Retail Giants Strive To Keep Mid-Management Layers Intact


Mumbai: Retail recruiting is not quite as easy as buying off the shelf. If finding the right staff
is difficult, retaining employees like merchandising and operation heads is just as tough.
So, retailers have resorted to various strategies.

The Birla Group, which runs the retail chain More, gives a retention bonus of between Rs one-five lakh on the first day. Spencers retail of the RPG Group offers its mid-management Esops as the company plans to list its retail arm soon.

Reliance Retail, meanwhile, has a clause in its agreement with senior management,
forbidding them from joining a competitor for two-three years after quitting.
“This practice will not last long. Retailers will have to come up with new techniques and
internalise their procedures like training,” said
CEO of Adecco India and Middle-East,
Sudhakar Balakrishnan.

Retail companies recruit 400-500 people a month, including mid-management and front-end
staff. Though the first choice is to poach from other retailers, staff with sales experience in FMCG and Telecom firms are sought after for positions in merchandising and operations.
But for customer care staff, the industry taps the hospitality sector. Still, the challenge, retailers say, is finding the right people in tier-two towns, where most companies plan to expand.

Consultants say the attrition level is 25-30 per cent in the retail industry and it will take threefour years before consolidation sets in.