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Retailers with multiple store locations endure staff turnover as high as 75 percent per year.

This staggering number makes turnover one of the biggest pain points in the retail sector, which can hinder business success and the delivery of exceptional customer service.

This pressure of high employee turnover in retail is compounded mainly by two factors. One of them is seasonal hiring, which leads store managers to double their workforce and train new employees in record time at peak times of the year. The other is related to shifts, meaning they need to find talent that is available for multiple shifts.

Unfortunately, today’s most common recruiting solutions don’t offer the right combination of capabilities for retail chains to recruit successfully.

An effective recruiting solution should enable mobile-optimized processes, deliver seamless candidate experiences and offer smart automation to empower store managers to source talent faster and efficiently all year round, thereby mitigating the impact of employee turnover.

Here are five strategies that leading retailers have implemented with great success.

Behavioral Assessments: The First Step to Minimize Employee Turnover in Retail

When it comes to securing business-critical talent, speed is key. This is why streamlining the application process is important to reduce any potential blockers early in the journey. With this in mind, many store managers limit the number of steps candidates must complete to apply.

And even though adding behavioral assessments to the process might sound contradictory, including a brief set of simple, goal-focused questions can be a great way to identify candidates’ skills and get to know them better before making any decisions.

They could include queries on, for example, how they’d solve a specific, customer-related problem. These types of questions can shed light on the character and motivation of applicants and help identify those who would be a cultural fit.

In addition, these types of assessments can also help filter out the least interested candidates. If they show no commitment to respond to a few simple questions, they’re unlikely to stick around in the long run.

In this sense, many leading retailers set up weighted questions according to predefined criteria. Rather than having to manually analyze data, they leverage technology that automatically translates answers into a score that recruiters can use to compare and prioritize different candidates.

How Video Interviews Can Foster Employee Retention in Retail

Video interviews became a new reality for many companies due to the halt in face-to-face meetings during the pandemic, with 89 percent of organizations moving to this format by late 2020.

But their relevance and use have gone beyond the remote model brought about by the pandemic. Today, video interviews remain an effective tool to identify if candidates have the skills and motivations required for the position.

With the widespread use of platforms such as TikTok and Instagram, where video content reigns supreme, many of today’s digital natives won’t be phased by recording themselves. In fact, they might see it as an engaging and modern approach that shows your organization understands their interests.

Asking candidates to submit a short video on what they love about the company or how they’d sell a certain product can be a great way to test their creativity and get an initial perception of their potential.

Since video interviews provide more insights to identify the strongest and most committed candidates, including them during the recruiting process can help reduce employee turnover in retail in the long run.

Many of the leading retailers we partner with leverage Avature Video Interview to support video interviews. With this easy-to-implement solution, they can offer both live and on-demand interviews on fully branded, accessible and mobile-optimized portals.

With an effective solution, video interviews can efficiently replace face-to-face meetings. This comes with the added benefit of giving managers more time to focus on core business needs.

Referrals: The Secret to High-Quality and Long-Lasting Talent

Employee referral programs are an effective resource for creating pools of reliable candidates who would be a good fit in your organization. As you look to reduce turnover in retail or minimize its impact, having a pool of candidates who have already been recommended by your employees at your fingerprints is priceless.

If a top-performing employee is engaged enough to recommend a friend to work for you, it is highly probable that their referral shares their values.

Referrals can bolster your retail recruiting strategy as well as lead to more successful hires. So much so that, according to Harvard Business Review, referrals can generate 70 percent better hires than non-referrals.

The key to engaging current employees with the program is making referrals as easy as possible, ideally enabling employees to do it in-store through an intuitive platform.

In this sense, Avature Refer helps organizations activate an easy-to-use referral program that empowers employees to recommend candidates.

Providing Original Benefits to Foster Employee Engagement

Offering benefits your employees truly value is another effective tactic to increase loyalty and reduce employee turnover in retail.

When choosing the right benefits for your workforce, it’s important to give the process proper thought, especially if your organization has a limited budget or specific rules to follow.

Focusing on options that are aligned with your organizational culture but that will serve a genuine benefit to employees is one of the most effective ways to find the balance between corporate objectives and workforce satisfaction.

Creating Talent Pipelines to Hire Better and Faster

Though the tips mentioned before can help reduce employee turnover in retail in the future, talent pools can help you minimize the impact of people leaving.

They are also particularly effective if you face seasonal hiring pressures, as having high-quality talent at your reach significantly reduces the time to fill open positions, directly affecting revenue and customer experience.

Investing in technology that helps managers keep candidates engaged is essential in an industry with such high turnover rates. Personalized email campaigns with company news and job alerts can help spark and maintain their interest.

Innovative tools can help even the busiest managers bring a comprehensive email marketing for recruiting strategy to life that relies heavily on automation, saving them a significant amount of time and effort.

Banner of Avature's e-book on e-mail marketing for recruitment best practices and a link to the landing page to download it.


Considering the unique challenges of retail recruiting, such as high employee turnover and seasonal needs, it’s time for retailers to rethink their hiring strategies to remain competitive. And as evidenced by many of the best practices shared above, technology plays a key role in facing these issues and minimizing their impact.

However, ineffective recruiting solutions that fail to meet the expectations of store managers, applicants and corporate offices often jeopardize this sought-after goal.

In conversations with leading retailers, we’ve learned that adopting solutions designed specifically for the retail industry consistently allows them to find, engage and retain the talent they need. Beyond that, they tap into other capabilities to drive greater ROI and keep up with an ever-changing recruiting landscape.

To gather more insight into effective technology alternatives to reduce the impact of employee turnover in retail, check our Retail Recruitment Guide.


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