Historically employers can have a reluctance to engage with recruitment agencies, but by partnering with agencies retailers can benefit hugely. The basic premise is that using a recruitment agency brings with its savings in both time and cost, but the benefits are more far-reaching than that.
Recruiting within the retail sector, in particular,has its own unique set of challenges that makes it even more essential to get hiring right, first time and every time.
Recruitment Challenges Within the Retail Sector
The nature of retail work dictates that it is a relatively labour-intensive activity by modern standards. This doesn't mean that anyone will do approach will yield the right results. Recruiting for these roles needs to be targeted. For instance, a candidate with an aptitude for technology probably won't suit fashion retail and vice versa.
Throughout the year there are also peaks and troughs in trading. Christmas is the obvious time when most retailers will see an uplift in activity and a potential shortfall in their ability to service the needs of their customers.
Finally, retail has a reputation for having a high attrition rate. This can cost the employer in hiring costs and in the induction and training of replacements. To this end ensuring that your hires are the right fit for a role, the culture of your company and the nature of your product is essential to retention rates.
How Recruitment Agencies Can Help
Sectoral expertise and lower lead time for hiring
Agencies employ consultants to specialise in specific areas. Within a retail team, such as Cpl Retail, a consultant will work within the Retail space but focus solely on specialised areas - grocery, fashion, pharmacy etc. All very different fields that require very different candidates.
This enables the consultant, and by default the agency, to build a portfolio of 'active' candidates, seeking an opportunity in their own nice area of retail.
This cuts down on the turnaround time for filling vacancies and speeds up the hiring process which allows companies to give greater continuity by negating long term voids in roles. It also lessens the amount of training required for a new hire if they are coming from a position in a similar organisation.
Access to high volume and temp resources
The nature of retailing dictates that it's a labour-intensive activity and that demand rises at certain times of the year. If a retail business is expanding or moving into a new geographical area, it's essential that they have a team who can hit the ground running from day one.
Agencies can advertise for, screen and vet a large number of candidates in a short space of time, removing the need for investment in in-house talent acquisition for a short-term project.
For periods of increased trading activity, agencies can supply temporary staff to ensure the business runs as smoothly as it does under normal trading demands.
These staff are generally employed through the agency, which means lower administration costs for the employer and increased flexibility. In short working with a recruiter will help you scale your headcount at short notice and HR management lies with the agency.
Improved Retention Rates
One of the main factors of poor staff retention is poor recruiting. Ensuring a new hire is willing to do a job is only a small part of the process, they must also have the relevant education and experience, the ambition to excel in a new role and the right cultural fit.
A good recruitment agency will ensure that candidates put forward for consideration to meet these criteria and are the right person for the role.
Salary Insights & Benchmarking
Another key factor in attracting new talent and holding on to our prized personnel is ensuring that they feel valued. Recruiters talk to candidates every day and as such have a unique insight into what's happening on the salary front. This allows us to advise clients on where best to pitch the salary for a new role. (You can find our latest retail salary guide here.)
Candidates are also increasingly looking at the whole package on offer, not just the salary. For example, towards the end of 2019 and into 2020 we've seen an increased interest from top retail talent in flexibility, annual leave perks and well-facilitated work environments.
Partnering with an agency has many benefits. It will help you attract the best talent for your organisation, it will cut down save time and money and it will help your business realise it's full potential.