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The Economy and Recruitment in Retail

A lot has been written about the current and possible future of the economies around the world, especially after the recent events regarding the financial crisis originating in but not confined to the United States. There are a large number of facts and figures everywhere you look and it can all be very confusing. Let’s look at a simple common sense approach of what the impact is on the recruiting market for Retail.

Here are a few simple facts

When confidence in the economy is high – there are a lot of jobs advertised as companies are more willing to take on projects, expansions etc.
During this time of confidence job seekers will be much more active and be more willing to take on the risks associated with a new career/role with a new company.
When confidence in the economy is low those same companies will not be as willing or able to take on expansions or additional projects because they are less sure of the outcome and impact of the economy on their business.
Job seekers will be less active in looking for new jobs feeling that the “devil they know is better /safer than the devil they don’t”. This is particularly true of the Retail industry which traditionally is the first and hardest hit of the economic sectors.

During the period when the economy is low companies may/will reduce the number of the staff they have and in doing so increase the jobless rate. As an example – if we were to say that the unemployment rate goes from 6% to 10% what does this mean? One way to would be to say that the top 90% of the workforce is still employed so in essence there is still a shortage of great candidates for those companies who must fill a position.

During a bad economy a job advertisement, usually through a company’s web site or through a job board will generate hundreds of job applications. This gives the perception that because there are such a high number of applicants – those great candidates are looking for work. That is simply not true.

This then presents a problem for those organizations posting their job positions and receiving submissions to those openings – how do you find the gem in among the rest? This will get harder and harder because the increase in volume and number of unqualified candidates makes that process longer and longer.

Just like good companies, good recruiters will fill a large number of the positions they work on through their contacts and networks. Experienced, industry specialist recruiters will shorten the process of finding that gem by using their experience and understanding of their client’s culture and needs.

For further information on how industry specialist recruiters can reduce the time required to fill important positions contact Candace McAllister at or (416) 364-9919.

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