Welcome!

News Feed Item

Fashion and Luxury Companies Struggle to Find Top Talent, Say Industry Experts

Almost 70 Percent of Fashion and Luxury Companies Struggle to Hire Creative Directors, and Many Have Inadequate Talent Pipelines; Those Are Two of the Most Surprising Findings From a New Study by BCG and The Business of Fashion

NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwired) -- 04/28/14 -- Executives in the fashion and luxury industries are very concerned about finding, developing, and retaining the talented professionals they need to compete today. That is the stark conclusion of The Race for Talent: Fashion and Luxury's Greatest Challenge for the Next Decade, a new State of the Industry report published today by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and The Business of Fashion.

"One of the biggest challenges facing luxury and fashion companies today is finding, developing, and retaining great creative and business talent," says Jean-Marc Bellaïche, a partner at BCG. Sarah Willersdorf, a principal at BCG, agrees.

Drawing on extensive research by BCG and The Business of Fashion, the report finds that 50 percent of respondents lack access to the best creative talent. And executives are not only concerned about creative roles; they are also anxious to acquire the skills needed to support a wide range of functions.

Although it's encouraging that industry leaders realize they must do more to attract and hold on to skilled employees, it is worrying to learn what's still needed to improve employer branding. Fully 40 percent of those polled admit that they still have no systematic approaches for developing an employer value proposition. Yet many have clearly invested energy and resources to build powerful consumer brands.

It's also clear that there is far to go before fashion and luxury companies tap the full potential of today's digital tools. As many as 62 percent of those polled said that their organizations do not actively use online and social forums for recruiting purposes.

Perhaps most worrying of all: companies do not put adequate emphasis on maintaining a strong talent pipeline and succession pool for their top executives. The study found that 60 percent admitted to substandard performance in this area. This weakness appears to affect large companies as much as it does small independent organizations.

Key Findings

Recruiting challenges exist across the entire spectrum of roles:

  • Design and Product. Top-notch creative directors are scarce; nearly 70 percent of survey respondents said that these professionals are "impossible" or "very difficult" to find. Technical design is another underserved area: 42 percent said that pattern makers are in very short supply.

  • Technology and Digital. It is hard to hire database managers, Web developers, and technical managers -- roles that, in a digital era, could make a big difference to a company's effectiveness. A third of the companies surveyed find it "impossible" or "very difficult" to hire an e-commerce manager.

  • Business and General Management. It is becoming more difficult to find chief executives and general managers who combine analytical and creative skills; retail, product, and brand expertise; and international experience.

  • Employer Branding. The study underscores the fact that too few companies invest enough effort in employer branding. It's something of a paradox because most of the industries' players appear to believe that substantial commitments of time, money, and resources to the branding of their offerings will create a bright halo effect that will serve to attract and retain great talent.

  • Digital Channels. The fashion and luxury industries are still heavily dependent on headhunters and recruiters, with about 40 percent of all new hires sourced via those channels. Companies must pursue digital and social channels much more eagerly.

Key Recommendations

The report confirms that companies must launch active initiatives in five areas:

  • Invest in an employer brand. An employer brand must be built and nurtured as carefully as any product brand. Every company has to find ways to tell its story and be clear about what differentiates it from others as an employer. Then the company must take those stories and messages out to current employees and potential candidates through the right channels -- and keep doing so.

  • Consider strategic workforce planning. This rigorous, systematic approach to talent defines the capabilities that a business needs to succeed in the context of its strategic objectives. It also maps the current availability of the required capabilities. By comparing the data for demand and supply, companies can then quickly see where their most crucial talent gaps lie.

  • Reinforce the use of digital and social media to source the best candidates. To create a portrait of the company that will help bolster its employer brand, companies should use all digital channels and platforms -- from Google+ and Pinterest networks to targeted e-mail programs. To augment their recruiting strategies, companies must increasingly reach out through their websites, job forums, and social media.

  • Get to know the schools (personally). Companies can get closer to pools of fresh talent by forging closer relationships with educational institutions.

  • Focus on identifying and building tomorrow's leaders. Companies need to identify both prospects and current employees who combine creative know-how with business acumen and then develop customized programs to hire, develop, and retain them.

The full findings of the report will be available by early June.

To arrange an interview with one of the authors, please contact Eric Gregoire at +1 617 850 3783 or [email protected].

About The Boston Consulting Group
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm and the world's leading advisor on business strategy. We partner with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises. Our customized approach combines deep insight into the dynamics of companies and markets with close collaboration at all levels of the client organization. This ensures that our clients achieve sustainable competitive advantage, build more capable organizations, and secure lasting results. Founded in 1963, BCG is a private company with 81 offices in 45 countries. For more information, please visit bcg.com.

About bcgperspectives.com
Bcgperspectives.com features the latest thinking from BCG experts as well as from CEOs, academics, and other leaders. It covers issues at the top of senior management's agenda. It also provides unprecedented access to BCG's extensive archive of thought leadership stretching back 50 years to the days of Bruce Henderson, the firm's founder and one of the architects of modern management consulting. All of our content -- including videos, podcasts, commentaries, and reports -- can be accessed by PC, mobile, iPad, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

The Boston Consulting Group
Eric Gregoire
Global Media Relations Manager

Tel +1 617 850 3783
Fax +1 617 850 3701
[email protected]

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
"Infoblox does DNS, DHCP and IP address management for not only enterprise networks but cloud networks as well. Customers are looking for a single platform that can extend not only in their private enterprise environment but private cloud, public cloud, tracking all the IP space and everything that is going on in that environment," explained Steve Salo, Principal Systems Engineer at Infoblox, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventio...
Data scientists must access high-performance computing resources across a wide-area network. To achieve cloud-based HPC visualization, researchers must transfer datasets and visualization results efficiently. HPC clusters now compute GPU-accelerated visualization in the cloud cluster. To efficiently display results remotely, a high-performance, low-latency protocol transfers the display from the cluster to a remote desktop. Further, tools to easily mount remote datasets and efficiently transfer...
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, James Henry, Co-CEO/CTO of Calgary Scientific Inc., introduced you to the challenges, solutions and benefits of training AI systems to solve visual problems with an emphasis on improving AIs with continuous training in the field. He explored applications in several industries and discussed technologies that allow the deployment of advanced visualization solutions to the cloud.
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"NetApp is known as a data management leader but we do a lot more than just data management on-prem with the data centers of our customers. We're also big in the hybrid cloud," explained Wes Talbert, Principal Architect at NetApp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"We work around really protecting the confidentiality of information, and by doing so we've developed implementations of encryption through a patented process that is known as superencipherment," explained Richard Blech, CEO of Secure Channels Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, discussed how by using ne...
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...
While some developers care passionately about how data centers and clouds are architected, for most, it is only the end result that matters. To the majority of companies, technology exists to solve a business problem, and only delivers value when it is solving that problem. 2017 brings the mainstream adoption of containers for production workloads. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben McCormack, VP of Operations at Evernote, discussed how data centers of the future will be managed, how the p...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...