Malls which are coming up and some which are already doing business across India are also creating jobs for thousands of people. It’s raining jobs in retail, in much the same manner that IT and BPO companies have created jobs in the past several years.
Hiring in the organized retail industry is estimated to have increased over 100% year-on-year in the past three years, with the total number of employees up from 5.4 lakh to 16 lakh. The segment is estimated to have touched 4% of the overall retail sector this year a significant growth from about 2% five years ago. Experts say the organized segment will cross 8.5% by 2010 and this will mean a creation of 11.5 lakh jobs.
With attrition rates in the retail industry ranging from 39-52%, retailers are luring workforce with the promise that retail is not just a job but a career. Certified training, attractive incentives, insurance schemes and a congenial work atmosphere are awaiting those who join this high labor industry. Unlike in the IT/ ITeS industry where companies jacked up the remuneration and salary hikes are not a wise idea for retailers since it’s a business of margins.
Retailers are finding their answer in soft skills. Training, for instance goes beyond basic service techniques and includes English language fluency, overall floor management and consumer behavior insights – an aspect that not just polishes employees and fosters loyalty but boosts self-confidence. Some even include yoga and meditation to help combat stress and build stamina.
In the metros, attrition is almost 50% where we lose people to blue collar jobs like credit card and bank loan. The future Group has four training centers and is looking to expand 2010. While retail giants like Future and Landmark offer classroom training, smaller and medium-sized firms offer specialized training.
Insurance schemes are also made attractive since in most cases the front-end worker is usually the bread-winner of the family. At the Future Group, the life insurance scheme ensures that in case of death of the employee, the family continues to get the same amount of salary every month and efforts are made to absorb another member of the family – a major score with the employee. Accident Insurance covers of Rs. One lakh and above is increasingly becoming common in the industry. Incentives too are becoming more attractive in some cases ranging from 5-10% of a single purchase.
Retailers have to ensure that employees at every level see the benefits of greater sales to keep up motivation at work.