Retailers say they are still having a tough time finding workers, according to a new Korn Ferry survey. Nearly all (96%) of retailers say they are having trouble finding store employees, and 88% say it's difficult to find distribution center workers.
"We're seeing the impact of a retail worker shortage in several ways, including stores scaling back on open hours and customers waiting in long lines to check out," said Korn Ferry retail expert Craig Rowley. "Organizations need to be creative in finding ways to attract and retain employees."
One way retailers are working on retention is offering larger salary increases. More than half (57%) are considering merit increases of 3.5% or more, with 36% saying they are considering increases of 4% or more. Merit increases have historically been at 3%.
Further, the majority of retailers (58%) say vaccines are not mandated for corporate jobs, and 72% do not require vaccines for store and distribution center jobs.
The Korn Ferry survey of more than 100 major U.S. retailers, with annual revenues between $500 million to more than $20 billion, took place in late January 2022.
- Are you having trouble hiring store employees?
Yes - significant challenges 19%
Yes - moderate challenges 56%
Yes - minor changes 21%
- Are you having trouble hiring distribution center employees?
Yes, significant challenges 14%
Yes, moderate challenges 46%
Yes, minor challenges 28%
- What's the highest level of merit budget that you are considering?
- For corporate jobs, what is your vaccination requirement?
Vaccine required, and workers will be terminated if they refuse vaccine 13%
Vaccine or regular testing will be required and workers will be terminated if they refuse 22%
Vaccines not required 58%
- For store and distribution center jobs, what is your vaccination requirement?
Vaccine required, and workers will be terminated if they refuse vaccine 6%
Vaccine or regular testing will be required and workers will be terminated if they refuse 19%
Vaccines not required 72%
- Are employees paid for time off to quarantine?
Use PTO - and if no PTO, no pay 53%
Continue to pay outside PTO 32%
Continue to pay, but at a reduced rate 2%