Guide to Hiring Workers
Most retailers need employees in order to operate a successful business.
However, finding good talent is not always so easy. It takes time, dedication,
and persistence to locate candidates who meet the job requirements,
and fit in well with your company’s culture.
Hiring and recruiting good talent does not have to be complicated. To
help simplify the process, consider the following steps:
Job description. Before you begin to seek your ideal
candidate, carve out what you have in mind for the job description.
Seriously consider and make note of the job duties, responsibilities,
necessary skills, and personality characteristics an applicant should
possess in order to meet the job’s requirements.
In-house candidates. Make it a priority to promote
within first. You may save yourself a lot of time if the right applicant
is already on staff. By offering a new opportunity to your employees
first, you show your appreciation for their efforts, and boost morale.
Strategy. Always approach your hiring process with
a plan. You have a specific position to fill, and you need to find the
individual who will best fit the position, so plan accordingly. If necessary,
utilize a checklist to ensure your process is systematic.
Marketing. Once you have a job description nailed down
and a hiring strategy in place, you will need to market your listing.
Post the job listing on your own website, in newspapers, online job
sites, and so forth. Create a buzz that you are hiring.
Before scheduling face-to-face interviews, prescreen applicants over
the phone. Sift through the resumes you have received and decide which
applicants you would like to prescreen. Keep the call short and brief,
maybe 30 minutes per applicant. Having telephone prescreens will save
time, and helps you determine which candidates you should call for an
interview. The point here is to narrow down your pool of potential applicants.
Depending on the position you are trying to fill, it may be necessary
to conduct multiple interviews. Although interviews are important, keep
in mind they are not failsafe – some candidates interview well, but
they may not necessarily be the best person for the position. Create
a list of open-ended, probing, and scenario-based interview questions.
Your objective here should be to learn as much as possible about the
applicant’s background and abilities, while exposing his or her weaknesses.
Keep in mind that a good attitude is important – hire for attitude,
and train for skill.
Ask an applicant for a few references. Ask each reference open-ended
questions that encourage him or her to openly discuss their business
history with the applicant. Interestingly enough, some applicants offer
references thinking that you will never check them. If you ask for them,
definitely check them.
check. Checking background history is one of the most important
things you can do in the hiring process. There is usually a small fee,
but background checks definitely pay for themselves. You will especially
want to perform background checks when an employee will be handling
money, cash, and credit cards. Check for items such as: past employment,
education, and certification verifications, reference checks; drug testing,
and civil or criminal convictions.
Skills testing. If a statistically validated test is
available that accurately measures necessary job skills, by all means
require the test! Interviews are good at determining attitude, personality,
and other characteristics – but tests are superior at determining skill.
Where applicable, use tests in the hiring process.
Drug testing. The majority of accidents on the job
are related to drugs and alcohol. The last thing you want to do is add
to the problem: issue drug testing for new applicants and hires to ensure
a drug-free work environment.
During the holidays, many retailers need temporary help.
Many employers will start their seasonal hiring process early so they
can pick and choose the best candidates. When searching for candidates,
make it your priority to search for candidates with related experience
because there usually is not as much training time. In addition, do
not discount college-students, who have time off around the holidays,
or retirees who offer years of valuable experience.
While you are hiring, you may run across a seasonal applicant who would
be an excellent full-time hire. It never hurts to plan ahead. If the
opportunity presents itself, consider bringing the applicant on full-time.
Remember that attitude especially matters during the holidays! You want
workers who are friendly with customers, and have an attitude that reflects
the cheer and warmth of the holiday season.
Retailers hire teens more than most other industries.
For teen hires, age plays a major role in determining what tasks can
be performed at work, and the number of hours a teen can work. When
hiring a teen, make sure you carefully research and understand the regulatory
and training requirements. For more information on recruiting and training
teen workers, read Hiring and Training
Preparing for New-Hires
Once the hiring process is complete, it is time to prepare
for your new-hires. When new-hires come onboard it is a good time to
make sure that all of your existing rules, regulations, and workplace
standards are up-to-date. In some cases, this may mean updating your
employee handbook and training materials.
Save time by planning ahead. Use new
employee checklists to streamline the process. In addition, make
sure all necessary paperwork and new-hire supplies are readily available,
forms, timesheets, payroll
forms, employee recordkeeping folders,
and so forth. You want to send a message to your new hires that you
are well organized, and prepared for their arrival.
Locating good talent is a challenging process. Hiring the wrong employee
is expensive, time consuming, and affects productivity. However, hiring
the right employee can greatly increase productivity, and positively
impact the culture of your organization.
Since turnover is hard to predict, put yourself in the mindset to always
hiring. You never know when you might meet a candidate who fits in well
with your team. Keep your eyes open – carry your business card, and
be alert to good customer service you receive in supermarkets, restaurants,
and coffee shops – you never know when you may be interacting with your
This article is designed to offer an informative overview on how
to hire workers within the retail industry. For more precise advice
on individual circumstances, seek the appropriate legal counsel.
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