If you are looking to update yourself on the latest HR trends in the retail industry, you’re in the right place. From dealing with volume hiring to the impact of technology on today’s workforce, read about the latest trends shaping the retail industry and learn how investing in the right HR technology can help you get ahead of your peers.
From the humble grocery store to premium brand outlets selling the latest fashion apparel, the retail industry is a key enabler of our lifestyle.
Though impacted by the pandemic, the retail industry has rapidly evolved to meet these challenges with the help of the latest technologies. Technologies such as IoT (Internet of Things), process automation, artificial intelligence, big data, analytics, and augmented reality have been at the forefront of the retail growth story. In fact, studies project that total sales will reach $26.7 trillion in 2022 making it one of the largest private industries in the world.
The retail industry also employs over 142 million workers according to International Labor Organization data, making it one of the largest employment generators worldwide. A large chunk of them works at the store level, making them the public face of the organization. To realize the dream of hypergrowth, it is imperative that CHROs in the industry reimagine their talent strategy. One of the first steps is to keep yourself updated about the latest HR trends in the industry.
In this article, we’ve curated four of the most important HR trends in the retail industry that you need to be aware of so you can succeed in the rapidly evolving industry.
Learn more: Top 10 Talent Management Trends for 2022
Trend #1 - Taking the Cloud Way for Engagement, Recognition and Productivity
Did you know that a highly engaged workforce can increase your organization’s profitability by 21%? Yet, keeping the workforce engaged and motivated has always been a challenge. This is particularly true in these unprecedented times.
Implementing cloud-based HR solutions can help organizations achieve better employee engagement. These platforms can also help you deliver a personalized employee experience. Retail companies have started to see the impact new-age HR tech can have in enhancing the role of HR professionals and improving efficiency and productivity in the organization. The most striking HR trend we’re seeing is that retail companies such as More Retail, Arvind Ltd., Tata Cliq, and several others are migrating to cloud-based HR solutions.
Trend #2 - The Rise of the Inclusive Retail Workforce
In 2018, H&M Group, a well-known Sweden-based multinational clothing brand faced a massive backlash for advertising an image of a black male child with the tagline “coolest monkey in the jungle”. Not only did H&M have to apologize and pull the product from their shelves, but they were also forced to temporarily close some of their stores in South Africa.
The H&M episode is a notable example of the risk retailers face if they neglect diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in their business model. In today’s globalized world where retailers have multiple outlets across varied geographies, DEI is more relevant than ever.
Historically DEI initiatives have been confined to store layouts, promotional images, and marketing strategies. However, this is changing fast. A McKinsey report indicates that organizations that invest in diversity and inclusion of their workforce significantly outperform their competition on all spheres such as innovation, customer connection, and revenue. Therefore, companies working towards an inclusive workforce are one of the most important HR trends for the retail industry in the last few decades.
Organizations must institute changes in processes so as to remove subconscious biases, create a culture of inclusion, and have a mechanism for support and redressal.
Learn more: Top 10 Employee Engagement Trends For 2022
Trend #3 - Spike in Volume Hiring
Consumer demand has been soaring ever since the economy opened after the pandemic. Consequently, the demand for manpower in the retail industry has grown significantly, and this is among the significant HR trends in the retail industry this year.
However, this has also exposed the flaws of the traditional hiring process which is not suitable for hiring at scale. Some of the common issues organizations often encounter with the traditional hiring process include tedious selection processes, high turnover rate among new hires, and chaotic candidate experience. Organizations operating across geographies experienced an added layer of complexity as they had to deal with the differences within each sub-geography.
If your organization is planning to hire at scale, the need of the hour is automation. Investing in the right HR technology will empower you to create a structured, unbiased, and reliable application process that creates delight across all stakeholders including the candidate.
Trend #4 - Big Data and Analytics To Treat Customer Experience and Employee Experience at Par
Great customer experience is the pillar upon which the retail industry stands. In the retail business, your employees not only play a pivotal role in creating memorable customer experiences, but they are also the face of your organization for your external customers. Studies show that happy employees have a significantly positive impact on business outcomes – a happy salesperson can generate 37% more sales compared to an unhappy salesperson.
The retail industry was one of the first industries that recognized the importance of data and analytics for delivering exceptional customer service. With the growing recognition of employees as internal customers, there is a greater push to tap into the same data and analytics-based method to set up internal processes that enable and empowers employees to be the best version of themselves.
Implementing cloud-based digital HR solutions can help you get ahead of this HR trend as it can actively capture employee feedback and sentiment in real time.
The retail industry is one of the most dynamic industries. More importantly, it is one of the few industries which can create an impact even at the grassroots level. As the industry continues to grow, HR leaders will face a plethora of unique challenges.
Read more about the HR trends in the retail industry and learn how technology can help you stay on top of your game. Download the comprehensive guide now.