5 Ways That RPO Can Improve the Retail Industry

Guest Blogger
5 Ways That RPO Can Improve the Retail Industry

Most industries can benefit from an RPO program in many different ways.  Whether it’s a financial service company, a manufacturer, a high tech organization or a retailer, RPO can be the solution for their complex total talent needs.


What Makes RPO Successful?

The reason why RPO, or Recruitment Process Outsourcing, is so successful across industries is because of its ability for customization to meet the needs of any client. As an example, consider the retail industry; the top five benefits of an RPO program in this industry are explained below.


5 Ways RPO Can Improve The Retail Industry


1. Keeping Up With Seasonal Demand

The retail industry has seasonal hiring demands throughout the year and the demand varies by the type of retailer. During the holiday season, big-box retailers and clothing stores increase their number of hires to keep up with demand, and in the spring and fall, hardware stores increase their hiring as well. This presents an organizational challenge because these organizations don’t have flexible resources on hand to meet the demand.

One of the major benefits of RPO is that it's a scalable solution to meet those hiring demands when needed.  With RPO, a model can be built that adds resources and removes them throughout the year. For this type of model, each team member is cross-trained on the company values and culture to match the best candidate with the client.

Candidate talent pools are created, allowing for potential candidates to be engaged through technology. These pools keep potential candidates engaged and informed about the company on deals, sales and future talent needs. Additionally, different variations of candidate pools can be created. For example, a college student talent pool can be a useful resource to find talent during the holiday season when students are typically on break. So when the hiring demand increases, there’s already a pool of interested candidates and the talent acquisition process can move quickly and efficiently.


2. Store Manager Efficiency

The store manager is typically responsible for keeping the workforce full of top talent to run their business efficiently. This can be a time-consuming process, and managers already have many other responsibilities to handle. By outsourcing the recruiting process, this will take the full responsibility of talent acquisition away from the manager, allowing them to focus on running the store properly.

They’ll have more availability to interact and mentor their workforce which is beneficial for everybody. More time spent training employees on processes and products creates a more educated and well-rounded employee which ultimately creates a stronger team. Another benefit includes the manager having time to interact with customers at a higher degree and provide a stronger customer experience.


3. Improving The Candidate Experience

Providing a positive candidate experience is crucial for optimal business success. A negative candidate experience can prevent top talent from joining an organization and directly impact revenue. A candidate that went through the process of filling out an application, having a phone conversation, attending an in person interview would be very disappointed if they never received feedback, resulting in an overall negative experience.

The candidate experience can also be negative after the talent acquisition process is over. An inefficient onboarding process or poor training experience can also negatively impact a recent hire. It’s important to remember that these people aren’t just part of a talent pool, they are also potential customers. For example, if a candidate didn’t receive any feedback after he or she exerted effort into preparing for the interview, next time they are looking to purchase something they will most likely go to a competitor which will negatively impact revenue. An RPO solution can address this issue by providing high quality candidate experiences with a unique approach and RPO technology that streamlines the process.


4. Addressing High Turnover

A high turnover rate is always going to be an issue in retail but an RPO solution can help address the challenge and decrease the rate. A top level RPO solution delivers a positive candidate experience in an environment that allows managers to focus on mentoring their workforce in order to prevent a high turnover rate.

Due to the nature of the industry, the concern of an employee leaving an organization will always be relevant. With an RPO program in place, an employee can quickly and efficiently be replaced with another candidate in a short amount of time by using RPO technology and engaging with existing talent pools. An RPO solution can significantly decrease the time to fill a position because there are already pools of engaged talent available that understand the organization.


5. Decreasing Vacancy Cost

One of the best ways to build a business case regarding an RPO solution is to evaluate the reduction of vacancy cost to a retail organization. Explain the potential impact on their revenue and customers' experience if they have vacant positions that should be filled. For example, having a talent gap where someone should be on the floor answering customers' questions can directly reduce the amount of product they’ll purchase.

By having an RPO solution that addresses seasonal total talent needs, store managers can ultimately be more efficient which helps provide high level candidate experiences with a reduced turnover rate. All of these components together will drastically cut retail vacancy costs and increase revenue, driving businesses to optimal success.


The benefits above can apply to many industries, but they apply to the retail industry in a unique way. Keeping up with seasonal demand while avoiding a high turnover rate can be a never-ending battle for retailers, but the right RPO solution can close talent gaps quickly to keep up with continuous changes.

When a store manager can spend less time focusing on the talent acquisition process, they are able to focus on creating a stronger team and a better customer experience which leads to increased revenue. Additionally, the decrease in vacancy costs makes an RPO program an effective cost savings solution. 


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