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Retail Closings Deepen Pool of Employment Candidates for NJ Companies

Paul Gordon, senior vice president of Sales, Rymax Marketing Services Inc.
Paul Gordon, senior vice president of Sales, Rymax Marketing Services Inc. - ()

Insights from Paul Gordon, Senior Vice President of Sales, Rymax Marketing Services, Inc.

Over the last few years, we’ve seen more than a few iconic retailers file for bankruptcy and/or shutter their doors completely. This shift in consumer behavior and shopping patterns can be attributed to many factors.

Most recently, long-time retail toy giant Toys ‘R’ Us announced that they were going out of business, leaving thousands of employees facing unemployment. Based in Wayne, NJ, Toys ‘R’ Us first opened its doors in 1957 and quickly grew to become the go-to retailer for the newest toys, video games, bicycles and furniture for millions of kids. Some 60 years later, it became extinct, becoming just another name on the list of retail casualties.  

Approximately 31,000 employees will be left without work. For the NJ job market alone, roughly 1,100 employees from the Toys ‘R’ Us headquarters will be seeking employment.

The demise of this chain and others is an opportunity for NJ businesses in search of top employees, the opportunity to retain top talent just expanded. With many organizations recruiting job candidates right out of this talent pool, some may be wondering how to retain the best of the best.

In such a competitive landscape, understanding what candidates and employees are looking for in a company, and meeting those desires, is what will set you apart from other hiring organizations. Through an effective employee engagement program, companies can not only attract top candidates, but also retain them for years to come.

Programs that engage and motivate employees with tangible rewards can be an effective way to connect with employees, foster continued growth, and encourage longevity. The strongest programs reward employees not just for years of service, but also for top performance and continued excellence. Recognition should come not annually, but instead on ongoing basis throughout the year. Points-based programs where employees can earn reward points continually, will inspire productivity and motivate employees to continue to set new goals for themselves. Disengaged employees cost organizations between $450 and $550 billion annually. $11 billion of that is lost on employee turnover. Engagement programs can remedy that and can increase profits by $2,400 per employee, per year. That’s because business units with high employee engagement have 21% higher productivity, see an increase in worker happiness and experience better overall work performance from staff.

Once employees have accumulated points, they’ll need a carefully-selected assortment of premium products for which they can redeem. A key element of choosing the right rewards is understanding what motivates your audience. Incentive trends tend to mirror market trends, so staying up to date on the products and brands that currently motivate consumers will provide good insight into which products should be made available to employees. Further, the best rewards portfolios offer items of necessity as well as items of indulgence. From Michael Kors handbags to Miele vacuum cleaners, and from Alexa-enabled speakers to Skullcandy headphones, your rewards portfolio should meet the varying demands of your employees. Demand for luxury products is very high and merchandise has a high perceived value. The trophy value creates lasting recognition and loyalty to the company.

Rewards can be redeemed online through customized redemption platforms, giving employees the opportunity to ‘shop’ at their convenience and carefully pick the product that they truly want. To further drive program participation, companies should organize interactive rewards events to excite and empower employees, while bringing engagement programs to a whole new level. Unique, in-person events that offer rewards picked specifically for the audience at hand, properly convey appreciation and show employees that they are valued. Employees love the feeling of exclusivity these events bring. They walk away with both positive memories and trophy-value rewards that resonate, leaving them inspired and committed to your business.


As the #1 loyalty marketing provider, Rymax Marketing Services, Inc., has created and executed award-winning loyalty and incentive programs for over 20 years. The largest direct brand manufacturers’ representative, Rymax has access to over 15,000 products from 350 of today’s most in-demand brand names. To learn how to recruit, motivate and retain top talent through highly-customized employee engagement programs, visit www.rymaxinc.com.

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