With each New Year comes new hires and as 2023 kicks off many retailers are looking to double down on hiring efforts to maximise business performance. However, between labour shortages, budget cuts and COVID-19 recovery, businesses are facing an entirely new retail landscape.

A strain of labour shortages, coupled with increased consumer demand, continues to put pressure on retailers across Australia. The latest industry data shows the retail sector experienced a 7.7% growth in annual turnover in November 2022. Yet, with staff shortages becoming a growing concern for the industry, many employers are left struggling to get boots on the ground to keep up with trade levels. In fact, retail reportedly recorded the biggest increase in job vacancies of all industries last year, reflecting the mounting strain on the sector.

Here are three tips to help retailers combat hiring challenges in 2023:

Fast track hiring with technology

A spike in sales is great, but not if you don’t have the staff to facilitate it. With labour shortages surging, a swift hiring process can make all the difference when it comes to securing top talent.

So, how can you speed up the hiring process? Technology. Technology built for high-volume hiring finds candidates that will be the best fit for the job in a shorter time frame than manual processes. Integrating this type of automation will boost efficiency and return time to managers, so they can get back to servicing and connecting with customers. 

Similarly, technology can be used to meet candidates where they are. By integrating on-demand options like skills assessments and pre-recorded video interviews, candidates can present their talents at a time that suits them. This means less roadblocks when it comes to time scheduling for interviews and more time for busy retailers to focus on customer service and managing the shop floor. 

Explore global talent pools 

As the economy navigates the post-pandemic landscape, numbers of international students and overseas workers are growing in Australia with migrant arrivals increasing 171% to 395,000 from 146,000 just a year ago. With over 4 million visas being processed in the past seven months, it’s clear that the talent is filtering through, but it’s now up to businesses to find it.

A great way for retailers to make the most of the skilled immigration boom is to make their hiring processes more friendly for international employees. For example, are you up to date with the latest visa requirements for overseas candidates? Are you monitoring the internet for overseas workers looking for work and advertising job positions here to reach these talent groups?

By addressing these key questions, employers can seamlessly tap into international talent pools to help meet hiring targets, fill unique skill gaps in the business and explore new skill sets.

Leverage boomerang employees 

Many retail employees left their jobs during the uncertainty of the global pandemic, a time when they were faced with an unstable labour market and growing work/life pressures. As the economy continues to rebound, with the ABS reporting February 2022 held the highest annual job mobility rate since 2012, unemployed individuals are looking to re-enter the workforce, with many looking to pick up their old job. By rehiring past employees you are bringing on those who know your business best. This means reduced investment in time and costs for onboarding and training, a win-win for employer and employee.

A great way to keep lines of communication open with past employees is by utilising direct messaging tools that enable teams to send out seasonal hiring campaigns with a direct link to apply through text from a platform — not a personal phone. Teams can send candidates 1:1 or campaign SMS messages around upcoming job opportunities from a secure, compliant platform instead of having to use their own devices. 

With recruitment front of mind for many retailers in 2023, employers need to keep their finger on the pulse of hiring trends to gain the advantage over the competition. The use of new hiring technologies can help retailers secure a competitive edge, boost high-volume hiring and open them to new talent pools like visa workers and boomerang employees. By utilising these hiring technologies, retailers will afford themselves the best chance of starting the year with a strong team that thrives in 2023 and beyond.

Damon Pal is head of Asia Pacific at HireVue.