Full-time job opportunities are increasing in the retail sector, which is a nice change for job seekers in an industry where hiring temporary workers during peak seasons is the norm. Of course, that doesn't mean that retail employers are lowering their expectations for new hires.
In fact, most have used the recent downturn to raise their requirements to boost the quality of the candidates they recruit and hire.
Unfortunately, retail is no different than most other industry sectors. Retailers are expected to follow specific guidelines that ensure they find over-qualified staff who are able to handle a wide variety of duties that generally exceed the job descriptions associated with particular retail jobs.
Retail employers have been preoccupied lately with finding employees who have a specific mindset, great communication skills and a willingness to collaborate with other team members in order to offer customers the best possible experience. Additionally, retail employers tend to value candidates who are reliable, detail-oriented, quick learners and problem-solvers. Since most employers analyze these competencies before making a final hiring decision, proficiency will boost your chances.
Top Skills Retail Employers Are Looking For
Although understanding what employers seek will help you find your dream job, you should be prepared to meet specific demands required of by the exact job you seek. For example, visual merchandisers should possess a creative flair for three-dimensional design to be able to translate certain concepts into concrete displays. Team leaders, sales people and cashiers need to present specific analytical and commercial competencies to perform at their best.
To help you understand the skills most valued in retailing, industry recruiters have divided them into four distinct categories:
- Critical Thinking: attention to detail and ability to prioritize tasks
- Relationship Management: leadership positions in the retail industry require demonstrable management and leadership qualities
- Personal Effectiveness: the ideal candidate for a retail job should prove strong time-management skills, flexibility, good standard of numeracy and computer skills, ability to meet tight deadlines and work under pressure
- Business Focus: Business focus links to commercial awareness, problem-solving and analyzing skills, interpersonal skills, excellent communication skills and effective influencing and negotiation skills
Above all these competencies, most employers also require their staff to go the extra mile to turn a regular customer experience into an amazing one. This means offering the best possible customer service, deal tactfully with customer concerns and complaints, and take initiative to improve the way specific tasks are completed. Additionally, successful hires are responsible, reliable and committed to his or her employer, say recruiters. Anyone who is passionate about retailing and can develop these skills should be able to find a permanent retail job with a reputable company.