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HFA Reports: Talent Acquisition

Furniture World Magazine


HFA Reports


Nine important considerations for designing effective retail talent acquisition strategies.

By Tracy Jackson, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, HFA Chief HR Strategist


Ever wonder what the difference is between recruiting and talent acquisition? Recruiting is the short-term goal of filling an opening. Talent acquisition is a long-term strategy for attracting and retaining talent, creating leaders and future executives for your organization.

HFA’s retail furniture store members cite lack of talent as one of the greatest concerns they face. One big reason for this is that baby boomers are quickly exiting the workforce. Born between 1946 and 1964, by the end of this decade, they will be 65 years or older. That’s why creating and developing your organization’s future leaders must become a priority.

A successful talent acquisition initiative cannot be just an HR initiative. It must be embraced at every level of your organization. While recruiting and respectful engagement with candidates is important, talent acquisition should incorporate many of the following considerations.

Compensation: Ensure that your salary, benefits, retirement plans and time off offers are attractive and competitive. Be sure to include reward and recognition plans that are attainable. Give employees “total rewards” statements to point out that the actual value they receive is greater than their paycheck alone.

Culture: Develop an unbeatable culture. Start by developing a clear and concise mission, vision and values statement that everyone in your organization knows, understands and buys into. Be sure to celebrate your culture regularly by recognizing how employees contribute to the company’s success. Consider identifying “brand ambassadors” within your organization that model behavior consistent with your brand.

Internships: Network with the local community colleges and university clubs. Offer students paid summer internships to introduce them to your organization.

Leadership Trainee Program Initiatives: Accelerate advancement for newly hired employees who have degrees and/or experience so that you can attract workers at all levels.

Leadership Academy: Identify high- potential employees and create a development program designed to prepare them for their next leadership level. Develop multiple tracks designed for entry-level management, mid-level and advanced leadership. Provide a ‘badge’ or certificate program that tracks their readiness for the next level.

Employee Engagement: Regularly survey and review engagement feedback from your employees and create informed methods of reviewing employees.

Cross-Training: Allow employees who meet qualifications to participate in a cross-training program to get an inside look at other roles within your organization. It will help top employees who may consider leaving your organization due to conflicts or lack of advancement opportunities, consider changing roles instead of employers.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging (DEI&B): Expand outreach and ensure that the practices, processes, policies and language used across your organization are inclusive. Ensure all feel welcomed to work as their authentic selves in your organization. Look for barriers that prevent certain groups, based on religion, gender, sexuality, race, age, disability, etc., from being hired or promoted. Address issues that arise with care.

Succession Plan: Succession planning helps retail organizations move forward. It should address both sudden and planned exits as well as growth opportunities and future organizational needs. Succession plans address the people aspects of continuity. They differ from the business continuity plans, which ensure that businesses can provide continuous critical services to clients at an acceptable level.

Of course, there are many other areas to consider. Talent acquisition strategies should be regularly reviewed and updated as needed.

For more HFA information, visit myhfa.org/policy-matters .

A  feature about Home Furnishings Association's retail members, legislation affecting the furniture industry and other retail news from HFA.