Retail Talent Diagnosis

A “Retail Talent Diagnosis” will outline the key points to keep in mind regarding retail’s omni-channel challenges: new way of thinking, the war for retail talent, organization standards and new retail profiles.

The retail toolbox will be used to illustrate how to provide excellence in service and set up and develop an appropriate HR retail policy with particular attention to:

  • The “behavioral approach” to recruiting retail candidates
  • Clear and relevant career retail opportunities
  • A fair reward system including compensation and benefits

The following sections will provide a better understanding of those retail challenges and some appropriate insights to help address them.

1. “Retail Talent Diagnosis” – Step 1 – Thinking Retail

What attributes and behaviors have changed and how, regarding talent mindset, employee value proposition, leaders development and the question of customer experience.

2. “Retail Talent Diagnosis” – Step 2 – The Priorities

The critical questions that brands must ask themselves in order to prepare for the war for retail talent are as follows:

  1. Is retail one of your top three priorities?
  2. Are you spending a significant part of your time strengthening your retail talent pool? Have you made retail talent your job?
  3. Are you and all your key people explicitly held accountable for strengthening your retail talent pool?
  4. Do you have a winning EVP (employee value proposition) that attracts talented people to your retail organization?
  5. Do you know the attrition rate of your high-performing sales people and why they are leaving? Do you have initiatives in place to reduce these regretted losses?
  6. Does your brand have a written recruiting strategy, similar in rigor to your marketing strategies?
  7. Do you regularly shower your top retail performers with development job opportunities, significantly differentiated compensation, and real mentoring?

3. “Retail Talent Diagnosis” – Step 3 – The Organization

What is your retail organization structure?

All companies and brands will have their own specific organization structure which will often depend on the size of their operations. As soon as a significant number of stores needs to be managed in a given region, at least three levels of responsibilities need to be organized:

  • At headquarters, a retail operation director
  • If the company is structured by country, a country manager
  • If the company is structured by store clusters, a cluster manager (the cluster being a certain number of stores that are his or her responsibility)

Then, within a store, the organization will depend on the size of the store

  • For a small store (less than 10 to 15 staff members) three positions are standard: store manager, assistant store manager, sales expert (senior and junior may be designated)
  • For a large store (30 or more employees), the store manager will be supported by a certain number of assistant store managers aligned by function (special orders, stock, administration, service, cash desk and merchandising) or by product line (menswear/ womenswear, accessories). The bigger the store and the more numerous the product lines, the more managers required.

4. “Retail Talent Diagnosis” – Step 4 – The Competencies

Identifying the new luxury retail talents’ aptitudes

The aptitudes that luxury brands have come to expect from their retail teamsare significantly different from what they were 15 years ago. These days they need to find talent with new competencies and aptitudes that are in-line with new challenges..
We have identified 7:

  1. A high level of luxury knowledge
  2. A keen sense of the art of execution (getting things done)
  3. Creative and conceptual retailers
    Creative and conceptual retailers are professionals who understand how to leverage brand image, customer service and quality product into a competitive advantage
  4. Team builders
    Retail team builders who can recruit, train, motivate and retain a productive staff
  5. Sales experts
    Sales Expert/Grands Vendeurs capable of networking with the segment of upper-echelon clientele and infiltrating the circles in which they”play and spend” all over the world
  6. Hands-on executives
    Hands-on store executives who can enhance revenues while controlling cost and shrinkage
  7. Customer-centric thinkers
    Customer-centric thinkers are able to promote crafted products, to deliver superior service and to address after-sales issues

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