considerations for designing effective retail talent acquisition
By Tracy Jackson, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, HFA Chief HR Strategist
Ever wonder what the difference is between recruiting and talent
acquisition? Recruiting is the short-term goal of filling an opening.
Talent acquisition is a long-term strategy for attracting and retaining
talent, creating leaders and future executives for your organization.
HFA’s retail furniture store members cite lack of talent as one of the
greatest concerns they face. One big reason for this is that baby boomers
are quickly exiting the workforce. Born between 1946 and 1964, by the end
of this decade, they will be 65 years or older. That’s why creating and
developing your organization’s future leaders must become a priority.
A successful talent acquisition initiative cannot be just an HR
initiative. It must be embraced at every level of your organization. While
recruiting and respectful engagement with candidates is important, talent
acquisition should incorporate many of the following considerations.
Compensation: Ensure that your salary, benefits,
retirement plans and time off offers are attractive and competitive. Be
sure to include reward and recognition plans that are attainable. Give
employees “total rewards” statements to point out that the actual value
they receive is greater than their paycheck alone.
Culture: Develop an unbeatable culture. Start by
developing a clear and concise mission, vision and values statement that
everyone in your organization knows, understands and buys into. Be sure to
celebrate your culture regularly by recognizing how employees contribute
to the company’s success. Consider identifying “brand ambassadors” within
your organization that model behavior consistent with your brand.
Internships: Network with the local community colleges
and university clubs. Offer students paid summer internships to introduce
them to your organization.
Leadership Trainee Program Initiatives: Accelerate
advancement for newly hired employees who have degrees and/or experience
so that you can attract workers at all levels.
Leadership Academy: Identify high- potential employees
and create a development program designed to prepare them for their next
leadership level. Develop multiple tracks designed for entry-level
management, mid-level and advanced leadership. Provide a ‘badge’ or
certificate program that tracks their readiness for the next level.
Employee Engagement: Regularly survey and review
engagement feedback from your employees and create informed methods of
Cross-Training: Allow employees who meet qualifications
to participate in a cross-training program to get an inside look at other
roles within your organization. It will help top employees who may
consider leaving your organization due to conflicts or lack of advancement
opportunities, consider changing roles instead of employers.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEI&B): Expand
outreach and ensure that the practices, processes, policies and language
used across your organization are inclusive. Ensure all feel welcomed to
work as their authentic selves in your organization. Look for barriers
that prevent certain groups, based on religion, gender, sexuality, race,
age, disability, etc., from being hired or promoted. Address issues that
arise with care.
Succession Plan: Succession planning helps retail
organizations move forward. It should address both sudden and planned
exits as well as growth opportunities and future organizational needs.
Succession plans address the people aspects of continuity. They differ
from the business continuity plans, which ensure that businesses can
provide continuous critical services to clients at an acceptable level.
Of course, there are many other areas to consider. Talent acquisition
strategies should be regularly reviewed and updated as needed.
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