There’s an abiding myth in retail executive recruitment that candidates who’ve changed jobs frequently are always a poor bet.

That’s not the same as applicants with long, prestigious and multifaceted career histories, gained over decades.

It’s those younger managers who appear on paper to be a ‘flight risk’, as they’ve not settled in any job role for a long period. It could be that you consider taking them on, but only with lower scale salaries and curtailed responsibilities, believing investing in them would be misplaced.

This is not always wise if you want to truly find the best fit in your retail team and growth plans.

Constant shifts in the retail landscape

One of the reasons that an application from an apparent ‘job hopper’ warrants further research is that it could be a sign of the times. As the retail sector is currently so volatile – with both closures and new start-ups – periodic changes in employment could have been largely forced on the candidate.

A more diverse perspective

In 2018 there were 319,000 retail businesses in the UK. Someone who appears to be working down the list for employment could at the very least offer a breadth of insight and experience that’s valuable.

Even if the candidate’s CV features abundant non-retail positions, it could be argued that they have gathered a broader understanding of business and possibly consumer trends.

The ‘why’ matters

Rather than getting fixated on how many posts a candidate has notched up, perhaps your retail executive recruitment procedures need to focus on the ‘why’. Why did they leave those job roles, and why do they think your company is one they can settle at? 

They may be ambitious people with a vision, who felt stifled in previous companies. Have you got more ways to tap into their talents and drive?

Creating a supportive culture and other incentives

If your favoured applicant has the skills and insights you seek, but a colourful career history makes you hesitate, look carefully at what you are offering. Chat to the candidate about what their expectations are too.

Offering a lower salary than their role dictates makes them more likely to leave. Putting together a favourable employment package, within a company that recognises and rewards loyalty, could help them to put down roots in your team.

Vive la différence

It could even be possible to use executives who clock up frequent job changes to your advantage as a retail company. 

It’s a sector crying out for fresh perspectives, innovations and technology-supported developments. Many companies are currently in flux, and change is the new normal!

Taking transitory executives on board, on shorter contracts, could be a great source of ideas and skills before you find more permanent retail executive recruits.