Time to Hire.

Retailers always moan and bitch about the quality of staff available to them. “I just can’t find enough good people” is what you hear over and over again.

A lot of this has to do with what they don’t do to hold on to the good people or to blend a team together but I’m putting retention and leadership to one side for the purposes of this argument.

Generally the biggest reason retailers find it hard to discover good staff is that they all “fish in the same pond”. Most retailers use the same recruitment strategies, communication techniques and the same language. According to the laws of segmentation this means they are only ever going to consider a segment of the market and not the whole market.

After all, if I’m not in that pond I have no chance of being hooked.

News flash – now is the best time you’re going to get to hire the best quality employees in the entire market, not just those considering retail.


Because human beings are simple souls. If you get a chance take a look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need. The critical reasons that people become employees rather than owners is a sense of belonging, being cared for and security. Do you think anyone in financial services is feeling like that at the moment?

With a lack of job satisfaction, a huge amount of stress and a lack of job security, employees en-masse are rethinking their employment status. That gives retailers a once in ten-year opportunity to hire the very best from outside the usual pond. Clever, motivated people who don’t understand the joys of a job in retail. Who have never experienced the buzz it gives you to be transparently in charge of outcomes every day and rewarded for the transparent value you add.

I admit I’m biased. I co-wrote a book called “Retail Is A University” with Gerard Manion that talks to this very subject.

But I don’t believe there is a more satisfying commercial career than retail and now is the time to sell it to a group of people who are looking for something new and different. Work up the specification of the skills you need and the values that are important to you. Think about business categories outside of retail where those people might be and put a compelling case to them about why they should consider a career in retail.

I guarantee you’ll find some people who could one day take over from you. And that not only solves today’s problem of finding good people but also tomorrow’s problem of succession planning.

Now is a very good time to hire.