Retail Employers Ramp up Hiring to Battle Recruiting Crunch

January 15, 2008 ( - Nearly half of retail employers in a recent survey reported that they have open job slots for which they cannot find qualified workers.

A news release from job Web site said 47% of employer respondents were struggling to fill their personnel rolls and 21% said they plan to hire for new full-time permanent positions during 2008.

From the employee side of the fence, 60% of retail workers said they are satisfied with their job, but nearly a quarter (23%) indicated they plan to leave their jobs in less than a year. Forty-two percent of retail workers pointed to better pay or career advancement as the primary job-changing driver for leaving a job.

“In retail, employees truly are the brand, and recruiting and retention efforts should be considered part of the marketing strategy,” said Jason Ferrara, vice president of Corporate Marketing for, in the announcement. “To be more competitive and effective in attracting talent, many retailers are enhancing benefits, compensation and career growth opportunities in 2008.”

The news release said retail employers plan to offer more lucrative compensation in the coming year – continuing an existing recruitment trend. Seventy-four percent of retail employers reported their companies will increase salaries for existing employees in 2008. Nearly a quarter (23%) said they expect to raise salaries by more than 3%.

Among those retail employers hiring in 2008, half expect to increase salaries on initial offers to new employees and 18% said they will raise these salaries by more than 3%. Meanwhile, 28% of retail employers indicated they are likely to provide more promotions and career advancement opportunities in 2008 given the shortage of workers that some companies are already experiencing.

Benefit Improvements

Twenty-one percent of retail employers surveyed said they plan to offer more comprehensive or better health benefits in 2008. Forty-five percent of retail employers said they will provide more flexible work arrangements for employees.

Significantly, 28% of retail employers indicated that, due to a shortage of qualified workers, they are likely to rehire retirees from other companies in 2008. Also, 11% noted plans to provide incentives for workers at or approaching retirement age to stay on with the company longer.

The survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive among 3,016 hiring managers and human resource professionals (employed full-time; not self-employed; with at least significant involvement in hiring decisions) and 6,704 U.S. employees (employed full-time; not self-employed) ages 18 and over between November 13 and December 3, 2007, respectively.