it comes to onboarding new retail employees. Whether they are full-time, part-time or temporary you always want to give them a good first experience to ensure they are productive from day one and feel like part of the team, this can be crucial in helping an organisation reach their goals. Businesses who don’t have a positive onboarding experience can expect various downfalls and according to Effectory these include:

  • Nearly 1 in 3 new employees leave the company before the end of their first year
  • 20% of new employees will leave within the first 45 days
  • 5% of new employees quit immediately after a disastrous first day.

Not only does this increase employee turnover rates for your organisation but it can damage your reputation with bad employee reviews online and by word of mouth. In the future this could stop the right candidates from applying for your job vacancies.

Replacing an employee can cost an organisation from 16% of a lower paid employees' annual salary to 213% of a highly educated executive employees’ (C-Suite) annual salary. By making sure employees feel valued and satisfied at work, which can be boosted by a strong onboarding experience, retail organisations can save up to £300,000 in turnover cost.

We’re here to help!

No matter how complex your requirements are, MHR can simply and accurately transform your retail recruitment and onboarding processes as part of a single, integrated HR and payroll solution.

Ensure you stay ahead of the competition with our comprehensive and centralised platform, which gives you the knowledge to make quick, easy, and accurate decisions when it comes to attracting, managing and retaining your perfect candidates.

Our onboarding experience provides new starters with the necessary training and information they need to give them the best start in their career at your organisation, and with our social, collaboration and communication tools you can make them feel part of the team straight away.

Ellena Frost

Ellena Frost

Ellena is a Field Marketing Manager at MHR.

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