HR Leaders in Retail Discuss Salary and C&B Trends in Asia’s Retail Industry


Links International recently hosted its exclusive event, HR Leaders in Retail, both in Hong Kong and Singapore, at which we discussed 2017 talent acquisition and C&B trends in the retail industry. HR Leaders in Retail is an exclusive, invitation-only group for HR Managers and HR Directors in the retail industry based in Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore. Since we work with a lot of retailers to provide retail recruitment in Asia, as well as HR outsourcing solutions for retailers in Asia, HR Leaders in Retail was created as a response to there being a lack of retail-specific HR groups in the region to discuss retail HR challenges and solutions.

We held the session in Hong Kong in January, a few months after hosting the first HR Leaders in Retail event (in which we discussed the topic of HR Tech in Asia), and due to its overwhelming popularity, we expanded the event into Singapore in February.

During these sessions, which were attended by HR leaders in companies such as DFS, Giuseppe Zanotti, 6ixty8ight, LVMH, Chanel, FJ Benjamin, Laura Ashley, Gold Lion, Heinemann and Pedder Group, we discussed the following topics:  

  • Remuneration

With a particular focus on salaries, off cycle increases and the base versus commission challenges being faced across the retail industry. 

  • Talent Attraction

With the key challenges being reactionary hiring as talent is needed ASAP, so the talent hired needs to be of the calibre, level and training as well as product understanding required of the role. Strategic talent planning was less prevalent and referral programmes were working well. We discussed the resistance, in some instances, from the business lines to change their mindset regarding candidates from other products or areas of retail which may require some training. Furthermore, development of interviewing skills for line managers was also an area for development. Questioning candidates around how well they can describe their commission structure, as well as logical questions about how individuals would respond to a certain situation outside of work were prevalent here.

  • Retention

Outside of the obvious remuneration questions above, the core areas for non-financial retention were around Training and Development and in some cases the Senior Management or HR visibility ‘in store’. Management trainee programmes are also being lengthened to retain more junior talent.

Our next HR Leaders in Retail event will be in Hong Kong at the end of April, with the Singapore event to follow. The topic for these events will be HR Analytics and the trend to move from descriptive analytics to predictive analytics. We hope to see you there!

If you are an HR Manager or HR Director in the retail industry in Asia and are interested in being invited to the HR Leaders in Retail Group, please email our Marketing team now.