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March 2022

Four things we have already learnt in 2022 about talent in Fashion & Luxury

  1. Covid didn’t stop fashion week, but employees don’t want to go back to the office.
  2. Google, Microsoft and Meta Platforms all recently announced return to office schedules in hybrid models for employees beginning this spring. Although all eyes are on the tech world, as ever, things are slightly different in Fashion and Luxury world where physicality is more necessary. Omicron looked to stop fashion week but ultimately didn’t, and the hesitancy over a return-to-the-office took a slightly different form from other industries.

    Employees have developed an evolved sense of autonomy over the last few years—the sense of being in control of your own agenda, time and location plays into a deeper desire for greater autonomy in roles, particularly in the knowledge economy. This is especially true in fashion and luxury where brands are working on how to make remote working more permanent.

  3. Employee values changed
  4. The rise of the employees’ consciousness regarding their own values and the alignment of those with that of their organisation, led to the inevitable mismatch and subsequent resignation and talent movement. Employees are becoming more “belief-driven” in the wake of the pandemic, with 6 in 10 of those changing jobs seeking a better fit between their own and their employer’s corporate values.

    Mainstream or lower price point brands have also created a pivot toward targeting consumers at multiple entry points by creating spaces for resale, further aligning with growing visibility around ESG issues.

    Larger brands, luxury brands, and those with their corporate identity linked to ESG values continue to win the talent wars by expanding their employee value proposition—therefore securing the best possible talent.

  5. The work week is changing shape
  6. Historically, salary and compensation packages have been the driving force in talent attraction, however, companies are revaluating their budgets and are offering a change in working hours and days to attract new talent and accommodate the existing work force.

    Reduced working hours could improve productivity, wellbeing and employee retention, and avoid the current trends toward talent shortages and compromises in the increasingly competitive market for talent.

    Ultimately, we’re likely to see a handful of organizations adopt 32-hour work weeks with the same compensation as a new way to compete for knowledge workers.
    Although – could this be more than just a handful?

  7. Tools are evolving
  8. Collaborative tools have been evolving since their inception—only accelerated over the past two years symbiotically with the evolution of roles and employees expectations. Whether one drove the other, or the evolution was organic remains a point of discussion amongst those who study the phenomenon.

    Asynchronous collaboration and ‘collaboration moments’ are reducing the need to schedule meetings and align time zones, further fulfilling the employees’ sense of empowerment and autonomy.



    These four factors have taken great effect already in the 12 weeks since the beginning of the year and are set to continue with more and more employees revaluating what they want, need, and value from an employer outside of traditional monetary compensation.

    Greater empowerment of potential candidates is driving a recovery market where best talent is already illusive and over approached. Distracted employees just may well have their heads turned by options they have not considered before.

Catherine Broome
Vice President