Planners – Demand for these professionals comes from big box and fashion, with hiring needs peaking in October and November traditionally. At present, most jobs created are permanent.
Buyers - Competition is fierce for Buyers who can select or develop a product by offering a point of difference. This covers not only competitive pricing, but those who have demonstrated commercial success in the relevant categories. In particular, discount department stores are fighting for market share through their apparel categories, and seek proven commercial buying skills with a more fashion forward edge. Similarly within apparel pure online retailers are fighting for experienced branded Buyers with pre-existing supplier relationships.
Retail Managers – As we approach Christmas retailers seek strong and experienced retail experts to manage and improve their store. Given that Christmas is the busiest and most profitable time of the year all retailers are looking to secure the best leaders to comfortably and effectively run their retail stores smoothly.
Area/State Managers – Retailers need experienced and ambitious Managers who can manage multiple stores. Employers have requested candidates with commercial skills. The main areas of growth have been in big box large retail establishments and home ware retailers. The need for degree qualified candidates is increasing.
Casuals/temporary staff – Retailers are looking for flexible, confident entry-level staff to work through the extended hours of the Christmas season.
Entry-level support – Employers are recruiting entry-level candidates in e-commerce, visual merchandising, retail marketing and HR to support departments over the peak period. Marketing support is needed in response to the increased production of point of sale and collateral. Online content must be up-to-date. VM teams need to be at a full capacity to perform effectively while HR Advisors are needed to cope with the intake of store-based temporary staff.
Local experience – We are seeing a need for candidates with local experience. International candidates remain a key candidate pool for the major retail groups, but time to hire means most of these candidates will commence in 2014. To cope with this year’s immediate hiring needs employers require local candidates, but such candidates often receive multiple offers.
Local candidates will not necessarily accept the highest remuneration package; they seek a role offering stability, work-life balance and investment in their long-term career. As a result, it is essential for a retailer to effectively communicate their value proposition to candidates during the recruitment process. Those who can offer mentors, development plans, positive examples of their culture and flexibility in role definitions usually secure the candidate.
Many retailers run group recruitment campaigns for both customer facing and head office support roles as we approach the Christmas season. These processes are usually quick and efficient. New job creation will be for both full-time and part-time roles to assist with the extended trading hours and increase in foot traffic that accompanies Christmas.
Overall candidate levels have increased. There are a lot of experienced retail employees looking for their next role as they are aware that retailers tend to hire over the three months prior to Christmas. This busy season is an opportunity for them to prove themselves to a business with the hope of then securing a full-time role in the New Year.
From a head office perspective employers are particularly keen to secure Merchandise Planners and Allocators to ensure products are distributed to the right place at the right time to maximize customer spend. Senior leadership roles are essential from an operations perspective and hiring at national operations or GM level will spike in quarter 2.
We have seen an increase in contract and temporary roles for both short-term customer facing roles over the Christmas period, as well as longer-term critical support roles such as in visual merchandising and marketing.