At Michael Page and Page Executive, we work closely with businesses across the UK looking to hire skilled professionals and individuals looking for new opportunities. With the business landscape changing rapidly, it is important to stay on top of the latest trends. Watch our new market update video with Dave Mann, Operating Director at Michael Page and Nicola Wensley, Partner at Page Executive as they reveal the latest hiring trends in the retail and fashion spaces.
This update covers some of the key trends in the sector, including who is hiring and why, the skill sets expected to be more in demand looking ahead, and how professionals can drive their careers forward.
You can view the full video outlining these trends by clicking above.
The shifting consumer behaviours: Key trends in the sector
As we have discussed previously, Covid-19 and the lockdown across the UK accelerated a seismic shift towards e-commerce. While many customers typically chose to do most of their shopping in physical locations, the circumstances surrounding the global pandemic quickly changed these behaviours, and we have since seen an increased volume of online transactions taking place. While these changes are likely to have occurred further down the road, the pandemic has forced the change with more speed and urgency.
Across retail, many businesses are trading up YoY and gaining market share. These are retailers who have a defined digital proposition and/or strong brands with a good level of good customer engagement. In April, online retail sales grew by 23.8% year-on-year, accounting for 30.1% of total retail - a 10-year high according to figures released by the IMRG. In May, internet sales accounted for 32.8% of total retail.
Behaviours driving the change in demand for skill sets
Unsurprisingly, businesses are now looking for talent with skills and experience in e-commerce, particularly online trading, sales conversation, and marketplace specialists.
As touched on above, businesses with a great product, slick customer journey, and efficient fulfilment processes are enjoying record sales. Moving forward, however, their challenge is to retain and engage their customers through CRM and performance marketing tools, which is likely to drive the demand for skills throughout Q3.
Impacts of lockdown on recruitment activity at the senior level
In the early stages, business owners and leaders were very much focused on the short term, securing liquidity, adjusting product assortment, and cutting costs etc. Now, boards are assessing whether they have the best people in their current management team to lead the business through the next phase.
There is a high demand for talented digital transformation professionals and those that can accelerate digital growth/routes to new markets.
At the executive level particularly, the skills needed include:
1. Empathy / EQ
2. Rapid decision making
4. Adaptability and agility
What does this mean for professionals?
If you are thinking of your next career move, it is important to take the time to consider your preparedness. In a more digitally focused landscape, ensure you are using LinkedIn efficiently. In line with this, invest time into polishing up your CV and continuing to build your network, albeit virtually.
Reflect on the last few months and think retrospectively about how you have handled the crisis. You will be asked to provide evidence-based answers to better highlight the role you played in managing the impacts of the pandemic.
In preparing for such interviews, it is always good to work with your recruitment partner to ensure you know what to expect.
Whether you are looking for talent or exploring your options, your recruitment partner will be able to keep you in the loop with how the market is changing and support you in navigating this new recruitment landscape. If you would like to discuss the market insights we can provide in more detail, please get in touch.
Alternatively, explore our Page Insights capabilities and request a bespoke report here.
Dave Mann, Operating Director, Michael Page
Nicola Wensley, Partner, Page Executive