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NRF: Hiring managers value retail experience


Washington, D.C. - A majority of hiring managers across all U.S. industries view retail experience positively and value the foundational job skills that retail instills in its employees. According to the new “Retail’s Value on a Resume: How Jobs in Retail Prepare America’s Workforce for Success” study from the National Retail Federation (NRF), 69% of those surveyed said retail workers have the skills and qualities they look for when hiring.

Included were a personable and respectful nature, composure, willingness to “step up,” and the ability to work with anyone, take direction and multi-task. Seventy-one percent said those skills are easily transferrable to other industries.

Eighty percent of hiring managers state that the skills and traits that are most important to them are the same skills and traits that more than eight in 10 current retail employees use regularly.

Researchers also spoke with 1,000 workers, including 500 currently working in retail and 500 who previously worked in retail. Of those who had left the industry and used a former retail manager as a reference, 94% said they got the position, and 80% believed their former managers’ recommendations helped them land their new jobs.

The survey also found that 79% of current retail workers are happy working in retail, with 78% satisfied in their current jobs. Sixty-six percent said they had taken advantage of retail’s flexible hours to balance work with priorities such as family or going to school. Retail was also praised by 74% of hiring managers for workers’ ability to enter at the ground level and work their way up. By the same token, 60% of current retail workers said they have been promoted and 85% have earned a raise working in the industry.

“We have always known that retail teaches important life-long skills and that experience in the industry is invaluable whether you want to make retail your career or use it as a springboard into other opportunities,” NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Now we have the hard numbers to confirm that.”

The research was conducted for NRF by GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communications, which surveyed 400 hiring managers.

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