Hiring to retain: Bust the myths of retail careers through employer branding
3 minutes | Posted 19 July, 2019

We’ve collated some common myths about careers in the retail industry and the employer branding solution you can use bust them…

Many have a misconception that retail is just an industry that you enter as a ‘stepping stone’. While this may be true for some aspects of the industry, it is definitely not true for the majority of it. Here’s our guide on how you can use Employer Branding techniques to bust these big myths about the retail industry in order to attract, hire and retain the best talent.

Myth 1: Retail work is a just a ‘stepping stone’ and there’s no career progression

This myth probably originates from the casual nature of the store assistant role. Many young people rely on this position as a first job; a place to gain some work experience before moving on to a ‘professional career’. While the retail industry definitely needs these people, it is a common misconception that this is all that retail is.

Using employer branding, you can sell retail as more than just a stepping stone. After all, a store assistant role is an entry level role to begin building a career. Make it clear in your job advertisements that there is more to retail than stacking shelves. Think about the skills that your potential employee can develop, from dealing with money to stock room and even warehouse management skills; there are a number of routes that can be taken to develop a career and allow employees to grow internally.

Myth 2: Retail workers are unskilled and unqualified

This myth probably also originates from the basis of retail being an option as a first job and shop floor roles not needing specific qualifications. While it is true and some roles don’t require qualifications, many opportunities within retail do require a specific tertiary qualification which are often something that can be developed while working – from internal apprenticeships to support through degrees.

Again, this is about selling employee development. Selling your brand as somewhere that provides opportunity to everyone, regardless of qualifications or personal situation. Selling the fact that you can learn these skills through internal development programmes and support. After all, retail offers opportunities to progress in sales, management, HR,  IT and software development and more. Some of the bigger brands do this really well; we are sure that at least one brand came to mind when you read that.

Myth 3: All retail workers are either young people or the semi-retired

When you consider how many people will take their impressions of retail from what they see in the shop floor, it’s not surprising that this is a myth that needs busting. Those who are more willing to work weekends or over Christmas have flexible schedules and naturally this would be more suited to young people, students, working-parents and the semi-retired. According to GradAustralia, a study by the Families and Work Institute has shown that the average age of retail employees is actually 37; what the public do not always see is the workforce behind the scenes, those that manage regions of stores and/or work in the head office.

In terms of Employer Branding, the answer to busting this myth would be to show people the different avenues available to them. That they don’t have to be a young person just starting their career to have the opportunity to progress within retail. Share the stories of employee career and success paths, demonstrating how they got there.

Does your employer brand need a shake up?

Scout Talent’s specialists in Employer Branding spend time getting to know your brand’s unique story and work in partnership with you to promote your story to high quality candidates.

To find out more about our employer branding service, contact us today on 07 3330 2595