Retail Observer

November 2021

The Retail Observer is an industry leading magazine for INDEPENDENT RETAILERS in Major Appliances, Consumer Electronics and Home Furnishings

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 55 of 67

RETAILOBSERVER.COM NOVEMBER 2021 56 N ow hiring!" If you're like most businesses in our industry today, you probably are. And it's no easy task – there are more jobs than workers, right? That's the simplest way to describe the current labor shortage, which is one of the most frustrating topics of 2021. The doors of growth are wide open, yet many businesses are struggling to keep pace with shopper demand, and the pool of candidates to help us grow our teams seems empty. So now what? This is far from the first labor shortage our country has faced. The American economy has seen similar challenges throughout its history, for a variety of causes. Large portions of a generation retire, and so a skills gap develops until the next generation or two can catch up. Population shifts, migration in and out of urban areas, and an array of other factors have squeezed businesses large and small to find new team members. Today it's a job seeker's market – they have more options than ever, and talented people can walk through many doors. We can't simply shanghai the prospects, as in pirate days; we must appeal to the workers to choose us over the competition. In my conversations with retailers from modest one store- operations to regional powerhouses, the discussion of how to find and retain talent has been wide-ranging. Some are short-staffed, forced to cut their hours and service offerings and even losing long- term team members who've reached the burnout stage. Others are growing, thriving and able to select the right candidates for their open positions. What's the difference? We found that there were many reasons. Does geography play a role? Is it tied to the size of the business? The leadership? Are some simply offering better pay and benefits? What role does the company culture play? Our conversations showed me that all of those factors and a laundry list of others had a tangible impact on the results. But it also became clear that there was a common thread among the businesses that had succeeded in finding new talent, and another thread among those that weren't. It all came down to how they were positioning their company as a place to work. It sounds simple, but I assure you, it's not. Most retailers in our industry have invested decades of passion, effort and resources to build their shopper brand through the marketing they've executed to enter the consciousness of potential customers as a great place to shop. However, the vast majority, regardless of size, have put little or no effort into telling the story of why their business is a great place to work. To prepare for a PrimeTime session in August, my team visited 200 randomly selected appliance dealer websites looking for just one thing – a career page that told a story that gave potential job candidates a feeling for why they might want to join the team. Sadly, only 17% of those websites had a career page. For the other 83%, the company remained a mystery to the jobseeker. And, just like shoppers, jobseekers tend to skip past a mystery. Now, we need to bear in mind that solving the people problem is a lot more complex than simply adding a career page to our website. However, we have to start somewhere. The process of building a great career center for your business will force you to take some key steps. I suggest that you start by asking yourself and your team an important question: What makes your business a great place to work? If you're willing to address that question with total honesty, you'll likely learn a great deal about yourself and walk away with a clear action list. The list will help you start to build your employer brand, and it might prove to be your greatest asset for not just finding bodies to fill spots, but bagging the right people for the right positions at the right time. Mike Whitaker Member Services USE YOUR BRAND STORY TO ATTRACT NEW TALENT Mike Whitaker, Nationwide Learning Academy, Nationwide Marketing Group RO "

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Retail Observer - November 2021