The latest thinking, news and events from the world of Recruitment

Revamping Retail Resourcing: 65% of Retailers Struggle To Get Staffing Right


The retail landscape is changing, and retailers are struggling to keep up. New research by data driven scheduling company Rotageek reveals two thirds (65%) of retailers struggle to get the right staff in the right place at the right time. In fact, 41% have wrongly predicted staffing requirements.

This inability to predict staffing levels could cause lasting damage – almost a third (29%) of retailers say they have lost sales because they couldn’t meet customer demand. In a competitive marketplace, retailers cannot afford to dissatisfy customers.

More than a quarter (26%) of retailers waste more than one day a week managing issues around staff rotas. This large time investment does not give good returns – with almost half (49%) of retailers saying their employees are unhappy with the shifts they’ve been given.

Employees expect retailers to be more accommodating, 28% of retail workers have told their employers the scheduling system is too inflexible, and a further 29% say they want more control over their own shift patterns. Retailers know they can do better, with 75% agreeing they could do more to improve work-life balance and reduce staff churn.

Current staffing methods, like spreadsheets, make it difficult and time-consuming for managers to consider everyone’s preferences. Digital staff scheduling could solve this issue for retailers, with over half (57%) of retailers saying it could increase staff happiness and make staff feel empowered (54%).

Chris McCullough, CEO and co-founder at Rotageek said:

“British retailers are embracing digital transformation, but this hasn’t yet extended to their employees. In-store employees are the face of retailers, and are central to ensuring a good customer experience and positive brand experience. Inefficient staff scheduling is damaging to employee well-being, but it’s not just staff morale at stake – the bottom line can also take a hit. Small inefficiencies in day-to-day tasks, increased staff churn and inaccurate forecasts of staffing demands all add up.

“Retailers need to act quickly if they want returning customers. Digital staff scheduling is already transforming operations for many retailers. High streets are already home to empty shops and relics of once great retailers. Retailers need to jump into 2017 and grab hold of the right technologies.”

Rotageek’s data-led algorithm looks at both business demands, like footfall, and employee preferences to create the ultimate smart solution that works for everyone.  By using innovative digital staff scheduling, retailers can enhance business performance whilst simultaneously empowering employees. Employee wellbeing and satisfaction is hugely affected by the compatibility of work and personal life.

Peter Brigden, Operations Director at Maplin, commented:

“The findings of this report certainly resonate with our experiences at Maplin. More effective colleague deployment has helped to ensure we get the right people in the right place at the right time, which has had a direct impact on customer experience. Not only do our customers get better service, but our colleagues feel more empowered, too, as they can easily view their upcoming shifts. Overall, Rotageek has made our colleagues’ lives easier, which in turn has helped us make our customers’ lives easier.”

Rotageek surveyed 102 heads of retail and store managers in companies with 500+ employees