Recruitment, Employer Branding, and Creating A Best Place To Work

Retail Recruitment, Employer Branding, and Creating A “Best Place To Work”

Retail Recruitment & Employer Branding

I don’t know anyone in retail who doesn’t speak to hoping to be able to attract and recruit “top retail talent”. Everyone wants top talent. Here’s the thing, top talent wants to work for great brands and great leadership. Top talent wants to be invested in, valued for their contributions, and provided the opportunity to grow their employment into a career with a “Best Place To Work”. Top talent wants a company to meet them half way, they will give you greatness but they expect the company to invest in them and to give them development, education, and a future.

There are so many buzzwords and things that employers feel they have to be to attract talent but much of that is surface. I see adorable pictures of smiling teams posted on LinkedIn that are strategically taken. I see a bevy of people wearing branded t-shirts, hugging, and hash-tagging their profiles with really inspiring phrases. I see fun team meeting photos where everyone is wearing ugly holiday sweaters to show unity and humor inside the brand. Groups of people sitting in a conference room eating and smiling. These things are great, fun, and definitely catchy (albeit a tad pedantic) and usually accompanied with a comment about how it is a “great/best place to work” but what talent is looking for is what they will see on an average day during their average work week. They want camaraderie, growth, teamwork, and a great culture year-round. They want to know that yours is a company that supports and inspires their employees. That working with you there is a plan for growth and professional development. That your organization galvanizes Customer Experience.


So, what is it that your brand does differently to keep their employees motivated and inspired throughout the year? That’s what top talent wants to know to consider working with you.

“When considering a new employer brand strategy for recruiting, keep in mind that your entire company encompasses your brand. It’s not just a concept created in a marketing meeting – it is the expressions, discussions, and output of your organization as a whole. Your recruiting initiatives should reflect this, or you risk creating a false perception about your company. Ultimately, crafting a brand that is consistent with your workplace culture will result in attracting the most relevant talent, which will in turn lead to a much higher employee retention rate.”

Another thing to consider…

“For the first time, there are four generations in the U.S. workplace. Each has its own characteristics, experiences, and expectations, invalidating a one-size-fits-all communications approach to recruiting and branding.

Here are some great links about Employer Branding & Recruitment:

From Undercover Recruiter: How Employer Branding & Recruitment Fell In Love

From Americas Job Exchange: The Importance of Employer Branding in Recruiting

From ADP: Employment Branding: Multi-Generational Employee Recruiting

From SHRM: Amplify Your Employer Brand With Recruitment Marketing

You will see in all of these links, marketing your recruitment efforts to the reality of the business and workplace culture will help you identify candidates and will allow your brand message to resonate with the likely fit of candidates as well. We can all put on a happy face to a “so-so” job and make it seem great for a bit but when your culture, your brand marketing, your customer engagement, and your commitment to your employees don’t align, that becomes apparent quickly to candidates and word will spread.

Keep in mind that most millennial talent – who is quickly becoming the largest segment of employee in the workforce – is very visually based, which means you can write great content all day to attract talent but you need visuals to resonate with these key candidates.

Here is an incredibly impactful infographic from WebDam on how “Humans Are Changing: How To Adapt Your Brand”. It is worth clicking on! But for written detail, for those of you that like to read your content still 🙂 – Here is the article from Inc., Visual Content Marketing: 16 Eye-Popping Statistics You Need To Know

And finally, another great example of how to attract talent through visual marketing:

From Blogging4Jobs, 12 Best & Most Ridiculous Employer Brand and Recruiting Videos

From HiringSite: CareerBuilder, Why Employer Branding Videos are Now a “Must Have”- And 8 Tips To Do It Well

Creating a “Best Place To Work” in Retail

Although it would be nice to retailers fill up the lists of “Best Places To Work”, that doesn’t mean that we can’t create that reality for our teams. There are several companies that do make the official lists annually.

From Great Place To Work: 2015 Best Workplaces In Retail

From About (dot) com: Best U.S. Retail Companies To Work For

From Forbes: The 10 Happiest Retailers To Work For This Year

Added 12/9/15 – From Glassdoor: Best Places To Work 2016

What makes these retailers stand out?

There are a few key points that are consistent between ALL of these retailers:

-They are Values & Vision based and everything they do circles back to these business commitments
-They are innovative and strategic and they value that in their employees (employees have a voice in all of these retail organizations)
-They can evolve with the changing landscape of retail with a thoughtful plan of action
-They invest in their people
-They support their communities
-They are customer-centric with both internal and external customers
-They have an inspiring, honest, and transparent communication style
-They recognize the contributions of individuals and teams, consistently
-They allow employees to recognize each other
-Their executive leaders interact with all levels of team members, frequently

You can read some of these “Best Place To Work” foundation principals, vision statements and values on my post Contributing To The #Retail Zietgiest [you will find the links on point (A)].

“Best Places To Work” are measured on employee and customer feedback, employee retention, absenteeism, productivity, and profitability. We have all the data necessary to know exactly what talent wants when it joins a company. For detail on these things, please see my posts:

A Workplace That Supports Their Well-Being
#Retail Workplace Happiness
Developing Talent In #Retail

An Honest, Transparent, and Genuine Communication Culture
Deadly Sins of #Retail Communication
What Your Employees Need From You

Being Heard and Valued
Work/Life Balance In #Retail
#RetailProblems On Twitter
Productivity in #Retail
Celebrating Top Performers In #Retail

A Respectful, Civil, Fair, and Consistent Workplace
Managing Conflict In #Retail
#Retail Career Obstacle: Gossiping
Toxic Employees In #Retail

We are armed with all the data and analytics we need to deliver outstanding customer experience, amazing workplace cultures, and strong brand messages that resonate with our target markets to attract and retain our customer and our employees. We need to start mapping out how to use these, effectively, to build programs that produce consistent results that exceed the expectations of our customer and employee. Retailers that don’t act in accordance with the expectations of this #NewWayToWork or rely on “this is how we’ve always done it” to address evolution or change (Supporting and Inspiring Change In #Retail) in the retail world will find themselves irrelevant in a very short period of time. That doesn’t have to happen though – everyone who is still around today has a fighting chance – let’s make the most of our opportunity in 2016!


Founder and Editor in Chief of Excellence In Retail and 18 year retailer. I am a passionate and creative leader and coach committed to inspiring thought, action, truth-telling, solution-seeking, and dialog about how to maximize talent through identifying and creating a process around critical success factors, workplace culture, signature leadership practices, productivity, profitability, alignment of employees and company vision & values, and workplace happiness inside all retail organizations. I help create healthy, vibrant, high-performing, and highly-productive organizations that are talent magnets and focused on delivering the highest level of customer experience that will differentiate them from competition and result in long-term growth and sustainability.

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