Co-operative retailer The John Lewis Partnership has triumphed as the UK’s most attractive company to work for in the 2013 Randstad Award, reflecting the general public’s perception that  leading retailers known to reward their staff well are the best UK employers to work for. 53% of people who knew the company said they would like to work for John Lewis, which received the top award for the second year in a row. Retailer Marks & Spencer took second place while a big three supermarket was also named as one of the twenty most attractive employers in the UK.

In addition to being recognised as the UK’s second most attractive employer, Marks & Spencer – which came third in last year’s survey – was also perceived as being the employer most concerned with the environment and society.  

Findings of a survey of 7,000 UK adults also reveal that competitive pay and benefits are the most important requirements of a new employer. Peter Shrimpton, Managing Director of specialist recruiter Randstad Retail, comments: “Competitive pay and benefits is back at the top of job seekers’ agendas, superseding job security which has been the top factor for the past three years.”    

Shrimpton adds: ‘The retail industry’s reputation certainly attracts good quality candidates and this is reflected in the Randstad Award. However, when you stop to consider that that only 51% of retail respondents describe themselves as happy overall and just 32% happy with their pay, it demonstrates just how hard employers have to work to retain top retail talent. The tables are turning and the candidate is now king. We’re certainly starting to see an increase in salaries for store manager and deputy roles within the fashion, branded food restaurant and mobile phone sectors in response to this trend – helping the retail industry to preserve talent and bolster career contentment. ”