By  on June 24, 2009

Retailers aren't in hiring mode, but executive search firm Berglass + Associates believes retailers should check out talent now so they can get a jump on identifying candidates, especially in the Internet world, when the need arises and the economy improves.

Berglass is expanding to the e-commerce channel its “star search” program, which provides introductions of C-level talent to retailers on an ongoing basis and not necessarily when there’s a job to fill. The program has been utilized by such retailers as Limited Brands Inc., Chico’s FAS Inc. and American Eagle Outfitters Inc. in the brick-and-mortar channel.

“What we are telling retailers is if you want to get into e-commerce, let me show you, in a consultative way, the players and how this works. You will meet the stars and get educated,” said Les Berglass, chairman and chief executive officer of the firm. “This is not about a specific search. It’s about meeting the talent in e-commerce.

“The industry started in 1996, became profitable five years ago and now there is an incredible lack of experienced talent in the space and people don’t know what to look for,” Berglass continued. “Retailers think of e-commerce as a single-digit sales channel. If they focused more attention, it could easily be double digit.”

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