Size of starting salary has grown in importance to retail staff looking to begin their careers in the industry, according to research released this week.

Global recruiter Randstad Business Support's annual independent survey of 10,728 British employees, which investigated attitudes to changing jobs, identified a new money-motivated generation of workers climbing onto the career ladder. Those entering the workforce in 2013, 2014 and 2015 are placing far higher importance on salary than the wave of workers before them, it found.

Randstad also suggested that employees already established in the retail sector could learn from the new generation of workers entering the market, in terms of knowing their value.

Ruth Jacobs, managing director of Randstad Business Support, said: "For those entering the workforce now – who were sheltered from the recession in education or training – the landscape is bursting with opportunity. 

"Local high streets are flourishing once again, and with the liberalisation of Sunday trading hours now on the cards, retail employees are holding a strong hand. Flexible workers will be highly sought-after if the restrictions are eased – with just two extra hours of Sunday trading creating an estimated 3,000 additional retail jobs in the capital alone.

The trend towards placing more importance on salary was also evident when the survey asked employees to name the top five factors influencing their choice of company. Nearly two-thirds of employees in the retail sector rank pay as one of the top five factors that would make them consider switching company in 2015, compared to just half in 2011.

Jacobs added: "Overall, with the growing UK economy lighting up the horizon, and a skills shortage sweeping across the country, the outlook is rosy for this latest generation of job hunters. They can afford to be picky about pay, and negotiate their true market worth.

"Those workers already established in the retail sector have a lot to learn from their new colleagues' more proactive approach to pay."

Meanwhile, a separate survey published last month by UK job board, CV-Library, found that despite an increase in retail jobs available, application rates have failed to maintain the same level of growth.

The latest statistics from the job site indicate that candidates are becoming increasingly selective and, despite a greater number of employment options, retail workers need more persuading to apply for industry vacancies. June's figures showed that job postings for retail roles have risen by 1.2% year-on-year, but applications for these roles have dropped by 18.1% in the same period.

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, commented: "In the last few years UK retailers have implemented a number of incentive and benefit schemes to improve employee satisfaction, and the same needs to be done to improve talent acquisition."

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Randstad Business Support

CV Library