Going it alone in retail is not realistic; eventually, you will need to hire staff to perform a variety of day-to-day tasks to keep things humming along. Even with staff in tow, the challenges of identifying and retaining top talent should be at the forefront of your mind. According to the Center of American Progress, it costs retailers $3328 to find and hire talent, not including time spent advertising the position or screening potential candidates. That’s why you should have a list of retail hiring tips in mind.
Knowing what you are looking for in a potential candidate starts the age-old debate of experience vs. talent. While it is unlikely anyone would swing completely in one direction or another, it is important that you understand how these two key aspects should blend into the perfect fit for your shop. Is too much experience an indication of not as much training, but at the cost of a rigid work attitude? Can a candidate who is high on promise be counted on to properly execute a transaction while face-to-face with an irate customer?
Understanding the Right Mix of Retail Hiring Tips
One of the key retail hiring tips is to know what makes a good employee. Developing knowledge around what your exact position requirements are is a good first step in the hiring process. Taking the time to draw out each of the expected skills and job functions a candidate will need is surprisingly a very neglected task. Old job postings are regurgitated again and again, even though the duties and technology a potential candidate must be comfortable with have changed considerably.
Armed with this understanding of your position needs, you can now determine the best balance you need to achieve when it comes to experience vs. talent. This is typically best determined based on the attributes you are seeking. Are you looking for a new cashier to run your new POS system? Then you may need to lean more towards a talented candidate. Are you seeking a white-gloves salesperson to work with frequent, high spending clients? In this case, you may lean towards experience over talent.
Putting this all together requires you to examine the job duties that need to be filled, which in turn provides the questions that must be asked during a screening process. Listing these out also grants you the option to prioritize different skill sets by importance to the needs you must fulfill. You will then be fully prepared to begin your examination of the attributes each candidate may provide to the position, and if they are the right fit for your business.
How Do You Ensure That a Candidate Brings These Attributes to the Table?
Another of the top retail hiring tips is to determine the weight of experience against talent. Weighing up the pros and cons of each candidate may seem tedious at first but will actually shed some deeper insights into their character and work ethic…but only if you have taken the time to determine the attributes you need first. This brings us to the next set of questions that must be asked: does the candidate in front of you have enough experience or talent to stand out in today’s competitive retail job market?
There is a growing trend in staff management is to slightly devalue the experience metric over talent. But why is this, and should you follow suit? Yes and no. While experience has many potential pitfalls, such as being disengaged and burned out of the retail industry, it also comes with a myriad of benefits, like knowing when peak rush times are and being able to calmly handle an angry or dissatisfied customer. Talent on the other hand, can be likened to a hot baseball prospect; will their talents be seen in the production spotlight, or will it simply fizzle out into mediocrity?
Confused yet? You should not be alarmed if you are a little lost in making these determinations. Candidates have soft skills that simply do not fit on the CV, which should slightly lessen its importance. While a CV and an application can provide you some details, many will not be revealed until the candidate greets you, hopefully with a smile and an extended hand, and begins to answer those scenario questions that most likely made you sweat at some point in your career.
In retail, a key soft skill to look for is emotional intelligence. While “book smarts” can be a valuable asset, this will prove to be null and void if your brainy clerk causes dissatisfaction among your customer base. Rather, a candidate that exhibits emotional intelligence will build stronger bridges to your customers, which should work towards developing an increase in clientele. This presents a pleasant asset to your salesfloor and gives you a decisive advantage over other retailers in your area.
Sweetening the Pot to Ensure Long-Term Employee Retention
Lastly, one of the best retail hiring tips is to know how to retain good talent. Knowing the costs and time that goes into replacing a staff member, it is worth mentioning a few employee retention strategies. While it is unrealistic to expect retail staff to stick around for ten years, adding another year or two to their tenure, saving you valuable time and costs over an extended period is possible. Retaining staff is also advantageous to the business and customer aspects of your store. They become intimate with the inner workings of how you operate and can be seen as a trusted friend by the regulars who shop with you. This presents you with opportunities to be proactive in growing revenues and building policies that all work to greatly improve your profit margins.
Introducing A Technical Solution to Achieve Proactive Staff Management
Utilizing a high-tech POS solution will provide you with business-driven process improvements that will soften the duty of hiring and managing staff. You can use in-depth reporting to determine where you need to improve skills throughout your operation while managing staff schedules and payroll using an app. Staff performance can be determined, creating the opportunity for in-depth training and skill enhancements that work to benefit your shop. This may require you to seek outside assistance to ensure that the solution you implement is best serving your requirements.
Managing staff from hire to fire is a time-consuming, daunting task for many retailers. That’s why we developed our set of retail hiring tips, one of which is to amp up your technology. Staff management evolves into a precise, easy to manage set of tasks thanks to implementing an intuitive POS system. Contact us today for a free demo and more information on retail hiring tips as well as how to bring cutting-edge technology to your customers and staff management.