Chris Russell

3 min read

Retail Hiring Trends

In the fast-paced world of retail, every industry player needs to stay ahead of emerging trends to remain competitive. Hiring trends have significantly evolved over the past few years, and retail recruiters and HR teams need to stay alert and know what's new to enhance their hiring strategies. In this blog post, we explore the latest retail hiring trends that HR departments and recruiters should consider.

Retailers are employing a variety of strategies to combat the current labor shortage. Many are implementing automated solutions, like self-checkout machines and AI customer service, to maintain operations despite diminished staff. Others are focusing on attracting and retaining employees by offering higher wages, flexible schedules, and significant sign-on bonuses. Some retailers are even partnering with staffing agencies or freelancers to fill vacancies quickly.

Additionally, retailers are exploring collaborations with educational institutions to offer internships and part-time job opportunities to students, effectively creating a pipeline of potential future employees. By being creative and adapting to the current labor market, retailers are finding ways to mitigate the impact of the lack of workers and ensure their business continues to thrive. These strategies not only address the immediate need for staff but also provide long-term solutions for a sustainable workforce.

Furthermore, retailers are investing in upskilling and cross-training their existing employees to fill multiple roles within the company. This not only helps in bridging the gap caused by the labor shortage but also provides employees with opportunities for career growth and development. Employers are also prioritizing creating a positive work environment and offering employee benefits such as health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off to attract and retain workers.

Another approach retailers are taking is implementing technology solutions to increase efficiency and productivity. This includes using systems for inventory management, order fulfillment, and online sales to reduce the need for manual labor.

Moreover, retailers are also looking at alternative hiring methods such as remote work and gig economy platforms to tap into a larger pool of potential employees. This allows them to hire workers from different geographic locations and skill sets.

Artificial Intelligence in Retail

Artificial intelligence (AI) is also changing how retail recruiters and HR professionals identify and evaluate potential candidates. HR professionals can now use AI-based tools to screen resumes and weed out candidates who do not meet the criteria. This saves time and resources, allowing recruiters to focus on candidates that meet the necessary requirements.

Similarly, AI assessments evaluate candidates' skills and personality to determine if they are the right fit for the job or not. This technology can help reduce unconscious bias and ensure fair hiring. 

Prioritizing Soft Skills in Retail

Although hard skills are essential in retail, employers must also focus on soft skills for long-term business success. Employers are prioritizing soft skills such as communication, teamwork, and customer service. Retail recruiters need to adapt their recruitment strategies and focus on hiring employees with excellent soft skills.

Recruiters can ask behavioral questions during interviews to assess candidates' soft skills. For example, they can ask questions about how a candidate would handle a difficult customer situation.

Blurring of Retail Job Titles and Requirements

In the past, job titles were specific to what an employee would do, but that has changed in recent times. Many retail employees now play multiple roles, and therefore, job titles have become blurred. A Sales Associate might now double as a cashier and stock the shelves.

Retail recruiters and HR teams need to understand this shift and plan for flexibility in hiring. They need to identify potential employee skills and hire for those skills, rather than for specific job titles.

Retail Hiring is Down

According to new research from iCIMS the hiring s platform found that hires and openings in retail have decreased by 12% and 25%, respectively, from this time last year, while the transportation sector saw declines of 22% and 2%.

Drawn from its proprietary database of employer and job seeker activity, the new report indicates that, while employers in these industries are tapping the brakes on massive seasonal hiring, applications for these roles remain high, creating a more competitive market for job seekers. Whether this trend points to a cooling economy, the impact of rising retention rates or the start of an end-of-year slowdown for the labor market has yet to be determined. 

“In two years, we’ve seen a shift in these industries from hiring teams looking for warm bodies to fill roles to an influx in applicants,” said Rhea Moss, global head of workforce and customer insights, iCIMS. “There’s a lot less pressure now to hire just anyone and teams have the chance to be a little more tactical in their hiring as they approach their busy season.”

With more than half (52%) of all applications coming from job seekers’ phones, mobile applications are key for finding applicants. This is especially true for retail job seekers – 72% of retail applicants came via mobile devices, compared to just 28% from desktop.

Retail hiring practices are continually evolving, and it is up to recruiters and HR professionals to stay abreast of these changes. Remote work, AI technology, soft skills, and blurred job titles are emerging trends transforming the retail landscape. Adopting new hiring trends will help retail companies stay competitive and meet employee needs, leading to long-term business success.

About Emissary

Emissary is a candidate engagement platform built to empower recruiters with efficient, modern communication tools that work in harmony with other recruiting solutions.

Book a Demo

Stay in the loop!

Subscribe to our bi-weekly newsletter and keep up to date with the latest Recruiting and HR tips and trends.

By clicking send you’ll receive occasional emails from us.

Ready to speed up your hiring process?

Start texting candidates and get better results today.
Book a Demo