How to attract the best employees in the luxury sector

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Featured Article

The world of work is changing; both the structure of the labour market and the types of work we do. More people are employed in the service sector than in manufacturing, changes in technology have had a massive impact on the workplace, we remain in full-time education for longer and, critically, Generation Y (those born after 1980) are now in the workforce. For them, working environments, opportunities for learning, flexible working, social responsibility and time to travel are as important as remuneration. Even older, established workers are now exploring career breaks and sabbaticals.


Burberry offer fantastic benefits

The luxury sector is no different and major brands and groups are recognising that implementing good work-life balance policies and practices can help meet these changes as well as benefitting the company and the individual. Business benefits can include increased productivity, better recruitment and retention levels, lower absenteeism and a more motivated and satisfied workforce. Luxury brand Burberry lead the way with their benefits which include finishing at 1pm on a Friday during the summer and free lunches in the staff restaurant as well as generous clothing allowances. Within the luxury recruitment sector, these perks make the brand very appealing to potential employees.

The practices that most appeal to job-seekers include flexible working, subsidised healthcare or complementary health therapies such as massage or osteopathy, flexible benefits (employees choose from a menu of benefits those that most suit their circumstances and lifestyle); subsidised gym membership or other fitness activities, and family-friendly policies. Some employers also offer community service days where employees can volunteer to work on local projects. In terms of staff retention, the most attractive practices include career breaks to allow for personal development, consolidated or compressed hours and, again, health and fitness benefits. As brands become renowned for their treatment of staff their ability to recruit individuals of the highest calibre increases.

In a recent survey conducted amongst global CEOs, the biggest challenge identified was around attracting and retaining the very best people. More and more resources are being allocated towards ensuring people are happy and remain productive within their roles. As an executive search consultancy specialising within the luxury sector, a positive working culture is a powerful tool when attracting the very best talent in the market for a brand. The modern luxury executive is very savvy and will only move jobs if clear personal criteria are met – it is vital as a headhunter that we really understand what is important to the individual and ascertain their motivation to move. People will often want as much information around the ethics and working environments as they do about the company’s product and position in the market place.

The luxury sector has changed. Individuals are no longer driven by the kudos of working for a particular luxury house. Instead they want to feel valued and respected by the brand itself. The advantages to business of this interconnection of a productive workplace and quality of working life cannot be over-emphasised. Done properly, it can only result in a strong, productive team and increased profitability.

Hudson Walker International is an executive search business with more than 20 years’ experience in the luxury goods and services sector. If you would like to speak to a specialist consultant, please email or call +44 (0)20 7491 0433.

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