A new role in 2017?
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A new role in 2017?


2016 has been a year of momentous change. From a macro – economic perspective, we have witnessed substantial events including Brexit, the election win of Donald Trump and the resignation of the Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi following the defeat on constitutional reform.

Amidst this uncertainty, although no official statistics exist, it is widely accepted that the number of live roles within the fashion retail space were far fewer than 2015 – outside the digital and IT functions.   We at HGA Group, saw a marked decrease in roles in Q2 and Q3, but have witnessed an upswing in the final quarter of the year, following the improved sales figures, in October 2016, the quantity of goods bought (volume) in the retail industry was estimated to have increased by 7.4% compared with October 2015; all store types showed growth with the largest contribution coming from non-store retailing. This was the highest rate of growth since April 2002.

We of course need to review the final true fashion retail revenue and margin, following Black Friday, Cyber Monday, the ferocious discounting, Christmas, New Year and the sale period to determine if this is a firm pattern, however the one certainty is that never has a candidate had to work harder to secure one of those fewer roles.

I am witnessing the change of the Recruiter / candidate relationship.

  • Those candidates securing their ideal fit position are increasingly becoming more informed re the holistic business world. Given disruption and various collaborations, they are well read and have taken the time to become more than familiar with milestone events and future initiatives. The business world is becoming more integrated and they are educating themselves.
  • I am witnessing more and savvy networking. There was a time when many individuals believed that they were “too busy” to network, or found it to be so daunting that they did not know how to commence. A recent estimate found that 75% of roles are never advertised and filled through word of mouth. I predict that this trend will only increase in 2017.
  • Finally, I witnessed candidates who actively wish to work collaboratively with a Headhunter, so that they are the “Football Player” managed by the “Football Manager” – the Agent. In this instance, my role was to strategically investigate retailers and brands that would prove to be an interesting and commercial fit, and arrange “networking meetings” not interviews, to genuinely make an introduction but also to prise open opportunities in conversation that are still off the radar but could appear in 2017.

If you are thinking of developing your career, I believe you will have to actively engage in the above. Do contact me if you would like to discuss further.