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January - March 2016

We expect employers in the retail space to review staffing needs this quarter, now that the festive and New Year shopping season is behind us.

Skills in demand

2016 will see the continued growth of Omni-Chanel with more online retailers opening ‘bricks and mortar’ stores. For these businesses, employers require store staff with category-specific experience who can work to a fast pace, reflective of online retail environments.

Many retailers are expanding and opening new stores in the second half of this financial year. With this we will likely see demand for casual store staff since employers desire flexibility while assessing their staffing needs in new locations.

Due to store expansions, we also expect employers to be looking for Regional Managers. For these roles, employers typically seek candidates with strong multi-site experience and the ability to build strong teams in order to lower staff turnover, an ongoing issue for many organisations.

In the grocery market, fresh produce Buyers are in high demand as many of the large supermarkets focus on implementing new strategies in this category. Employers may look overseas for candidates with specialty in this area.

Retail Operations Managers for luxury brands are in demand too. Preferred candidates are strategic thinkers, passionate about luxury goods and good communicators able to share best practice standards to others to help them deliver an outstanding customer experience.

Strong Sales Consultants in the luxury space remain in high demand. Preferred candidates must be well presented, have a passion for luxury goods and for providing excellent customer service and a positive outlook. Mandarin and other language skills remain highly regarded, as shoppers from overseas continue to dominate this market.

We have seen an increase in demand for Loss Prevention Managers at the senior levels and expect this to continue, as more retailers are focusing on reducing loss as a pivotal business strategy.

Candidate trends

In terms of candidate trends, senior retail professionals have adopted a more patient and speculative approach. They are looking for the exact right opportunity and will not leave their current role until they find a job that meets all of their requirements, including an opportunity to grow and career progression.

The latter is very important as candidates want to see a clear progression path, and are interested in moving up in larger corporations.

They also want to work for a retailer with strong growth potential. With many international retailers setting up in Australia, existing retailers are opening new locations, setting up new divisions and creating new roles.

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