It’s a tough time to be in retail. And it’s even tougher trying to find hourly talent that can connect with customers to drive sales and beat the slump that most retailers find themselves in. But even in the midst of all the retail recruiting challenges in 2018 and such dismal news for brick-and-mortar stores, there are retailers who are successfully attracting great talent and recruiting for retail. And the story of one large national retailer can teach us a whole lot.
Lesson #1: Get the Fundamentals First
As one of the largest U.S.-based apparel and home retail stores, the national retailer employs more than 97,000 associates in more than 870 stores across the United States and Puerto Rico, and has revenues of $12.5 billion annually. Offering private, exclusive and national brands, the department store chain depends on its associates to support its mission of helping connect customers to affordable, stylish merchandise.
Each year, the large national retailer has more than 21 million career site visitors annually and posts an average of 24,000 unique jobs. To manage its high-volume hiring, the company has made the Talemetry® Source & CRM platform central to its retail recruiting strategies. Through its candidate relationship management (CRM) solution, it now effectively manages nearly four million candidates in the database and generates 94,000 hires in the CRM. Leveraging a best-in-class CRM has enabled the retailer to get the fundamentals down first. By building a proprietary talent database in its recruitment marketing platform, and then nurturing and engaging those candidates, the retailer has established an important cornerstone for its high-volume recruitment.
Utilizing its existing talent base in its recruiting CRM for retail has also allowed the organization to develop strategic campaigns to further engage hourly candidates, including email, social and other channels. With the ability to automate campaigns with branded, mobile friendly emails—and then track effectiveness from open rates to click through rates to hire—the large retailer has routinely achieved results that far surpass industry standards, with open and click rates of 37% and 6%, respectively. Integrating its CRM and effectively leveraging targeted email campaigns has been a powerful tool for attracting, engaging and nurturing hourly candidates for the company.
Lesson #2: Take Hiring to the Next Level
One of the biggest retail recruiting challenges in the organization was ensuring consistent adoption of the CRM platform across the entire recruiter user base. The Talemetry team recognized that leveraging email campaigns had been a vital part of a regional hiring event in 2016. In fact, in one of its local markets, the event had resulted in hiring more than 300 associates in just one day.
That’s where an ‘Aha!’ moment turned into action—and the Talemetry team got to work. With the idea to strategically expand from a regional hiring day to a national hiring day across stores and locations, Talemetry partnered closely with the organization to prove the Source & CRM solution could support a nationwide hiring event in 2017—and meet the demand of its seasonal workforce. The goal was to deliver high-quality candidates from an expanded talent pool—and ultimately convert a large number of qualified candidates into applicants.
The one-day national hiring event was planned in October 2017 and leveraged the power of the Talemetry CRM to manage the entire event. With a strategic, well-coordinated approach, the hiring day featured multiple candidate communication channels, including emails, social posts, internal communications and in-store signage.
By extending its reach to broader channels of talent, the company received 31,000 applications from email campaigns and 75,000 applications overall pre- and post-event from multiple integrated campaigns. During the one-day event, the retailer also used highly visible placement of hiring tables with clear and well-designed signs on storefronts and throughout stores. This made it easy for candidates to find and interact with hiring managers.
The historical application rate increased by more than three-fold and the one-day national hiring event resulted in the retailer making 18,000 job offers with only a 1% fail rate on background checks. Never before had the organization hired so many people in just one day.
Since the tremendous success of the national hiring day in 2017, the national retailer has continued extending its talent networks to support high-volume hiring needs. Recognizing the power of its proprietary talent database, the retailer has run multiple email campaigns to talent segments previously not engaged before.
Email campaigns focused on supply chain management and staffing warehouse have encouraged passive candidates to join specific talent networks and stay informed of positions and company news. This has given the company additional sources to find new talent, increase talent pools, and ensure it can fill future demand with its talent pipelines.
By proactively building relationships and expanding its talent networks, the large retailer has demonstrated tremendous gains in utilizing its recruitment marketing platform from Talemetry. And it will continue to capitalize on the momentum it has achieved in recent years to find and attract top talent for the future, while leaving other retailers behind.