Top 5 Retail HR & Talent Acquisition Trends in 2020

January 29, 2020
Checkr Editor

2020 just kicked off, and the holiday shopping season is winding down. A new year brings a chance for retailers of all sizes to catch their breath, reflect on the holiday season (what worked and what needs to be tuned), and make new resolutions for improvement in the year ahead.

This article was written by Scott Jennings, Director of Retail Industry Strategy at Checkr.

Retail HR & Talent Acquisition organizations are making their new year’s resolutions with 2020 bringing a host of new & familiar challenges including a tight labor market, increased competition for the same talent pool, enhanced benefit package expectations, new legislation, &  digital transformation to get ahead of industry disruption. Below, I’ve highlighted a few of the top trends retailers will want to keep in mind as they start building out their resolutions and plans for the year:

1. Modernize the Candidate Experience – Generation Z has entered the workforce, in fact 44 percent of Gen Zers already have experience working in retail or grocery stores.  Gen Z is also the first generation that is 100% digitally native, they have not experienced a world without technology,  speed, and convenience. A modern candidate experience that is transparent, fair, and mobile optimized is the best way to increase conversion rates in 2020. For example, UnderArmour found that investments in candidate experience are proving to have big results: including a 35% reduction in time to fill and improved quality of hire.

2. Hire Up for Growth – Retailers around the world are looking for new revenue streams to improve top line sales growth. This could be a new in house delivery serviceinstallation & assembly service, or spinning up a pop up retail or fulfillment center. To spin up a new business model legacy retailers must act like a startup, which requires agility to accommodate new roles and a frictionless hiring experience to convert on more candidates. A new service line could even include a mix of in house hires, 3rd party contractors, and robotic automation that must be accommodated as part of the hiring and onboarding process.

A great example is Target, who acquired Shipt, the personal shopper and same day delivery service, a few years ago to bolster their digital fulfillment capability. Target scaled Shipt’s same day delivery service to 170 metropolitan areas across the United States in just one year. Target reported, “Shipt same-day delivery and pick-up-in-store services added 1.5% to its overall same-store sales growth in the second quarter and accounted for one-third of its digital sales.” “Meanwhile, revenue from the company’s existing digital channels climbed 34%, with the majority of that growth stemming from in-store pickup, Drive-Up, and Shipt.”

3. Scale Seasonal Hiring With Compliance – Seasonality is a critical component of most retail businesses. The sheer volume of hiring can reach 100,000+ seasonal hires at large retailers, and when hiring at volume in the field a retailer can inadvertently open themselves up to hiring related compliance violations. This is particularly true with FCRA & EEOC laws attached to the hiring and screening process. In 2020 retailers shouldn’t have to choose between scale and compliance.

4. Create a Brand Experience – Retailers want to build and maintain relationships with new and existing customers through experience based programs that keep their audience engaged with their brands. 

According to the State of the Connected Consumer report, “84% of customers say the experiences provided by a company are as important to them as its products and services. If you’re interested in creating brand experiences, look to retailers like L.L Bean, who provides outdoor discovery programs. The company recently found that the customers who participated in one of their experiences spent an average of 30% more with the company in the following year. 

5. Get Ahead of Turnover – Beyond seasonal hiring, retailers are constantly battling turnover throughout the year.  Human Resources Today found that retail turnover translates into more than 230 million days of lost productivity and $19 billion for recruiting, hiring and training expenses. To stay ahead of turnover in 2020, retailers should offer full time employees additional overtime hours and look to convert seasonal workers into full time workers to better manage employee turnover. Last year, Lowes Home Improvement converted about half of their 53,000 seasonal workers to full time employees, and 200 of their current store managers started working as a seasonal worker.

The good news is that Retail HR & Talent Acquisition organizations can rely on proven technology partners to assist with all of their 2020 Resolutions and beyond.If you’re interested in learning more about how Checkr can support your organization, come see us at Leap HR Retail in February!

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