Making an impression
BEING well-groomed and having a polished personality have been confirmed as the secrets to success for a fashion retail career.
Research by the University of Sydney reveals 85 per cent of fashion store managers believe the right appearance is important when hiring customer service staff.
And the overwhelming majority – or 97 per cent – of managers surveyed say the right personality is vital in prospective employees.
Only 44 per cent of employers are concerned about the need for appropriate quali- fications with people who work in their stores.
Business School Professor Richard Hall says the research also confirms a growing trend of staff being formally examined on the way they look.
‘‘ I was surprised by the extent to which appearance and personality were regarded more than qualifications,’’ Hall says. ‘‘ Many employees are now getting formal appraisals on their appearance.
‘‘ There is no doubt employers are entitled to engage the people who they want to engage.
‘‘ The question is how we balance that on the other hand to ensure workers are not discriminated against simply because of their looks.
‘‘ More than one in 10 Australian workers are employed in retail trade and it is a key point of entry into work for many young people.’’
Professor Hall says it is high-end boutique fashion retailers that have the highest preference for looks.
Ninety per cent of managers in the category say the right appearance is either important or very important in their selection of staff.
– Ben Pike
RIGHT LOOK: Having attractive staff is seen as an advantage by retail managers.