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ZD Guides | Our Top 7 Luxury Recruitment Tips

10th April 2024

When your brand is built on offering something distinctively, unquestionably ‘you’, how do you hire people who match that ambition? In this ZD Guide, discover our top tips for hiring top talent for your luxury retail brand.

A distinctive brand needs distinctive people. Yet, as you’ll have noticed if you’ve already tried recruiting via traditional routes, there’s a tendency for many brands to stick with the familiar and adopt an identikit approach to hiring. That may result in applications, but it doesn’t always result in applications from people who embody everything your brand stands for.

So how do you ensure that your talent acquisition delivers people who fit your brand like a glove? Here’s our guide.

Top luxury recruitment tips


  1.  Build your employer brand

    Now established as the starting point for organisations wanting to recruit better talent, your employer brand is the bedrock of successful luxury fashion retail recruitment.

    Note that word ‘employer’. This isn’t about establishing your brand with prospective new members of the team because you’ve probably been doing that for decades and candidates with the slightest interest in luxury retail will likely know all about you.

    An employer brand is setting out the employee experience. It’s a combination of everything you offer your people (that is, salary, but also the broader package, the potential to advance and the company’s culture) and your brand’s reputation as an employer. That reputation is built on respect, inclusivity, diversity, sustainability, fairness — the sort of things candidates hope matter as much to you as they do to them.

    As a luxury brand, there’s a sort of unwritten expectation that a) you’ll have your employee brand boxed off and b) that it will be every bit as enticing as the products you create. The reality, of course, is that not every luxury brand is as far advanced down this road as candidates might expect. It’s also something that takes time to develop and articulate. So if yours isn’t as advanced as you would like, it’s worth focusing on now.

  2. Define the role

    Everyone else advertises for a ‘store assistant’ or ‘deputy store manager’. But you’re not everybody else and you’re entitled to expect more — so it’s important to understand what ‘more’ looks like.

    Let’s suppose you’re hiring what, in any other retail environment, would be a deputy manager. Deconstruct the role within your organisation to explore what the job really involves. Speak to the exemplars already within the business to find out what makes them so adept at what they do. Look at the direction of your business and consider how this role could help support that direction.

    Now, you’re no longer looking for a generic deputy manager; you’ve defined a clear, distinctive role within your organisation that a) helps ensure the people you hire are exactly who you want and b) enables you to stand out in a crowded luxury market.

    SEO may require you to include ‘deputy manager’ in your online ads, but that doesn’t mean the role you describe can’t be brilliantly personalised to you.

  3. Create an ad that matches your brand

    Your brand is built on offering more, more distinctively than the mass market. You don’t do what other brands do. You don’t act like other brands act. And yet, when it comes to advertising your job opportunities, even the most distinctive brand can find itself falling back on the same old cliched language to entice candidates.

    We think of it like this: your brand is who you are, and who you are doesn’t change. So although you might flex your brand voice in a job ad compared with the language you might use in your new season reveal, the core DNA of what makes you you should still be clear.

    By putting more of your brand into your job ads, you’ll stand out, you’ll attract more of the people who love what you do and share your values, and you’ll demonstrate to them how important recruiting the right talent is to you.

  4. Leverage your existing people

    There’s no better advocate for your brand than the people who already work with you. Given that your people already have firsthand experience of the capabilities required to be a success in your organisation, they could help you find similar talent. Set up a referral scheme to reward them for finding successful applicants.

  5. Play to your brand’s strengths

    We started this guide talking about the employer brand (as distinct from your customer-facing brand). That’s important, but it’s also important to remember what attracts candidates to you in the first place. For many, that will be the
    opportunity to work with a brand that has a rich heritage, a legacy to die for and a cachet that makes people want to be part of your story.

    What role will your latest recruits play in that story? How will they leave their mark? Make sure you include this as part of your offer.

  6. Create a cause

    Values matter, and many of the most successful luxury brands lead the way in terms of shifting the industry to a more sustainable, inclusive, responsible future.

    If you’re on a mission to, for example, champion global LGBTQ+ rights. Or fight deforestation. Or combat exploitative working conditions around the world, explain the role your new recruits may have in that mission.

    Because if there’s one thing luxury talent loves more than working for a brand it admires, it’s working for a brand that’s helping to deliver positive change.

  7. Work with the best luxury retail recruiters

    Here’s how luxury fashion retail recruitment typically goes. It starts in-house, where you define your goals and gaps and build understanding of the people you want to target. Then you start your search via a niche job board or two. Shortly after that, you probably realise you need a little extra help.

    You need help because the luxury retail recruitment routes you’ve already tried haven’t revealed the volume or quality of candidates you were hoping for. You need help because whilst your search resolved some of the ‘low hanging fruit’, you’re still struggling to find top talent for some crucial appointments. Perhaps you need help because your in-house team is run on a shoestring and you just don’t have the numbers to manage hiring for a new flagship store opening.

    That’s why luxury brands outsource recruitment, but it’s important to make sure you outsource to someone who really knows your world.

    The best luxury retail recruiters understand the difference between the luxury and mass markets. While they’ll take the time to understand the specifics of what you’re looking for, they’ll already have a good idea of the sort of people you’ll want to attract.

    Most importantly, a recruiter with lots of experience in the luxury market will have a long list of contacts in that market — people they’ve worked with before and perhaps placed before. They’ll know their skillsets. If a spot of headhunting is required, they’ll know how to connect with them. And because they have the full weight of an experienced team behind them, they’ll be able to hire fast and at volume.

Luxury retail recruitment with Zachary Daniels

Let us help with your luxury fashion retail recruitment. Talk to us now.

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