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The returned growth of the Irish retail industry

Posted on 09 November 2016 by Laura Casey

While other sectors have enjoyed a steady increase in growth over the past couple of years the retail industry has continued to suffer. Thankfully 2015 saw the returned growth of the Irish retail industry and retail began to regain its share in the marketplace once again. In the last 12 months, all 11 major retail categories showed positive growth for 2015. With this in mind, Christmas 2015 has been the best yet for the retail sector since 2008. The most notable change for retailers last year was that the Christmas shopping period was longer than ever before. There was a strong peak in sales in November and research conducted last October revealed that 50% of Irish consumers intended to complete their Christmas shopping in November. With the emergence of Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the Irish market this year, this helped further extend the Christmas shopping period.

Consumer spending is estimated to rise by 4.4% in 2016 following the growth of 3.7% last year. This incline in the retail market and the availability of more job opportunities in recent months is the overriding force behind the emergence of a candidate driven market. Candidates now have choices and employers need to make the interview process go smooth and quickly. With multiple job offers to consider and the ability to reject less desirable job offers, top performers have the upper hand in the market. To that end, the reluctance of many companies to provide wage increases beyond 3 percent, or to offer competitive salaries to prospective hires, is impacting their hiring abilities. Employers who do not wake up to this reality will continue to lose their top picks to competitors.

In order to attract candidates in a candidate driven market, employers need to differentiate themselves from other employers to increase the volume of high calibre applications. Employers need to play to their strengths whether this is the organisation’s branding or a more competitive package. To ensure employers do not lose candidates to the competition they need to be prepared to make a decision quickly. Most employers like to compare and contrast as many suitable candidates as possible to ensure they have made a well-rounded decision but given the current market situation companies need to complete the recruitment process on the back of one or two interviews maximum, otherwise, they run the risk of losing a good quality candidate to the competition. A decision needs to be made and offer out before a candidate has another final interview with other organisations. Figures show that at least 80% of candidates will accept the first job offer they receive. Employers can maximise their chances of winning the best talent by being the first to make them an offer.

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