News Feed Item

UPDATE: 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) -- 04/30/14 -- 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].

To arrange an interview with Imran Amed, founder of The Business of Fashion, please contact Emma Clark at +44 7950 301 479 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.

About The Business of Fashion
The Business of Fashion (BoF) is a next generation fashion media company conceived for today's global and hyper-connected world. Founded in 2007 by Imran Amed, BoF is known for its authoritative, agenda-setting point of view on the global fashion industry and is an indispensible resource for fashion executives, creatives, students and entrepreneurs in over 200 countries. It has been described as "The Economist of Fashion," "A Daily Destination for Fashion's Power Players" and "The Industry Bible." www.businessoffashion.com

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
One of biggest questions about Big Data is “How do we harness all that information for business use quickly and effectively?” Geographic Information Systems (GIS) or spatial technology is about more than making maps, but adding critical context and meaning to data of all types, coming from all different channels – even sensors. In his session at @ThingsExpo, William (Bill) Meehan, director of utility solutions for Esri, will take a closer look at the current state of spatial technology and ar...
The Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF), sponsor of the IoTivity open source project, and AllSeen Alliance, which provides the AllJoyn® open source IoT framework, today announced that the two organizations’ boards have approved a merger under the OCF name and bylaws. This merger will advance interoperability between connected devices from both groups, enabling the full operating potential of IoT and representing a significant step towards a connected ecosystem.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interface Masters Technologies, a leader in Network Visibility and Uptime Solutions, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Interface Masters Technologies is a leading vendor in the network monitoring and high speed networking markets. Based in the heart of Silicon Valley, Interface Masters' expertise lies in Gigabit, 10 Gigabit and 40 Gigabit Eth...
Without lifecycle traceability and visibility across the tool chain, stakeholders from Planning-to-Ops have limited insight and answers to who, what, when, why and how across the DevOps lifecycle. This impacts the ability to deliver high quality software at the needed velocity to drive positive business outcomes. In his session at @DevOpsSummit 19th Cloud Expo, Eric Robertson, General Manager at CollabNet, will show how customers are able to achieve a level of transparency that enables everyon...
As software becomes more and more complex, we, as software developers, have been splitting up our code into smaller and smaller components. This is also true for the environment in which we run our code: going from bare metal, to VMs to the modern-day Cloud Native world of containers, schedulers and microservices. While we have figured out how to run containerized applications in the cloud using schedulers, we've yet to come up with a good solution to bridge the gap between getting your conta...
DevOps theory promotes a culture of continuous improvement built on collaboration, empowerment, systems thinking, and feedback loops. But how do you collaborate effectively across the traditional silos? How can you make decisions without system-wide visibility? How can you see the whole system when it is spread across teams and locations? How do you close feedback loops across teams and activities delivering complex multi-tier, cloud, container, serverless, and/or API-based services?
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
SYS-CON Events announced today that Streamlyzer will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Streamlyzer is a powerful analytics for video streaming service that enables video streaming providers to monitor and analyze QoE (Quality-of-Experience) from end-user devices in real time.
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential Internet of Things Brand by Onalytica in the ‘The Internet of Things Landscape 2015: Top 100 Individuals and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed Twitter conversations around the #IoT debate to uncover the most influential brands and individuals driving the conversation. Onalytica captured data from 56,224 users. The PageRank based methodology they use to extract influencers on a particular topic (tweets mentioning #InternetofThings or #IoT in this ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in Embedded and IoT solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and ...
Today every business relies on software to drive the innovation necessary for a competitive edge in the Application Economy. This is why collaboration between development and operations, or DevOps, has become IT’s number one priority. Whether you are in Dev or Ops, understanding how to implement a DevOps strategy can deliver faster development cycles, improved software quality, reduced deployment times and overall better experiences for your customers.
Cloud based infrastructure deployment is becoming more and more appealing to customers, from Fortune 500 companies to SMEs due to its pay-as-you-go model. Enterprise storage vendors are able to reach out to these customers by integrating in cloud based deployments; this needs adaptability and interoperability of the products confirming to cloud standards such as OpenStack, CloudStack, or Azure. As compared to off the shelf commodity storage, enterprise storages by its reliability, high-availabil...
@DevOpsSummit has been named the ‘Top DevOps Influencer' by iTrend. iTrend processes millions of conversations, tweets, interactions, news articles, press releases, blog posts - and extract meaning form them and analyzes mobile and desktop software platforms used to communicate, various metadata (such as geo location), and automation tools. In overall placement, @DevOpsSummit ranked as the number one ‘DevOps Influencer' followed by @CloudExpo at third, and @MicroservicesE at 24th.
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Arch...