— October 5, 2017
Retail is making headlines again: While Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy recently, Target announced plans to hire 100,000 holiday workers, up 40% from last year.
As one of the first retailers to announce their hiring plans for the 2017 holiday season, Target’s hiring plans hint that retail sales are expected to grow this year.
It’s not just Target that’s increasing their hiring, Indeed reports a 34% increase in seasonal job postings compared to last year from retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, and Macy’s.
According to industry experts, the rise in hiring in-store associates is being driven by the desire to improve the brick-and-mortar shopping experience. Specifically, by providing better customer service and offering additional services such as fulfilling online orders faster.
Christian Magoon, chief executive officer of Amplify ETFs, states:
I think brick-and-mortar stores are throwing down the gauntlet and saying, we are going to have more customer facing employees to try to hopefully take advantage of the competitive aspect that might be hard for online retailers to duplicate – service and expertise in stores.
But with only 26% of talent acquisition teams planning on increasing headcount, recruiters need additional resources to handle this increase in retail hiring.
Here are 3 tools to help your retail hiring this season.
1. AI resume screening
The typical high-volume job posting receives more than 250 applications. When you’re hiring for thousands of open retail positions, this adds up to hundreds of wasted hours skimming through unqualified resumes.
Artificial intelligence (AI) can automate the screening process by learning what the experiences, skills, and qualifications required for the job are and then ranking and grading new candidates who match the profile (e.g., from A to D).
In his Forbes article on how AI is being used in retail, Bryan Pearson of LoyaltyOne notes reducing time to hire gives retailers a better chance of winning the best talent.
2. Video interviewing
Flexibility is key for retail as hiring managers tend to have more irregular schedules compared to the average office worker.
Video interviews provide that flexibility because candidates can pre-record their interview which you can then watch at your convenience.
Another important feature for mass retail hiring is increasing efficiency. Video interviewing allows you to conduct 10 video interviews in the same amount of time it takes to conduct one phone interview.
3. VR job testing
Virtual reality (VR) is technology that creates a realistic simulation of a 3D environment. This environment is controlled by the movements of your body.
Retailers can use VR to create realistic job tests to assess a candidate’s skills and personality. For example, a VR stimulation that tests a candidate’s social skills and problem solving abilities when faced with an unhappy customer.
VR fits the mobile-friendly mandate of retail hiring because it doesn’t require candidates to sit in front of a computer to use it.