Strong US consumer spending, high demand for products and services and low unemployment are creating a tight talent market for retailers ahead of the holiday rush. A new report titled Fully Stocked: Alternative Work Models for Retailers from ManpowerGroup Solutions and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) identifies what attracts retail workers to new positions. According to a study of nearly 2,500 retail workers, flexibility is key to not only finding the best talent for in-store and warehouse/distribution workers, it also makes them stay.
The report shows retailers are adopting collaborative hiring strategies, sharing a skilled talent pool, and leveraging apps with on-demand staffing technology, so workers can choose schedules and flex fast. Tech-driven talent options like ManpowerGroup Solutions’ WorkMyWay.com platform allows employers to interview, hire, train and track schedule preferences across a shared pool of qualified workers. Smartphone apps including Forge and HYR allow workers to swap, drop or pick up shifts.
“Employers across the US are experiencing talent shortages, and retailers are not immune as they compete for workers who seek new ways of working,” said Melissa Hassett, vice president of client delivery at ManpowerGroup Solutions. “Retail workers, from delivery drivers to customer service representatives, want work that can easily blend with their busy lives. Retailers who offer workers flexibility and use technology to recruit talent when and where they want to work will have the edge.”
“The evolution of the gig economy and trends around independent and autonomous work are impacting retailers in ways that were unimagined just a few years ago,” said Evan Armstrong, vice president of workforce at RILA. “With half a million job openings in the retail industry, employers are constantly reimagining the workforce experience to continue providing careers and opportunities to US retail workers. Depending upon what the individual is seeking, retail can be a lifelong career or a part-time side hustle. The battle for talent is fierce and to compete, leading retailers need to consider cultivating a workforce in a tech-forward industry by prioritizing the preferences of job-seekers.”
To learn more about ManpowerGroup Solutions’ candidate preferences research and practical strategies to close the retail talent gap, download Fully Stocked: Alternative Work Models for Retailers.