With unprecedented advances in technology and automation driving change in the retail industry, not to mention the unique challenges of attracting, hiring and retaining outstanding employees in what are often perceived as low-level positions, 2018 presents a year of both obstacles and opportunities for human resources professionals in the retail sector.
That’s why we have gathered insights and expert advice here from leading industry experts about the biggest challenges facing retail to help you successfully navigate the year ahead.
“What is the biggest challenge that the retail industry faces currently and/or will face in the near future?“
Phil Chang, Retail Industry Manager at Hubba.com (@RetailPhil)
Retail needs to hurry up and change. The last 20 years have been very profitable and comfortable for retail. While there are many things that retail needs to hurry up and change, the single biggest thing that challenges retail right now, is it needs to re-learn that the consumer drives all the decisions and to learn to listen to that consumer. Retail has gotten used to simply telling the consumer what they want, or manipulating what they want into something that a brand/retailer can produce. The new age is about authentic need states, authentic interactions and genuine experiences.
Nicole Reyhle, Founder of RetailMinded @RetailMinded
Retailers are facing the challenge of hiring individuals who are skilled in supporting customers within their niche retail market. While they can train associates on their customer service standards and inventory, it’s not as easy to train employees on passion or skillset based on past experience. Finding qualified and passionate employees is no easy task, but it should be a priority among retailers as this will better represent their brand and business and ultimately impact their overall store success, as well.
Diane Brisebois, President, Retail Council of Canada @loveretail
The current and indeed the future challenge facing retailers is the ability to attract and retain the best and brightest talent. As retail continues to diversify and adapt to the changing needs of consumers and online and digital environments, new talent is required to provide the skills and competencies needed to meet the challenges of this new world.
Disruption and rapid change are key words that define the retail sector. The industry needs people who are bold and innovative, inquisitive, customer focused and energetic. The future of retail depends on our ability to attract multi-faceted talent in technology, merchandising, marketing, real estate, supply chain and much more. Our greatest challenge is to “be first in market” for talent acquisition as the industry competes with other sectors for the best and brightest!
Brenda Sparling Howe, Executive HR Relationship Manager at ADP – @sparkie511
The biggest challenges facing the retail industry from an HR perspective are recruiting, training and retaining top talent. In many retail structures, there is not a lot of capital for labour especially as we go into the New Year.
With the increase in the minimum wage, many companies will find it challenging to compete for top talent. Teenagers and university students (the typical talent pool for retail jobs) will not be equal to the demands placed upon them both from a workload and stress perspective.
Candidates will be more likely to leave for alternate work at same wages if they do not feel that the retailer is providing them with meaningful work.
We understand the potential and the pitfalls of retail hiring in the information age. That’s why we incorporated years of scientific research, cutting age artificial intelligence and custom-designed algorithms into RetailHiringGuru, a one-stop retail hiring resource that handles everything for you.