Retail Recruiter Disrupts Industry with Membership-Based Staffing Service

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Editors Note: Retail Insider is providing an update on the below article where we discussed a program launched by retail recruiter Suzanne Sears, and how it is disrupting retail recruiting.

Suzanne Sears

Suzanne Sears

The novel Recruit by Membership program by Retail Staffing Canada, created by Ms. Sears, is seeing success with several metrics.

Since Ms. Sears founded her Recruit by Membership program, the confirmed statistics of performance for Members has been:

  • Closing rates of new hires made using Retail Staffing Canada candidates has been 90% of those submitted.

  • Of those hired, the retention rate is 95% to date.

  • The average ‘time to fill’ rate for roles supported by Retail Staffing Canada has been 14 days (with 55 days being the industry average), cutting vacancy times by 41 days.

  • The average cost to fill for the Store Manager level using the Recruit by Membership program has been only $990 when using membership credits. Traditional recruiting would cost in the range of $8,000 to $10,000.

Suzanne Sears says that the response for information on the program has been overwhelming. If you are a retailer than wants to know more or review the program a second time for more details, please fill out the Squarebox form at the bottom of this article, or email Ms. Sears for details.

For more information on the Recruit by Membership program by Retail Staffing Canada, visit: retailstaffingcanada.com/membership

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By Retail Insider

A leading Toronto-based retail recruiter is disrupting the industry after launching a membership-based service that saves retailers and landlords time, while at the same time being considerably less costly than traditional recruitment methods. Suzanne Sears, President of Best Retail Careers International Inc., launched Retail Staffing Canada Inc. earlier this year and it’s already seeing remarkable traction.

She says that she started the new recruitment business concept to better serve retailers and landlords that may otherwise see resistance when seeking a budget for external recruiting. With that in mind, Ms. Sears designed and launched the ‘recruit by membership’ program which aims to be the new standard for retail staffing in Canada.

Ms. Sears explained how her program enabled retailers and landlords to access every level of talent from “street to suite”. The concept is simple: members purchase a core club membership and use a credit system to receive pre-screened candidates.

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“Rather than paying hundreds or thousands of dollars in non-productive advertisements to hire staff, the membership guarantees that you will receive quality applicants. You place an order for the number of candidates you want to see based upon how many membership points that you wish to spend. This has cut costs to an extraordinary average of about $1,000 per candidate hire, which is a fraction of traditional recruiting,” she said

She says that in most instances, she and her team of retail brokers can turn around orders for new staff in 48 to 72 hours, which is significantly faster than traditional recruitment methods. “Empty roles in retail and equivalent lost sales and productivity are the subject of many studies. Most suggest the fill costs and losses add up to four times the missing person’s monthly salary, “she said.

“In a climate of 5.4% unemployment, retailers cannot sit back and expect dream candidates to saunter in the door via ads or corporate job boards.”

“The only way to access quality candidates is to have a massive network to draw from”, said Ms. Sears. She went on to explain that she is able to draw from her personal connections of nearly 20,000 retailers and by second degree, into the millions.

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Last year we reported on Ms. Sears’ SuperStar Talent Registry of Best Retail Careers International, which became the foundation of these ‘ready to work’ candidates, she explained. From there it has grown as candidates “more often now want to be personally represented, speak to live people and avoid the dark hole of online applications”.

Ms. Sears revealed that her new Retail Staffing Canada clients value the time savings from not having to sort through and screen ‘below par resumes’, and as well, they can tackle a very concerning new problem. Some stores in Canada are having to close down temporarily during posted hours due to lack of staff.

“Increasingly, even in malls where fines are imposed for late openings, it is very common to find stores so short staffed they don’t open the doors for business either on time or at all. Frequently many stores are electing to shut down one or more days a week -- they pay full rent but lose the revenue.”

“Finance departments are blissfully unaware of the huge struggles Human Resources and Operations go through to find staff insisting they should be able to do it on their own or with internal recruiters,” said Ms. Sears. “However there just are not enough people ‘ad shopping’ for jobs to make this method of recruiting effective and timely to meet day to day staffing needs.”

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“At the same time, their pleas for external recruiting budgets are denied by the employer, and they’re left frustrated and with few support options.”

Ms. Sears explained how her Recruit by Membership is a staffing support that replaces a significant amount of funds spent on ads and as a result, redirects that budget to direct staffing. “Recruiting nowadays is about accessing your social network and internal recruiters simply have no means or time to build social media followings like we do, talking to people every day about their futures, keeping them in mind for when openings come up,” said Ms. Sears.

A secondary problem, according to Ms. Sears, is closing the offerings for new hires. “Without a skilled recruiter to mediate, candidates are turning down jobs in record numbers if they don’t see the contracts and benefits and perks they have come to expect.” She went on to say, “It is a sellers’ market as far as staff goes -- the firm with the best package and cultural story wins the best talent”, she said.

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To solve these problems, Retail Staffing Canada Inc. Memberships come with free consulting hours to tap into the deep knowledge base of her team on how to recruit more efficiently, how to close on offers and how to retain staff.

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“These services are not just for street level or head office support staff, they apply equally to executive hiring who even more these days are retiring or unwilling to get caught up in the ecommerce battle with bricks and mortar,” said Suzanne Sears. “Only a highly skilled agent can bring these executives to your table and get them signed.”

“The program has been overwhelming popular. I have had to take on additional specialty brokers to aid the volume of requests. Clients tell me they will never go back to old fashioned recruiting of post and pray or take on very expensive contingency recruiting services either,” she went on to explain.

“We still do executive level retained searches, but these fees are cut by 50% if you have a membership”, she added.

“We become your outside and invisible staffing support system. We deliver just like Skip the Dishes, right to your desk, prequalified candidates ready to go. Your own team takes it from there.”

Ms. Sears also states that they will be adding several new features for back to school hiring for this fall, including a job board option with a membership purchase where retailers can post their open roles directly through Best Retail Careers International Inc. to directly reach the company’s massive following of retail workers seeking out new positions.

Sears invites you to learn more by submitting the information request before for a prompt reply.

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*Best Retail Careers International Inc. is a sponsor of Retail Insider. To work with Retail Insider to get the message out, email Craig Patterson at: craig@retail-insider.com.

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