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How to attract top talent in an uncertain market

Even in uncertain times, talented job seekers want to feel valued and their skills appreciated—especially in an industry as prestigious as luxury consumer brands.


We’ve said it before; economic downturns and uncertain markets don’t affect luxury retail in quite the same way as other industries, thanks to its exposure to high-income consumers. However, it is an interesting time to be in the job market, and factors such as inflation and other key indicators paint a complicated picture of today’s economy—making it harder to build and hire talent into your processes proactively.  

The 2020 recession, while brief, showed us that hiring has changed. As the baby boomers continue to retire at a rapid rate, more and more roles are opening up. If anything, hiring talent in 2023 is more important now than ever.  

Recruiting the best talent at all levels for luxury brands today requires an innovative approach. Organizations must think outside the box to ensure they are engaging potential candidates in meaningful ways, while also highlighting the competitive advantages of their brand.  

Attracting top talent, especially with the excellent skills and cultural fit that luxury brands require, during an economic downturn can be a challenging task. However, there are a few strategies that can help make the process easier. 

Your job description is your first impression. 

When candidates begin job searching, their first touch-point will most likely be job postings and the job descriptions attached to it. Focus on creating a welcoming and engaging job description that makes candidates eager to learn more about the role and your business before they apply. Communicating an exciting and comprehensive position that outlines the key qualifications and requirements for the role, as well as the company’s culture and values, is a great step forward in attracting talent.  

Even in uncertain times, talented job seekers want to feel valued and their skills appreciated—especially in an industry as prestigious as luxury consumer brands. Make sure to highlight the unique benefits of the role, such as unlimited PTO or maternal/paternal leave, and emphasize how it can help the candidate grow professionally.  

Turn to a recruiter for help. 

Many hiring entities are turning to online job boards and social media to reach potential candidates, but there is nothing more useful than having an advocate dedicated to your organization’s goals and a network and process for finding the best passive candidates. While you should definitely use technology to help spread the word about job openings and create a more efficient hiring process, recruiters know exactly what it takes to secure the best of the best.  

Working with a luxury brand recruiter is the best way to find your next leader. A recruiter is the best way you can leverage industry expertise and navigate the expansive talent market to hire high-quality, well-vetted executives. Additionally, recruiters have access to an extensive network and often build relationships with industry professionals who can refer top candidates to you.  

Optimize your processes.  

Optimizing and perfecting your hiring process is a fool-proof way to make hiring fast, efficient, and cost-effective. The lower the cost per hire, the better off you’ll be when the storm comes. While some companies have already started implementing hiring freezes, you should fully examine the market’s volatility before you pause hiring. 

When it comes to perfecting your processes, take a close look at your communication to ensure it creates a great candidate experience, using an ATS (applicant tracking system) to automate when appropriate.   It’s especially frustrating to a candidate when they receive multiple outreaches from a company or, worse, multiple recruiters. 

At the end of the day, creating a positive candidate experience and showcasing the value of your luxury retail organization will help you attract, hire, and retain the best candidates.  

Adapt when necessary.  

Successful companies adapt. It’s important to remain flexible and open to adapting your hiring strategies. Here are a few tips: 

  • Be open to different skillsets, such as transferable skills from different industries. 
  • Leverage remote work. Many companies are opting to transform their work operations, either going fully remote or hybrid. Consider taking advantage of remote work opportunities to find the best talent without sacrificing benefits or salaries.  
  • Create a new role. If you find yourself lucky enough to find skilled and talented candidates but don’t have an opening, discuss with the candidate to see if a new role might be created.  

Hiring is an investment during an uncertain market.  

Hiring isn’t just about finding the right people to fill the roles your business needs—it’s an investment. Investing in the right talent can help your luxury retail business reach its goals faster and stay competitive.  

While the current outlook is candidate-driven, that could change quickly if a recession hits. As job security becomes scarce, candidates will become less willing to leave their current positions for uncertain opportunities. Cost-cutting measures are almost always necessary during a recession, so it’s important to balance them out with strategies that will increase long-term employee retention and satisfaction.  


An economic downturn is the best time to gain a competitive advantage. By following these strategies, luxury retail companies can find the best possible candidates in an uncertain job market. Our luxury brand recruiters have the experience and network to help you find the best retail talent in the market. Reach out today to learn more about how we can help you hire in an uncertain market.