The Canadian Grocery HR Council commissioned a review of the best academic literature on HR practices in retail to provide the industry with proven techniques to improve performance.

1 - Target under utilized sources of talent

  • Consider previously under utilized sources of talent; women, new immigrants, people with disabilities, Aboriginal people and mature workers.

2 - Industry image

  • Promote the industry as a desirable career destination.

3 - Positioning

  • Target recruitment messages to specific groups.
    Example: today’s youth have been found to value work that gives them a sense of purpose and a sense that they are impacting the world around them. Target youth with messages that focus on your environmentally friendly practices and opportunities to use new technologies.

4 - Being heard

  • Go to where the talent is: For example, partner with educational institutions and participate in “career days”.
  • Partnerships within specific communities ex: new immigrants.

5 - Use social media – Enter the virtual world

  • Social media is increasingly being used as a recruitment tool, especially for youth.
  • Canadian youth are also enthusiastic users of social networking sites such as twitter and Facebook. Take the time to experiment for a while before you find what works for you.

6 - Career potential

  • Not only articulate career opportunities and career paths – communicate career potential broadly as a recruitment tool.

7 - Communicate the pay package

  • Communicate the pay package as a whole, not just the hourly wage. Consider schedule flexibility, advancement potential and learning opportunities as part of your total employment offering.

8 - Don’t be afraid to focus on the type of person you want

If you like people and want to grow professionally, if you like to think on your feet in a fast-paced environment, if you think food is cool – we’re the place for you!”


Ton, Zeynep and Robert S. Huckman. “Managing the Impact of Employee Turnover on Performance: The Role of Process Conformance.” Organization Science, vol. 19.1 (Jan.–Feb. 2008): 56–68.

2010 Sector Study Update  – Canadian Grocery HR Council


For more great HR tips, click here.

To access our website, click here.