4 Tips to Becoming a Market Master

First tip is, have you worked in your industry? It’s very important to walk the walk and talk the talk.

I have been in retail all my life–  salesperson, manager, owner, buyer and recruiter. When someone asks me for a DMM I know that means a Divisional Merchandise Manager, and that they supervise buyers. Someone outside the industry would not know what a DMM is or an OTB (Open to Buy).

So the way to master your market segment is to be an insider in that industry which automatically gives your credibility. It means you are knowledgeable. Note: If you have not worked in the industry you are recruiting for then I strongly urge you to sit down with experts and decision makers in that field who can teach you the lingo, the specifics of a job and the right questions to ask potential hires.

Second, belong to as many groups as you can in your industry. LinkedIn is a great way to start. The more groups you join in your specific industry the better your pool of contacts. You can send free inMails to members of your group. Attend any trade shows or conferences put on by the major players. Walking the floor of an event is a great way to meet potential candidates and potential hiring officials.

Third: Read the most important trade publications in your industry. I subscribe to Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) because it gives me the latest news on all the retailers. Which companies are making their numbers and which companies are not. Who the startups are. Who the new leaders are. Who has a new concept. Who is successful.

I also read Beauty News, Footwear News, NRF Smart Brief and Retailing Today. I know what’s going on in my industry which makes me credible and knowledgeable. It also gives me a great idea of which retailers are looking for new hires.

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Fourth: Talk to other recruiters in your industry. When I first started my own agency, I reached out to other retail recruiters. They may be your competition, but you learn so much by talking to them. Plus, I made some great friends in the process

If you have a difficult search you can partner up with another recruiter in the same industry. Sometimes you just want to have a fellow professional to run things by and be a fresh pair of ears; it can really help you out. Check out their websites. You get insight in to what companies use recruiters and you learn a lot about your competitors and what they specialize in. You always want one leg up on the competition.

Happy hunting and remember to know your industry!


Image: phasinphoto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Shelle Orlansky has emerged as one of the country’s top executive recruiters specializing in the retail industry. She has worked in the retail industry for over 20 years starting out in high school as a salesperson at Fashion Conspiracy. Later, as a manager at Neiman Marcus, she worked with an upscale clientele and learned how to work with merchandising and upper management. As a buyer at Ballerina Boutique/Allez stores she contributed to their growth in opening 30 stores. In 1989, Orlansky started her own business in California's San Diego County called Here Comes the Bride. The business as well as the clientele is still there today. Ten years later, Orlansky launched a retail division for a boutique executive search firm. In 2008 she founded Retail Top Talent to serve her client companies and connect with the top talent in the business. The executive search firm is dedicated to placing top level retail executives with some of the most prestigious organizations in the country. She's worked with customers, employees, owners and companies and worked her way up in the retail trenches. Her extensive background in retail, in merchandising, and operations gives Retail Top Talent an in-depth understanding of what companies look for in candidates and what those candidates look for in future employers.