Ireland’s retail sector could be the next sector to face a severe and damaging staffing crisis, similar to what the hospitality sector is currently experiencing. That’s according to new research from Excel Recruitment which shows the trajectory of job openings for the retail sector is on a steady upward trend, having more than doubled from 1,578 in February 2021 to 4,258 in February 2022.
Excel Recruitment is advising retail employers across the country on the necessary steps they can take to alleviate this shortage and make their industry a more attractive prospect for workers.
Between 2019 and 2021, the number of retail job seekers per retail job vacancy increased year on year. However, since then it has dropped significantly and in February 2022 there were 39 job seekers per job compared to 78 job seekers per job in February 2021. Additionally, the number of employers with active vacancies in retail has now nearly tripled over the past 12 months. to February 2022, when it stood at 1,360 employers, compared to 488 employers in February 2021.
Commenting on the research, Fashion and Non-Food Manager at Excel Recruitment, Aislinn Lea, said: “During the pandemic many people were out of work and/or on reduced hours – they had more free time to really take a look at their careers, their lives, and what they want from both of them. As a result, we have seen thousands of workers change careers, improve their skills in their current industry and/or simply make the decision to fight for a better working life. balance.”
She added: “This momentum, combined with the fact that the industry has also missed around two years of new recruitment of candidates – due to workers leaving the sector during Covid due to shutdowns and work restrictions, or in fact leaving the country – has left supply as a major problem, which continues to deteriorate.”