Use These 6 Retail Recruiting Insights to Stay Ahead of the Game

If one thing’s certain amid the hiring landscape’s uncertainty, it’s that retail recruiting won’t get any easier. Recruiters face a multitude of obstacles in the path ahead, including a constant stream of vacancies, high turnover rates, holiday and seasonal hiring demands, and the pressures that come with high-volume hiring

What lies ahead for the retail hiring landscape in 2023? This year brings new challenges and economic obstacles, but we’re here to help make sense of it all.

After surveying 105 talent acquisition leaders across sectors for our 2024 Retail Hiring Insights Report, we found how they’re attracting and retaining talent amid today’s obstacles.

For the TL;DR of the report, here’s a roundup of the six key takeaways your team must know to successfully weather 2024’s retail recruiting storm.

Unlock retail’s top hiring strategies in 2024

Our study of 105 retail TA leaders reveals how to hit your hiring goals in a challenging market.

1. Hiring goal attainment surged by 11 percentage points

In retail, there’s still a clear and persistent drive to bring on board folks who get what customers want and how they shop. And competition for top talent remained strong all through 2023.

Retail hiring goal attainment in 2023

The jump in hiring goal attainment shows retail businesses are getting smart with tech — using the kind of tools that make hiring simpler and faster. It’s not just about bouncing back from tough times; it’s about retail stepping up its game to attract and keep the kind of people who make shopping experiences better and help businesses grow big.

2. Top retail hiring challenge: Talent retention

Keeping star players was the trickiest challenge this year, with 45% of companies struggling with talent retention. Nearly a third also struggled with the new mix of on-site and hybrid work setups, and 23% said their candidates never showed up to interviews.

Top retail hiring challenges in 2023

It turns out that some applicants talk a big game but can’t back it up — 23% said resumes didn’t quite tell the truth. And let’s talk about the money side of remote work — 21% of candidates had hopes higher than what was actually on offer.

Then there’s finding the right fit. About one in five retailers said there just weren’t enough qualified folks out there, and the same number felt that people’s pay expectations were off the charts. These numbers tell us loud and clear: retail’s got to be on the ball with competitive pay, solid tech, and a sharp eye when it comes to who’s really up for the job.

3. Layoffs hit retail hard

Layoffs touched a substantial 42% of retail companies, a tough call that echoes the broader job cut trend hitting the U.S., where layoff announcements saw more than a double increase from the previous year, totaling over 686,000 between January and November of 2023.

Retail layoffs

For hiring teams already struggling to navigate a competitive hiring landscape, layoffs only add fuel to their recruitment woes. The reality is that retail candidates—who often have multiple offers on the table to begin with—are less likely to consider a company with a track record of job cuts.

This paints a tricky picture: retail TA leaders are juggling the need for skilled staff while also navigating the choppy waters of budget cuts and the need to reshape their teams. The job seeker pool may be growing, but specialized, qualified, reliable talent suited to today’s roles still proves to be a rare find.

These layoffs shake things up not just for those looking for jobs but also for those clocking in every day, as they watch their colleagues pack up. It’s a morale dip that makes the challenge of keeping great people around even tougher.

The good news is that while layoffs continue to be common in retail, the extent of job cuts in 2023 was generally more contained compared to the broader reductions seen in 2022.

Percentage of workforce laid off: retail

4. Talent retention is expected to remain the top challenge for retail in 2024

Retail’s got its work cut out for it when it comes to keeping teams intact. A whopping 42% of TA leaders are bracing for a tug-of-war in holding onto their best people.

Tp anticipated retail hiring challenges for 2024

And it’s not just about retention; the quest for talent is running into some roadblocks. About 31% are worried there just won’t be enough skilled folks to go around. Nearly 29% are grappling with hybrid work complexities, and 28% foresee hiccups with remote work pay expectations.

It seems the retail sector is looking ahead with a clear-eyed view of the hurdles on the horizon — from ensuring the skills on paper translate to real-world savvy (27%) to adapting to new ways of hiring (26%). And with a quarter of leaders concerned about candidates dropping out midstream and 23% about no-shows, keeping candidates engaged is the name of the game.

5. Top expected change in the hiring landscape: A need for speed

Retail is gearing up for a future where the battle for talent is just as intense as a Black Friday sale. And in that future, creating a standout candidate experience is like having the best display window on the block.

Hiring landscape changes in retail: 2024

To create a candidate experience that lands top talent in 2024, retail’s TA teams think they’ll need to focus on:

  • Quickly connecting with candidates (50%)
  • Spending more time building meaningful relationships with candidates (45%)
  • Increasing the number of candidate touchpoints in their process (40%)

And these goals must be achieved with smaller teams, as 43% foresee recruitment team turnover as a challenge. Thus, the focus should be on providing impactful, yet sustainable candidate engagement strategies that offer significant value without overextending limited resources.

6. Overhauling retail hiring with AI and automation

Retail recruiting teams are turning to AI and automation not just for the repetitive stuff but also for the tasks that need a bit of smarts.

99% of the leaders we surveyed said their teams used some form of automation or AI in the past 12 months. And most did so with the goal of limiting administrative tasks. In addition, 91% plan to invest in additional retail recruitment software

With the right hiring technology, teams can increase productivity and create an exceptional candidate experience, regardless of the hiring volume. As a result, tech solutions and their ability to refine the hiring experience can help retailers differentiate from competitors’ processes—all without overburdening their recruitment teams.

Retail recruiting teams: Want more insights?

2023 brought a shaky economy, sweeping reductions in force, and a challenging hiring landscape. Now in 2024, retail recruiters are met with a perfect storm of challenges. The pressure is on to attract qualified candidates, deliver an efficient hiring process, and leverage hiring tools that drive success. Are you ready to conquer 2024? 

To dive deeper into these insights and much, much more, get the retail report today.

Holiday Hiring in 2024: How to Land Retail Workers Now

If the pumpkin iced coffees are upon us, that means so is the holiday hiring season.

Retail talent leaders, this is your sign to push forward with your holiday hiring plan if you haven’t done so already. I know that with a (still) unstable economy and fewer resources to meet hiring goals, talent teams are worried that they’re up against another hard holiday hiring year. 

But not to worry — I’ve got your back. I gathered tips from experienced TA leaders and we’re going to spill their secrets and show you how to achieve holiday recruiting success this year.

The truth is, things aren’t going to be easy. Similar to last year, the U.S. labor market remains tight with 1.6 jobs available for every unemployed worker.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom. The good news is that we’re seeing signs of gradual cooling and a 35% increase in job searches this year compared to last year. With continued inflation, interest-rate hikes, and resumed student loan payments, people may be feeling the pressure to find jobs.

Even so, it’s still the worker’s market in retail. As retail TA leaders continue to face hiring headwinds, how can they set themselves up for a successful holiday hiring season in 2024? Read on to find out what the experts are saying.

Unlock retail’s top hiring strategies in 2024

Our study of 105 retail TA leaders reveals how to hit your hiring goals in a challenging market.

Don’t wait another second to plan for holiday hiring

So yes, the best time to start your holiday hiring strategy was in September, but the second-best time is now.

Talent teams are up against a growing set of unique challenges (from tech advances to an unpredictable economy to shifting candidate expectations). Knowing this, it’s critical to have an adaptable plan in place so you can start attracting job seekers right away.

Speed is the name of the game when it comes to hiring, especially in retail. If you’re slow to offer the job, the store across the street will sweep in and grab your candidates.

To make sure your competition doesn’t strike first, you need to start your hiring strategy early. Elizabeth Konkel, U.S. Department of Commerce economist agrees. “My advice for employers looking for seasonal workers is start now,” she says. “Don’t wait later in the season because you may really feel a big crunch.”

We repeat: don’t wait. Not only will this set you up to hire the right people for the right roles, but you’ll also have more job applicants than if you waited.

“My advice for employers looking for seasonal workers is start now. Don’t wait later in the season because you may really feel a big crunch.”

Elizabeth Konkel, Economist, U.S. Department of Commerce

Vary your recruitment methods during the holiday season

Need to attract seasonal hires, but aren’t sure where to begin? Get creative.

There are a variety of platforms that can be leveraged to spread the word. Of course, first, you’ll want to make sure your basics are covered and that you’re advertising your seasonal jobs on your company website, social media platforms, and online job boards. 

Then, think beyond digital ads. 

Remember — not all “creative” recruitment methods need to be tech-forward. Sometimes, old-school approaches are the most effective. We spoke with Craig Pyke, currently the Director of Talent Acquisition at Rivian and a hiring leader with nearly 20 years of experience hiring high-volume roles. When we asked him about innovative approaches to hitting hiring goals, he advised going back to basics:

“I actually posted a billboard. In my background, that was like the craziest thing to do. You know, we would source talent on all these different channels, but in volume recruiting, you have to get in front of people, right? And sometimes just doing a simple thing like that — getting back to basics and in front of folks — is one good way to go about it.”

Try a company referral program, attend job fairs and hiring events, or even hand out old-school fliers at your local campus. It may seem outdated, but it’s a great way to get in front of college students who need a bit of work while school is out of session. Even better, include a QR code on your flier that allows students to quickly scan and apply directly from their phones. And speaking of mobilized applications, this brings us to our next point.

Make your seasonal job application process mobile-friendly

Where are you most likely to browse the internet? Is it at your home office on your desktop computer? Or, is it on your phone or tablet while you’re waiting in line at the bank, taking your work lunch break, or riding public transportation? 

Most likely, it’s the latter. And when it comes to retail applicants, this especially holds true. ICIMS reports that 70% of retail applicants used a mobile device to apply for a job. This is compared to 53% of other applicants.

To get in front of these quick-paced candidates, retail talent leaders need to make their application process mobile-friendly. While you’re at it, make sure to keep the application process fast and efficient, especially since 73% of applicants abandon the application process if it takes longer than 15 minutes.

Famous Footwear recently implemented text-to-apply and is reaping big benefits — a 50% increase in applicants per job opening to be exact. With that kind of applicant increase, you can’t afford to not mobilize your application process.

Human-centric AI to crush your high-volume hiring goals

Engage candidates immediately via SMS and WhatsApp, harness instant bulk scheduling, and automate hiring workflows.

Engage candidates instantly

There’s nothing worse than applying for a job, then waiting…and waiting…and waiting for a response. And a same-day response? That’s almost unheard of according to an Indeed report. Only 4% of job applicants hear back that same day and only a few more (37%) hear back in one week.

So if you’re looking to impress candidates, incorporate texting into your recruitment process. With the right platform, you can upgrade your current ATS to contact candidates directly through SMS and WhatsApp and move them to the next stage of the hiring process — in just seconds. Curious about what it looks like in action? Check out the SMS and WhatsApp featurette from our Product Tour.

When you engage instantly, candidates feel valued. And you get to find the right people, faster.

Text recruitment for holiday hiring: An illustration showing a simplified version of candidate communication in GoodTime
GoodTime enables SMS and WhatsApp messaging and scheduling directly from your ATS or web browser.

Streamline your process as much as possible to reduce time-to-hire

Speed really is the name of the game this year. When I speak to recruitment leaders hiring for high-volume roles, nearly all of them say they’re looking to streamline or even completely eliminate steps from their hiring process. 

Brenda Purvis knows high-volume hiring. She’s led recruitment efforts for high-volume roles for 15 years and is currently the Principal Consultant for Enterprise Talent Strategy at Kaiser Permanente. In a recent executive roundtable, she urged TA pros to prioritize them in their hiring process:

“Time is truly the name of the game… time is the element that we can have some control over,” she told us. 

“How do we make sure that we’re looking at our recruiting teams and equipping them to really reduce the time in all of those processes? Some of that is technology, and some of that is procedures and efficiency, but it’s also trying out new things. Instead of three or four panel interviews, can we get this done in two? Or, in certain roles where we have a higher volume of roles, and we really do know what it takes to be successful, would a recruiter be able to make some of those hiring decisions?”

“Time is truly the name of the game… time is the element that we can have some control over.”

Brenda Purvis, Principal Consultant for Enterprise Talent Strategy, Kaiser Permanente

Look for transferable skills

A large majority of retail seasonal workers will come from Gen Z. And as newbies in the working world, it’s likely that they may not have all the experience you’re looking for.

But just because they don’t have retail experience doesn’t mean they won’t be a good fit for the job. In fact, 50% of talent teams are no longer considering just experiences and instead, are looking at skills.

So, rather than relying on resume qualifications, consider candidates who show potential. Do they possess essential retail skills, like teamwork or initiative? If so, they’re likely a great fit — even if their resume doesn’t say so.

But how, exactly, do you evaluate skills?

Skills assessment tests are becoming the go-to tool to discover if candidates have the capability to get the job done. These tests can measure everything from technical skills to cognitive abilities and personality traits. They’re truly a game-changer when it comes to matching candidate skills to job requirements.

Invest in high-volume scheduling and interviewing tools

Our retail hiring insights report found that the current average time-to-hire in the industry is around 16 days.

Still, it’s days too slow for holiday recruiters who need help now. To get your best candidates through the process fast, consider automating your interview scheduling and offering virtual interviews. Both work around the candidate’s schedule, making the entire process seamless.

Here’s how it works: Once talent teams have engaged with candidates, they can send pre-built screening questions that will assess who can move to the next stage of the process. Then, with the simple click of a button, the most qualified candidates can schedule their interview right then and there. And with in-person and virtual interview options, the candidate can choose one that aligns best with their schedule.

When done right, this process can cut that 16-day time-to-hire in half.

Getting budget for hiring tools in a tight economy

But how do you choose the right platform for your needs? And how are you supposed to get a budget for a new tool when resources are tighter than ever?

We asked Valeria Stanga, a seasoned retail TA leader who previously served as a TA Partner for Zalando and now works as a Senior Talent Acquisition Partner at HelloFresh. She told us, “You have to start with why. Why are you looking for something? What problem are you trying to solve?” Answering these questions, she says, will not only make it easier to select the right platform, but will also help you set up a case for procuring budget later on.

Then, it becomes about being able to clearly calculate the ROI of a recruitment platform. In Valeria’s case, when she procured GoodTime, they were looking to do 2 specific things:

  1. Improve the speed of scheduling interviews
  2. Reduce rescheduling rates

“Before the implementation of GoodTime, it took me 25 minutes to schedule a final interview with 3 separate interviewers — 1 hour each,” she said. “After, it was just over 3 minutes. It was such a huge change and that was still during the pilot phase!”

Watch the video below for more advice from Valeria on securing a budget for hiring technology.

Think beyond short-term opportunities

In 2022, Vicki Salemi, a career expert at Monster, said in an interview with Human Resource Executive that 36% of applicants wanted to turn a seasonal position into a full-time role. And USA Today reported that 44% of Americans currently work in (or plan to work in) seasonal jobs.

What’s happening here? It’s likely due to an increased cost of living over the last few years. In fact, according to the 2023 Global Workforce Survey, 69% of people say they’re working multiple jobs because they need extra income.

Retail TA leaders, this is your chance to turn your best seasonal workers into full or part-time employees. Admittedly, retail has traditionally gotten a bad rap when it comes to employee turnover. But it’s time to change that narrative. 

Investing in your employee experience now (not just your candidate experience!) will pay off long-term. Start by creating an atmosphere that appreciates the hard work employees contribute. If seasonal hires love where they work, the ones interested in long-term work won’t want to leave.

Read more about how to up-level your employer brand.

Raise compensation for holiday hires

The average hourly wage for retail workers sits at just $15 per hour. And many job seekers are no longer okay with trading hard work for subpar pay — especially in today’s economy. Employees are up against high cost of living and a low hourly pay just won’t cut it anymore.

Do you want to attract and land quality candidates? Then check your compensation offers to make sure they’re enticing. A Salary.com report shows that half of employers planned better budget increases in 2023 compared to the previous year. Another report shows as many as 80% of employers upped their compensation in 2023.

So before you start hiring, make sure your pay is competitive. This will likely be a big driving force behind your candidate acceptance rate.

And I get it — you have a limited budget and resources for seasonal hires. You can’t just raise compensation indefinitely. But think about it this way — what is the cost of all the time you and your hiring teams have to put into the process to fill a low-pay role? How much faster would it be to fill a role if the compensation was a little higher? How many of those employees would you be able to retain instead of spending more time addressing turnover? Pretty quickly, pay raises start to make sense budgetarily.

Build a network of seasonal hires

Think about all the connections you’ve made as you’ve interviewed and hired seasonal workers over the years. If you’ve made a good impression, past seasonal hires would likely be open (and even excited!) to come back next year.

This will ensure you have a pool of qualified seasonal candidates every year — cutting hours of recruiting, assessing, and training time.

Once the season is done, create a database of your best seasonal workers. Include details about their skills and past performance. Then, stay in touch. 

Take it up a notch and create private social media groups for your seasonal workers, and send regular company updates and newsletters to keep them in the loop. To go a step further, consider hosting alumni events. This maintains healthy relationships and keeps them engaged, even in the off-season.

Make this your best holiday hiring year yet

If there’s one takeaway you get from me today, it should be this: the best seasonal hiring strategy will include a variety of recruitment methods — from newer tech-based platforms to the old in-person standbys.

To reach (and serve) seasonal hires in today’s modern world, consider starting with a comprehensive hiring solution that boosts your team’s productivity so you can hire faster in a competitive market.

Start by checking out GoodTime’s retail recruitment software. It attracts and engages candidates with SMS and WhatsApp — so you can quickly push candidates to the next stage of the process (the interview). It will also automatically send these candidates an interview scheduling link so they can pick the best time for their busy schedules. And yes, it’s all done in a matter of minutes. All you have to do is focus on interviewing and hiring the best possible seasonal candidates.

Even with an unstable economy and leaner resources, you can still meet your hiring goals this year. With the right combination of strategy, processes, and tech, you can make 2024 your best seasonal hiring year yet!

5 Reasons Why High-Volume Hiring Teams Miss Their Goals

Ah, high-volume hiring; your inbox is overflowing with resumes, your calendar is jam-packed with interviews, and your stress levels are off the charts. Or, maybe you’re on the opposite end of the spectrum and can’t seem to find enough applicants to fill your endless vacancies. 

Hitting hiring goals amid all of this chaos can quickly become a real challenge—especially with limited time and resources. But luckily, we’re here to help make sense of it all. 

Here are five common reasons why high-volume hiring teams miss their goals, along with key solutions to help you improve your recruitment process.

Reason 1: Slow, Inefficient Communication With Candidates

Let’s face it—maintaining consistent communication is hard. And when you’re trying to coordinate interviews with countless candidates, things can quickly spiral out of control. 

Gaps in communication and slow response times are bad, bad news for a high-volume hiring process. This can cause delays in scheduling interviews, lower response rates from candidates, and missed opportunities with stellar talent.

Pro-Tip: Leverage Email/SMS Templates and Automation

Templatizing your communication—whether that’s through email or text message—and utilizing a healthy dose of automation is the recipe for success. This way, candidates stay informed and engaged throughout the process.

Communication templates eliminate the manual work involved in drafting up a whole new message for every candidate in your pipeline. Even better, tech tools that enable automation reduce the time and effort required to send messages and coordinate with applicants, all while ensuring consistent communication.

Human-centric AI to crush your high-volume hiring goals

Engage candidates immediately via SMS and WhatsApp, harness instant bulk scheduling, and automate hiring workflows.

Reason 2: Limited Time and Resources

Time is of the essence and helpful resources are essential when you’re a high-volume recruiter. Yet of course, these are the two elements that today’s teams lack the most. 

The current hectic economic landscape has dealt a heavy blow to many recruiting teams, slashing budgets in half and reducing headcount in one fell swoop. High-volume hiring was hard before, and it’s even harder now.  Teams must manage multiple candidates and coordinate a variety of interviews with less bandwidth and support to do so. 

Pro-Tip: Streamline the Screening and Scheduling Process

To improve your efficiency and make the most of your resources, consider using technology to fast-track some of the most tedious, manual parts of the hiring process. For many recruiters, this means the resume screening and interview scheduling process.

That’s where your applicant tracking system (ATS) comes in. And if you don’t already have one, it’s time to change things. Here are our ATS recommendations. An ATS helps recruiters quickly filter through large volumes of resumes and identify the most qualified candidates.

But an ATS can’t do it all on its own. An advanced interview scheduling software automates the entire process of getting interviews on the books, from gathering a candidate’s availability to finding the best available interviewers. That way, recruiters have more bandwidth for the most high-value tasks.

Reason 3: Lack of Organizational Planning

High-volume hiring is oftentimes chaotic. And when you’re dealing with hundreds of candidates, it can feel hard to stay organized and on top of everything. But without a solid plan in place, you’re already setting yourself up for failure.

That’s why effective organizational planning is absolutely essential for successful high-volume hiring. Without a well-defined hiring process in place, recruiters may struggle to manage their time effectively, communicate with stakeholders, and make informed hiring decisions. 

Pro-Tip: Align and Define the Stages of the Hiring Process

If you want to amp up your organizational planning, consider creating detailed hiring plans that outline each stage of the hiring process and the specific roles and responsibilities of each stakeholder. 

For example, a hiring plan might include a timeline of each hiring stage, from candidate sourcing to final offer acceptance, as well as the specific actions and tasks required for each stage. By having a clear plan in place, recruiters can manage their time and resources more efficiently, communicate more effectively with stakeholders, and make better hiring decisions. 

Reason 4: Candidates Dropping Out

When you’re managing such a large talent pool, many—or most—applicants that you come across just aren’t going to be the right fit. Yet even if you get a dazzling resume, there’s so many opportunities throughout the hiring process for qualified talent to become disengaged and drop out altogether. 

Having candidates occasionally drop out is expected when you’re a high-volume recruiter. The quick, simple application process sometimes means candidates aren’t as invested in moving forward. However, failing to address the faults in your process makes it that much harder to win qualified talent.

Pro-Tip: Simplify the Hiring Process

We could go on and on about the variety of ways that recruiters can prevent candidates from dropping out. In fact, implementing all of our previously mentioned pro-tips amounts to a better candidate experience and a higher likelihood of securing the best candidates.

However, there’s one tip that we haven’t mentioned yet, and it’s an important one: simplify the hiring process. High-volume recruiting isn’t the place for an overly-complicated process. You want to get talent in the door fast, and candidates want to get to work ASAP. 

Simplifying the hiring process can take many shapes. For instance, recruiting via SMS or WhatsApp allows candidates to quickly go through the hiring process via the device that they have on them at all times: their phone. 

Reason 5: Not Enough Leads in the Funnel

When it comes to high-volume hiring, having a strong recruitment funnel with a pipeline of potential candidates is essential to success. But for some high-volume recruiting teams, generating a consistent flow of leads is a major challenge. 

Without a steady stream of qualified candidates, recruiting efforts can quickly become stalled, and positions may remain unfilled for longer periods of time.

Pro-Tip: Improve Employer Branding

Investing in your employer brand proves that sometimes it’s worth it to play the long game. When candidates have a positive perception of your employer brand, they’re more likely to apply for open positions and recommend your company to their networks. 

So, how do you build up your employer brand? To start, conduct a brand audit to assess your company’s current reputation and identify areas for improvement. This could involve gathering feedback from current and past employees, analyzing online reviews and ratings, and researching how your company is perceived in the job market.

Once you have a better understanding of your company’s brand perception, you can start taking steps to improve it. This could involve investing in employee engagement initiatives, such as offering professional development opportunities or creating a more flexible work environment. 

Transform Your High-Volume Hiring Today

Leveraging advanced hiring technology gives talent teams the best chance to hit their hiring goals and fill high-volume roles faster and more efficiently than ever before.

GoodTime Hire is the high-volume recruiting software that provides talent teams with advanced automated interview scheduling for high-volume roles through SMS, WhatsApp, and email messaging. Quickly reach out to candidates, schedule interviews effortlessly, and let automation take care of the rest.

How Retail Recruiters Can Hire and Retain Top Talent in 2024

Retail recruiters, we feel for you. Filling endless high-volume retail roles is never an easy task. Yet lately, amid the abysmal economy, it seems that retail recruiting has only gotten harder. And that’s without even getting into holiday hiring.

The big question is: how can retail recruiters overcome their challenges to hire and retain talent this year and beyond? Fortunately, we’ve got you covered.

After surveying 105 talent acquisition leaders across sectors for our 2024 Retail Hiring Insights Report, we’ve released how they’re attracting and retaining talent amid today’s obstacles (and many more hiring insights).

Our report’s data shows that while formidable challenges lie ahead, retail talent leaders have identified key strategies for winning and keeping the best talent on the market. So, what’s their master plan? Read on.

Unlock retail’s top hiring strategies in 2024

Our study of 105 retail TA leaders reveals how to hit your hiring goals in a challenging market.

Retail Hiring’s Upcoming Challenges and Changes

Before hiring teams at retailers can develop strategies for success, they must identify and reflect on the biggest upcoming challenges and changes in retail’s recruitment landscape. Recognizing what’s on the horizon helps teams create actionable plans that guarantee the greatest chance of hitting their goals.

Most Crucial Obstacles

The top hurdle expected in the coming months is the challenge of adapting the interview process to a remote setting (25%). Retailers must now venture into the remote world to meet the ever-changing expectations of today’s job seekers.

Bar chart showing what challenges retail talent teams expect in the future.

Traditionally, on-site interviews are customary for retail positions, particularly when hiring for in-store roles. Yet times are changing. Candidates seek more flexibility in their job hunt, including the option to interview remotely from their own homes. With this, retailers are tasked with evolving the interview process. 

Hybrid work challenges (22%) is tied for the second biggest upcoming obstacle. The rise of remote interviewing and hybrid work within retail signifies a transformative period. In response to the current world of work, companies in retail are swiftly adjusting their hiring methods and operational models.

Shifts on the Horizon

In spite of the economic downturn, many retailers are still hiring as usual. However, their reduced talent teams could pose challenges. Looking ahead, hiring leaders in retail foresee that high recruitment team turnover will affect their ability to handle the influx of candidates in the hiring process (41%). This is the biggest change expected in the coming months. 

Bar chart showing how retail hiring teams expect the landscape to change.

As for the second and third biggest shifts, leaders anticipate that quickly connecting with candidates (39%) and creating candidate relationships (38%) will be crucial. Candidates expect an efficient hiring process that also allows them to form authentic relationships with the hiring team. Overlooking these two areas means talent teams risk losing candidates to companies with better-aligned processes.

How Retail Recruiters Can Come Out on Top

Talent teams in retail face a challenging hiring environment: a volatile economy, a difficult hiring landscape, and a changing world of work. To overcome these circumstances, inaction simply isn’t an option. 

Want to know how you can successfully hire and retain top talent this year? Based on the data from our Hiring Insights Report, here’s how retail talent leaders plan on persevering and hitting their goals.

Revamping Hiring with Tech

Ranking closely within two percentage points of each other, retail talent leaders aim to enhance five aspects of the hiring process: personalization (34%), candidate experience (34%), efficiency (33%), automation (33%), and offer acceptance rates (33%). 

Fulfilling these ambitious goals means retail talent leaders must revamp the hiring process entirely. So, how can talent teams tackle all five elements? The solution lies in upgrading their retail recruitment software, and 29% of respondents already plan to do so. 

Bar chart showing what retail TA leaders plan on improving in the future.

Optimal hiring technology helps teams improve their joint productivity and deliver a memorable candidate experience, regardless of the number of applicants they must juggle. In turn, tech solutions help retailers stand out from competitors’ processes—all without overwhelming their hiring teams.

Communicating to Top Talent

Winning candidates over in a sea of fierce competition requires hiring teams to convey values that resonate with talent. When asked what they communicate to candidates to reel them in, retail talent leaders say they emphasize social good (48%) and flexibility (46%) the most. 

Bar chart showing what retail talent leaders try to communicate to retail candidates.

Human well-being and workplace flexibility are high on candidates’ wishlists. Discussing both values provides prospective hires with important insight into an organization’s culture. It’s a way to differentiate from the vast competition and leave a lasting impression on job seekers.

Streamlining the Hiring Experience

When asked how they try to create a faster, simpler hiring experience for candidates, talent leaders in retail said that their top method is emphasizing transparency in the interview process (47%). Transparency helps give candidates greater clarity on proceedings, reducing the chance of misunderstandings and delays. 

Bar chart showing what TA leaders do to build a fast, simple hiring process.

The top-selected responses from talent leaders all speak to the importance of the recruiter-candidate relationship. Exhibiting transparency establishes trust, creating a fast interview process (43%) ensures a candidate’s time isn’t wasted, and self-rescheduling (42%) puts candidates in control. Mixing all of this together forms a genuine candidate relationship.

Does interview scheduling automation make sense for my team?

ROI is key. This is not a time to invest in software that won’t bring you immediate value. So let’s eliminate the guesswork with our free ROI calculator.

Optimizing With Data

As teams prepare for the upcoming hiring challenges, they’ll be doing so while closely monitoring the value each new hire brings to their organizations. Talent leaders agree that out of all the metrics they measure, quality of hire is the most important (30%). This result is fitting; recruiting teams must not only hire quickly but also secure the very best talent on the market. 

Bar chart showing what hiring metric talent leaders consider the most important.

Tracking quality of hire is essential to the success of any hiring team in retail. With ongoing talent acquisition woes and perpetual job vacancies, teams must hire the most capable, motivated candidates. After all, a company is only as good as the people that comprise it; hiring the right people is key to withstand any obstacle.

Hey, Retail Recruiters: Want More Insights?

2022 brought a shaky economy, sweeping reductions in force, and a challenging hiring landscape. Now in 2023, retail recruiters are met with a perfect storm of challenges. The pressure is on to attract qualified candidates, deliver an efficient hiring process, and leverage hiring tools that drive success. Are you ready to conquer 2023? 

To dive deeper into these insights and much, much more, get the retail report today.