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Discussion theme 5 - Workforce management practices are in the nascent stages of being developed in the Indian retail sector.

Hiring in the retail sector is projected to increase in the future due to several new global and domestic entrants and the range of formats they plan to offer. Growth in the Indian retail sector and the corresponding demand for talent has highlighted the need for effective workforce management systems. In general, HR practices in workforce management are in the nascent stages of development in the Indian retail sector. Since organised retail is an emerging sector in India, experienced retail talent is somewhat scarce. The talent crunch in retail is exacerbated by the lack of the requisite training infrastructure.

Once talent has been acquired (through external hiring, internal hiring, referral hiring, etc.) and developed (through the provision of soft skills training and the introduction of salary/performance pay/commission plans), retailers will need to—

  • Create a talent pool—Retailers are developing strategies for ensuring talent availability for future expansion .

  • Ensure employee growth—Companies are developing employees to meet hiring needs by using outsourcing, creating training infrastructure and identifying new and creative ways of delivering training.

  • Retain employees—Retaining employees is critical to successfully expanding business operations. Employers are working towards employee retention by developing structured recognition programmes, enhancing rewards and employee growth programmes and implementing HR practices and policies which demonstrate a long-term focus and commitment to building employee capabilities and careers.

Primary case example

  • Marks & Spencer Reliance India Pvt. Ltd’s “People Engagement” Programme

Strategic Issues for Retail CEOs* : Perspectives on Operating in India’s Retail Sector

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