Close this search box.
Credit: Kaufland

The War for Talent in Retail – How to Increase Employer Attractiveness

People are key to the success of a retail company. However, in order to ensure operational excellence, new approaches to employer branding are needed in the retail sector. The shortage of skilled workers has been a topic of discussion for some time. The effects of the pandemic have exacerbated the situation in many industries.

By Andreia Solovastru and Angelus Bernreuther

For a multi-faceted retail company with activities ranging from logistics to sales to real estate, skilled employees are a key success factor, especially with respect to the future. Due to demographic change, employee recruitment and retention play a particularly important role. Many talented people today have a wider choice of potential employers and are also aware of that fact. Therefore, a brand is also an employer brand, and it must be attractive. As an international retail company that operates in eight European countries, Kaufland is increasingly breaking new ground in employer branding.

Company Transparency Has Become Increasingly Important for Young Talent

In the search for new skilled employees and young talent, employers are constantly being faced with new challenges that also serve as opportunities. In addition to the use of digital communication channels, expectations regarding a company’s transparency have also increased. It is not just a matter of providing information, but also the way in which that is achieved.

Today, the internet and social media offer applicants numerous opportunities to gather information about potential employers. At the same time, social media channels, such as Instagram and LinkedIn, are indispensable platforms when it comes to presenting oneself as a credible and likeable employer. To that end, Kaufland takes a holistic approach, rather than just relying on individual communication measures. For example, last year, a modern, authentic recruiting and image campaign was launched that is uniform in all countries. The concept is based on 360-degree communication using online media. The international campaign uses the slogan “Time for something new”. The focus is on a positive, authentic presentation of working conditions, benefits, and development opportunities. The strategy is approachable, direct, and down-to-earth. The goal is to meet people wherever they are in life. That is why Kaufland uses images that reflect personal life. Because for applicants, identification with their current life situation, skills, competencies, and experience is particularly important.

Ambassador Programs Reach the Target Group with Pinpoint Accuracy

Company profiles on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, TikTok, and the like support a company’s visibility on social media and are a must. In order to reach different target groups in a precise manner, we have implemented ambassador programs at different career levels, from trainees to management: the employee behind the meat counter, the forklift driver and cashier, the school student and career starter, as well as the experienced retailer or specialist.

Social Media Outreach is Commonplace for Generation Z.

Many people know employers like Kaufland from the customer’s perspective, some from the supplier’s perspective, and some from a business partner’s point of view. What, however, is the best way to show what makes a company an employer as well as what they stand for? With the right concepts, that can work very well, especially via social media. That is the way in which Generation Z, people born around the turn of the millennium, can be reached in particular. While the focus on Facebook and Instagram is on creative content and interaction, TikTok relies on attention-grabbing clips, campaigns, and collaborations. Influencer marketing is a very effective tool in that regard. A current example: Tim Hendrik Walter, aka “Herr Anwalt”, is a German influencer with wide reach. “Herr Anwalt” is the main protagonist of a series of Kaufland videos that humorously illustrate what lies behind the apprenticeship professions of a warehouse logistics specialist, a fresh produce salesperson, and a retail salesperson at Kaufland. In addition, benefits and development opportunities within the company are explained in language that builds rapport with the target audience. As a result, it is possible to convey serious information that is specific to the target group in an entertaining way.

By Trainees, for Trainees

Experiences from one’s own age group and like-minded people have a high acceptance rate. Positive, realistic reports from the target group, for the target group are, therefore, very effective. That can also be seen in the way Kaufland provides insights into the working world of trainees on TikTok and Instagram. To that end, four trainees from a Berlin store regularly appear in front of the camera. They show what it means to be part of a sales team. At the same time, they use humor to show the wide range of tasks: from customer service to inventory.

Employees also provide insight into the world of work as well as their careers on Kaufland’s career website. There is a wealth of information on the application process, from online applications to telephone interviews, and frequently asked questions are answered. That creates transparency and makes it easier to get started. Digital support is provided by the “Kala” chatbot.

Consequently, for a modern employer, online presence begins with meeting young talent and skilled workers where they can be found, and it runs like a common thread through the application process until they join the company.

Andreia Solovastru
Andreia Solovastru

is Head of Employer Branding, Kaufland

Angelus Bernreuther
Angelus Bernreuther

is Head of Investor Relationship Management, Kaufland