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The retail industry has changed significantly in the past few years. As a consequence, to thrive in today’s digital market, retailers need to create a shopping experience that connects all purchasing channels – from store to computer to mobile.

But this omnichannel approach can be taken beyond the products and services they offer. With candidates behaving more and more like consumers, it makes sense to transfer this business strategy to how retailers search and hire talent, a practice called “omnichannel recruiting.”

Retailers must meet candidates where they are. So, in addition to commonly used job boards, retail recruiting teams can implement an omnichannel recruiting strategy that includes social media campaigns, career sites, employee referrals and in-store tools to find and recruit the best candidates. How can they do it? Let’s dive in.

Why Is Omnichannel Recruiting Key to Successful Hiring?

In the retail industry, recruitment can be a drain on time and resources. Store managers have to find, hire and train new workers quickly during peak seasons, and they must repeat the process often: retailers with multiple store locations endure staff turnover as high as 75 percent per year.

While omnichannel recruiting can’t prevent retailers from facing the common hiring challenges in the industry, it can help them connect with a wider candidate pool, allowing them to find, engage and hire talent much faster.

In order to fill their job openings, making them as visible as possible in as many locations as they can is essential for retailers. Omnichannel recruiting enables them to achieve several objectives, including:

  • Piquing the interest of job seekers,
  • Spreading the company’s message to a broader audience,
  • Demonstrating the organization’s compromise to invest in recruiting specific talent segments,
  • Showcasing the company’s internal culture and values.

Crafting a Successful Strategy

One of the keys to a successful omnichannel recruiting strategy is understanding the different audiences and tailoring content to each.

This way, organizations can select the right channels and produce compelling content for the candidates they want to hire. Here’s how leading retailers reach talent through omnichannel recruiting:

Social Media

Social media networks can extend an organization’s message far and wide. Posts on platforms like Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), LinkedIn and Instagram allow recruiters to tap into a wider pool of both active and passive job seekers.

Some retailers make the most of their social media pages to promote their employer brand. Leveraging their consumer brands to boost their employer brands, they use their accounts to share articles about work-life balance, retweet employees’ posts and promote career opportunities.

Some focus on personalization even further by creating specific accounts to connect with young talent. There, they advertise both full-time openings and internships, communicate their participation in events and on-campus activities and allow interns to share personal experiences on the network.

Having a specific account for this particular talent audience helps retailers expand their reach while showing their investment in unique opportunities for people who are just joining the workforce.

Career Sites

Seventy-seven percent of job seekers prioritize organizational culture when evaluating a job offer, and fifty-six percent find it more important than salary in relation to engagement and satisfaction.

Since career sites are the window to an organization’s culture, leveraging them to showcase their unique value proposition is one of the most effective ways of engaging the talent they’re looking for from the very first contact.

From the site, job seekers should get an idea of the company’s programs and perks, as well as get to know its values and culture.

Most retailers with successful talent acquisition programs go beyond the basics by highlighting their employees’ experiences and showcasing opportunities for professional development. They also present information about seasonal openings and describe their employer values, community involvement and workplace inclusivity initiatives.

Similar to the strategy many apply on social media to reach different talent segments, some retailers use their career sites to promote internship programs and recruit young talent.

As they do so, they show how students get to work with executive-level experts. By investing in career development, retail organizations foster a sense of loyalty within their interns while allowing them to gain valuable experience that helps them grow into more permanent positions.

Employee Referrals

Employee referrals account for 30 to 50 percent of all hires, and 45 percent stay longer than four years, compared to only 25 percent of job board hires. This is due to the fact that employees tend to refer friends, family members and acquaintances with similar work ethics and values.

By hiring people who already get along, a retailer can more easily foster a positive and productive work environment. Additionally, unlike other channels that draw only active candidates, employee referrals are an effective way to source passive candidates.

A multi-state US bank catering to more than 3.6 million consumers, businesses and government clients relies on Avature to address the staffing needs of its 700 branches across the nation.

The bank has an omnichannel recruitment strategy in place that encompasses direct sourcing, events and referrals. Given the extent of this approach, the recruitment team monitors its various initiatives to gauge their effectiveness.

That is how they determined that, in 2021, they received over 12,000 job applications through employee referrals, which resulted in an impressive 29 percent of external hires.

In-Store Tools With Mobile Capabilities

Nowadays, people rely on smartphones to complete many of their daily tasks on the go, and job seeking is no exception. In fact, Glassdoor found that 58 percent of users today are looking for jobs on their phones.

Considering the large percentage of job seekers who use a mobile device during their job search, designing the candidate journey with a mobile-first mindset can help organizations deliver the experience they expect.

Retailers often come across walk-in applicants who would be better served with a streamlined application process. Implementing a dedicated, in-store solution with mobile capabilities can help them achieve this by:

  • Offering a QR code or text keyword to encourage candidates to apply via their phones,
  • Letting candidates snap a photo of their printed resume, with the system automatically parsing and uploading the information into an applicant database.

These in-store tools efficiently capture candidate data within a talent acquisition system, relieving store managers from the burden of conducting recruiting-related tasks such as registering candidates and manually uploading their resumes to the system.

Finally, given that many candidates may actually be customers in the retail industry, companies can inspire them to apply with attractive and on-brand messages. Using a dedicated in-store solution, they can make applications easy, accessible and targeted.

How Avature Can Help

Given the challenges of high turnover, seasonal demands and shifting candidate expectations, retailers are increasingly reconsidering their hiring strategies in order to remain competitive.

An omnichannel recruiting approach can help them reach more candidates in an agile and effective way. And retail recruiting technology can be the best asset to achieve that.

With a solution like Avature In-Store, they can showcase their culture and value proposition through their career site, integrate their communications with candidates on social media, foster employee referrals and deliver a mobile-optimized experience.

If you’re eager to learn more about which tools can help you build a strategy that will allow you to recruit more effectively in the retail industry, you can download our retail recruiting guide.


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