An Inside Look at the State of Retail Talent
According to the latest sales forecast from the National Retail Federation, retail sales are expected to increase between 3.8 percent and 4.4 percent this year. For retailers looking to snag a piece of the $3.8 trillion pie, hiring qualified retail talent who are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the business will be key.
In fact, according to a recent analysis from Wharton professors, for every dollar spent on a retailer’s payroll, $4 to $28 in additional revenue was generated. When examining why, the retailer’s customer surveys revealed the two most important drivers of customer satisfaction were the ability to find an associate who could provide assistance and whether that person was knowledgeable.
To help retailers find top talent who can positively impact their bottom line, the team behind Capango, a mobile-first retail job matching platform that connects job seekers to rewarding opportunities without resumes, developed its first annual State of Retail Talent survey. The survey was conducted on the Capango app, and generated 10,895 responses from retail job seekers in the U.S. between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2018. The data provides an inside look at today’s retail job seeker, including how they like to work and what they’re passionate about. Armed with this insight, employers can begin developing mindful recruiting strategies that will enable them to build a more engaged and efficient workforce.
Key insights uncovered on retail job seekers include the following:
- They Enjoy Helping People: Seventy-six percent of job seekers prefer customer service positions, and 63 percent reported being energized by interacting with people. For retailers looking to boost their on-the-floor sales teams, knowing if a job seeker prefers helping people over back-office logistical work is critical to improving sales. Unfortunately, this type of in-depth data can’t be pulled from traditional resume vetting.
- They Have Varying Passions: More than 50 percent of job seekers are interested in working with electronics, followed by food (48 percent), fashion and clothing (44 percent), and pets (41 percent). Additionally, around one in three retail job seekers are interested in home décor and home improvement. A tip for recruiters: when hiring retail workers, including seasonal and hourly, understanding a job seeker’s unique interests and passions, and matching them to jobs that they’ll thrive in, will boost employee engagement, lower employee turnover, and lead to higher customer satisfaction rates and sales.
- They’ve Worked in Retail for Years: Three in four retail job seekers have been in the industry for more than a year, and over half have been in retail for more than three years. While many open retail jobs are entry-level positions, a large majority of the workforce has significant industry experience. Figuring out how to take advantage of the experience of retail talent will set retailers apart.
- They Have Flexible Schedules: There are just as many job seekers looking for part-time (32.5 percent) vs. full-time work (33.6 percent), although they prefer fixed schedules (42.4 percent) vs. on-demand work (27.7 percent). Understanding how job seekers prefer to work, retailers can find employees to fit any type of schedule need.
In today’s increasingly competitive retail landscape, understanding how employee engagement impacts customer satisfaction is critical. As retailers begin recruiting now for the busy spring and summer seasons, this insight will enable them to hire the right people to drive their businesses forward.
Stefan Midford is the president and CEO of Natural Insight, an on-demand talent and retail task management platform designed to improve operational efficiency.
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