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Brand values

Production candidates place a premium on roles working for brands or retailers, rather than suppliers.

For three of the production roles analysed - sourcing manager, production manager and production co-ordinator -salaries in London are slightly higher. However, outside of the capital, quality assurance managers earn a higher average salary as there is more demand for the role.

Leanne Murphy, recruitment manager at accessories and handbag retailer Radley, says recruiting for production roles has been straightforward. She believes it is because many sourcing professionals working directly for suppliers want to switch to a brand or retailer.

"These candidates appear to be chasing that affinity with a brand to ensure they have passion for the product as well as passion for the role," she says. However, Murphy admits the company needs to work on building a greater succession plan when it comes to its sourcing team and planning for the future of the department: "There is definitely a renewed focus on training and development within the company," she says.

Skillsmart Retail chief executive Anne Seaman argues that as recruiting staff takes time, money and resources it is in retailers' best interests to support and nurture the talent they have in-house. "Investing in staff through training and qualifications is a proven way to develop staff loyalty, motivate employees and promote internal progression. This continuing professional development helps reduce retailers' churn rates and keeps talented, ambitious employees in the company."

However, when it comes to recruiting for production roles, brands tend to look externally, says Charlotte Ayres, senior consultant for design, production, technical and sales at Fashion & Retail Personnel. "It's more within buying and merchandising that [staff] tend to progress from within," she says.

For Murphy, the small team helps bring production staff to Radley: "Everyone gets involved, especially when it comes to directly liaising with and travelling to our suppliers and their factories. This is a major attraction for some of our more junior members of the sourcing team."

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