Why nobody can find enough retail talent right now – and what to do about it

by Rotageek on 29 July 2022

You’re not alone in struggling to fill your vacancies and master retail talent retention.

When the pandemic calmed down, after months of closed shops and locked-down consumers, many retailers were excited about the future again. The pandemic spurred a lot of businesses to start using digital technologies, it got more customers buying online, and it forced a re-evaluation of old business models that weren’t working anymore. Deloitte calls this the “Great Reset” and predicts it could help retailers move into more stable and profitable positions.

But alongside the Great Reset, we also got the Great Resignation. Retail workers have left the sector en masse. And they’ve been vocal about the reasons they don’t want to be in retail anymore:

  • Inflexible working hours are driving people away from retail, with ex-employees citing “long hours, random schedules, (and) inability to take time off” as reasons for leaving via Forbes.
  • 52% of frontline workers believe there are not enough opportunities in retail for promotion and career growth (Coresight Research)
  • Unsupportive workplace cultures have driven many workers to seek new employers and careers. “Data over the years has always shown that the thing people care about most is how companies treat their employees,” say researchers JUST Capital, who conducted a study on the impact of the pandemic for Stanford University (via BBC).

Clearly, the answer is not just to increase wages. It’s about addressing workers’ needs in our post-pandemic world.

So, what can you do to become more competitive in your fight to attract and retain the best talent out there?


Take a data-driven approach

As with any problem, you need to understand it before you can start to solve it. Taking a data-driven approach is key to understanding what’s happening with employee retention and talent requirements in your organisation, according to Harvard Business Review.

You can use data available in your digital workforce planning tools to:

  1. Quantify the problem – Understand your retention rate, where staff turnover is coming from, and how it is impacting the business. A solution like Rotageek provides real-time, customisable insights at your fingertips.
  2. Investigate the root causes – Identify what is causing staff to leave, and which staff are most at risk of leaving.
  3. Act – Tailor your activities to address issues that are affecting your business. For example, Rotageek can help you identify your best and most committed employees, so you can create better talent profiles and promote the right people. This can help you create the rewarding career paths that workers are looking for.

And there are many more ways that digital workforce planning tools can help you take evidence-based action to solve talent shortages.

Become an employer of choice

If inflexible hours are a root cause of turnover at your business, adopt technologies that help you offer better work-life balance. A good example is the Rotageek mobile app, which allows your staff to request leave, choose and swap shifts flexibly, and communicate with managers, all from the comfort of their sofas (or anywhere else!)

And if you want to create a more engaging and fair workplace culture, better staff scheduling can really help – because shift complaints are a major cause of staff turnover. When you have AI-driven technology to automatically schedule your shifts, rotas are more consistent and you have more time to manage shift-change requests.

With Rotageek, you can even identify which roles are consistently short-staffed, and which shifts are the most unpopular among staff, so you know exactly where to focus your attention.


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If you're struggling to hire the right talent, have a problem with retention or need to be competitive in the fight for talent with flexible workforce apps, learn more or book a demo with a Geek.


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