At the HR Retail event in San Diego, HR innovators from buzzworthy brands examined industry trends and challenges. The discussions were primarily centered around retail talent and how attracting the best team is affected by HR’s efforts in employee engagement. Sara Patterson, Chief People Officer at Bonobos, put it perfectly when she said, “HR is a marketing department, and your customers are your people.”
Your company is only as strong as your team, so it’s critical to hire the right people. With so many substantial career options out there, it’s easy for companies to get lost in the shuffle during a prospective candidate’s job hunt. In this blog, we digest the takeaways from the recent HR Retail event, as well as explore some ways to attract top retail talent—and how to keep them around.
Have a “cool factor”
Circling back to Patterson’s quote, if you want to target the right people, you need to speak their language and have a hook. Find out what technologies they’re using, what they value in the workplace (work/life balance, team events, etc.), and what they aren’t getting from their current employers. Here’s a head start on some research on how to be the “it” place to work in retail.
Corporate culture is the biggest factor in deciding if a company is the “cool” place to work. 80% of millennials look for culture and people fit before career potential, yet so many employers don’t make it a priority to cultivate a good culture. Rather than view corporate culture as a nice-to-have, view it as a competitive strategy to lure in top talent and entice them to stay. For instance, REI promotes an adventurous culture that embodies their outdoors-oriented mission and attributes its vast success to the team.
Instill a Sense of Purpose
Giving your employees a sense of purpose empowers them to love what they do and reach their full potential. Workers who lack meaning in their role tend to be unhappy and unmotivated, which can translate to a poor customer experience.
At the event, Shauna Grinkle, Head of HR at LUSH, discussed how brand values are used as advertising for potential talent. However, no impact will be made unless management communicates these values to the whole team and personally embodies them. Click here to learn some ways to instill a sense of purpose in your retail employees.
Improve Internal Communication
Mike Tippets, VP of Media Services at Hughes, advised HR to make communications “bite-sized and consumable” to drive higher engagement. Shorter, timely, and easily searchable communication—and video-centric if you want to spice things up—is more interactive and relevant. Also consider implementing a mobile platform so you can effectively communicate with your frontline employees.
Internal communication tools will not only draw talent, they will also help reduce turnover once you have a good team in place. “Clear communication was the simple change that made the biggest impact for our turnover,” acknowledged Justin Taylor, SVP of Human Resources at Charming Charlie. Recognition is its own reward, so use these platforms to spotlight employee achievements to boost morale and performance. Revitalizing your internal communication strategy and measuring employee engagement metrics will dramatically impact your organization.
It’s important to understand the ever-changing HR landscape and how it affects attracting top talent. Propel your workforce efforts to keep up with the rapid transformations in the retail industry and entice your new-hires to stay with your company long-term.