England 27/11/2012 Despite the recession retail recruitment specialists are still being kept busy

Over the past few years, several large retailers have either closed down completely or considerably slimmed down their operations. Woolworths and JJB Sports are two of the names that spring to mind. Even retailers like B&Q have shed jobs in the past few months. Despite this news, many of the agencies that specialize in retail recruitment report that in the past few months they have again become busy.

On the surface, the two sets of news appear to conflict with each other. On the one hand, job losses are being reported as firms cut back or go out of business on the other more firms are actively recruiting staff. So, what is really happening in the retail sector?

The answer lies in figures released by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) which has the best understanding of employment in the retail sector. They report that the equivalent of 20,533 full-time jobs was created in the sector between July and September 2012. However, the majority of these jobs were actually part-time and, in some cases, temporary roles. Therefore, that means that to fill those roles between 40 and 45,000 people have had to be recruited rather than just 20,533. This has kept the job agencies that specialize in retail recruitment busier than they were at this time last year.

Christmas 2012 retail recruitment

Many of these agencies are looking forward to a further boost as firms recruit their Christmas staff. The BRC says that 68% of retailers will be employing additional staff for the Christmas period. Some started their recruitment drive a little earlier this year. Many retailers are offering big discounts on Christmas gifts to encourage people to buy early. Largely this is working and sales of these special offers are already strong, so they need extra staff to meet this growing demand.

The fact that consumer spending and inflation are moving in the right direction gives one of Europe’s biggest recruitment firms, RetailChoice.com reason for optimism. They expect demand for retail personnel to continue to be stronger in 2013 than it has been in the past few years.


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