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Training and career development top retail professionals’ priorities

A BUSINESS’ training program and career development structure is more important to retail managers than other work conditions, according to a recent survey.

The findings were part of Frontline Retail’s January survey, which examined what extra benefits retail managers seek from their employers.

Employers involved in retail management need to address both internal and external training, according to Frontline Retail’s national operations director Peter Davis.

“When candidates comes to us for an interview and to discuss the sort of position they are looking for, they are more frequently questioning the training provisions and opportunities for career advancement within each company,” Mr Davis told Business News.

“Candidates think long term now when applying for retail positions, and they want to know the benefits of working for particular companies.”

Frontline Retail WA manager Joanne French said WA respondents sought the same assurances from their employers.

“It was quite interesting that the survey found employees in all States wanted the same thing,” she said.

“They want to know they’ll get in-house or external training. Those who have a structured training program are more marketable companies to prospective candidates.”

Ms French said that, because these positions were at the higher end of the management chain, those individuals had a working knowledge of the types of training schemes available in the marketplace.

“All, or most, of our candidates have some form of training or have held assistant manager positions and know there is training out there,” she said.

“If a company has a great training program it acts as a really good selling point for us to recruit people into that company.”

The survey found that, in particular, management techniques, sales strategies and skills were the types of training State, national, store and assistant managers wanted.

“The reasoning behind this is that it’s often not enough to have just experience in management,” Mr Davis said.

“Formal training in sales and management put retail staff a step ahead of other job hunters.”

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