Recruiting Quality Employees
Recruiting and retaining quality employees is often the bane of any retailer’s existence. Building a top staff is crucial, especially in the retail business. The quality of your employees reflects directly on your store and affects sales. Here are some pointers for recruiting quality employees.
Large companies often offer online job applications. As a small business retailer, this may be overkill. While many business operations are more efficient through the use of technology, hiring a single cashier may not require an online application process.
The exception would be if you expect a lot of applicants. Many people who are not actually looking for a job have to fill in an application every week to remain eligible for Unemployment Insurance. An online application process will “weed out” a lot of these applicants, making the interviewing process much shorter.
The first step to recruiting a quality person for your store is to create a job description. You may surprise yourself if you are honest with the job description. When you are forced to think objectively about the position and outline each required task, you may find that you are unfair in your expectations.
Don’t forget to determine the number of hours you want someone onsite. You may just want someone temporarily for the Christmas season. Or, you need someone to work full time, but only 4 days a week with extended hours. Know the laws about employee hours.
If you plan to hire a full-time employee, do your research on benefits. Full time is 40 hours a week or more. This employee will become a part of your company, and will expect some vacation days, health insurance, and even sick leave.
You can also offer some benefits to part-time workers. They don’t usually expect many benefits, but a vacation day after a period of time and the opportunity to participate in a retirement plan will go a long way to attracting higher quality employees.
Other benefits may be at your discretion. Employee discounts, a pay raise after the first 6 months, or the promise of a company car after the first year can attract serious individuals who are looking for a commitment with their employer.
Describe the Work Environment
Is your store a “fast-paced” work environment? Perhaps it is a “low-key” store that needs a calm influence. A couple of words that describe the environment will go a long way to attracting the right kind of people.
Hire a Head Hunter
This may seem extreme, but a professional recruiter has already built valuable contacts and has a pool of potential employees to draw upon.
Temporary help can often turn into permanent help. People who work for temp agencies do so for various reasons, but many of them are looking for full- time employment at some point. Do your research on firms in your area that provide temporary employees. Usually, they can handle clerical work or perform technical tasks for your store. Some of them will do manual work. This can give you the time to take care of customers. These types of jobs usually require a minimum of training. For more skilled workers, consider contract employees.
A contract employee usually has a specific skills set. They will need a little more pay and often will have longer job assignments. Staffing companies take care of the payroll for these employees, relieving you of the burden. You may want a contract employee to fill in while your regular employee is out due to vacation or health problems. If you are just expanding your business, you may find a great permanent addition to your staff through a contract employee.
Where do you find good employees? For the small retailer, word of mouth is often the best resource. Post your job description on Facebook and other social media sites. These sites will be populated by people who are interested in your products, anyway, and will be more likely to have a personal interest in your store. Let your suppliers know you are looking for an employee. You may chance upon a sales rep who is looking for a job with less travel.
Printed media is also an option. Ads in the newspaper and on Craigslist can bring in applicants. Or, hire a radio spot on a station that reaches the demographics you serve.