Why Retail Needs Great HR Managers

by | Aug 28, 2019

Excel Recruitment has established a dedicated HR recruitment department to further support our client’s needs. Head of HR Recruitment Sean Thomas breaks down just some of the reasons why great HR talent is a necessity not a bonus for retail businesses.

With only 4 months left in 2019, we’re continuing to see excellent growth in the economy and the market shift towards full-employment. We are seeing people prosper, building sites all over with new homes being built, banks’ lending again and young couples finally becoming homeowners. Excellent right? While retailers across the country have reaped the benefits from all of this positive growth, such a buoyant employment market is causing headaches for retailers of all sizes when it comes to recruitment.  An experienced HR Manager can support owners and organisations in all industries but below are just a few reasons why retail in particular should make HR a priority.

The customer is key

To state the obvious, exceptional customer service is at the centre of any successful retail business. The key to this is the front-line employees, the people who are in direct contact with customers both instore and online. They are the public face of the company and often, what customers remember most about their experience of a brand. They are essentially ambassadors of the brand and key to achieving customer service goals. This means making sure that the workforce is properly trained in the appropriate skills and happy and motivated to deliver exemplary service. This is where a solid HR team can shine, not only in devising, co-ordinating and implementing complete 360 training for in-store teams but also in terms of ensuring employee engagement and motivation, devising incentives for rewarding and recognising key staff or planning team bonding exercises.


Retail can have a high rate of employee turnover due to seasonal demand, employing high numbers of students who work part-time and then move on or people working their way up the business quickly. High staff turnover can be time consuming and expensive for businesses and can impact customer loyalty if customers keep seeing a new face every time they enter your store. A solid HR management team can keep turnover to a minimum by managing the interviewing process, asking the right questions to ascertain how a potential hire will fit in with the existing team and communicating the role and its responsibilities and requirements fully to candidates being interviewed.  This way, there’s no surprises when the candidate starts a job, for either them or the employer.

Seasonal Demand

Retailers often experience fluctuations in staff numbers, such as needing to add temporary staff in the run up to Christmas or summer to cope with increased footfall. This can be stressful for businesses without sufficient HR support trying to recruit large volumes of people quickly and for full-time workers who may have to assist new colleagues thrown into the thick of it. Again, a specialist and dedicated HR manager is the best person to manage this process, highlighting to permanent staff what’s expected of them and onboarding temporary workers successfully.

For both head office roles and on the floor in the stores, we are seeing exactly how important it is having a strong HR manager with expertise in reward, L&D and recruitment.

A strong L&D leader can develop talented members of the team, giving them the confidence to take the reins in the business or take up specific support roles in other areas of the business. They can also assist a business in motivating and retaining their top performers, leading to internal promotions and increasing harmony within the store.

If you have any HR recruitment requirements or are an HR professional on the lookout for a new move, get in touch with Sean today at sean@excelrecruitment.com or call 01-8148747

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