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The Best Strategies for Retail Recruitment

Up to 85% of candidates are unsatisfied with hiring practices regardless of industry. But efficient hiring practices are essential in job fields like retail, where turnover rates are higher than average. Retail recruitment strategies have unique challenges because the ideal candidate has a mix of people skills, sales, and a focus on punctuality. These are essential for retail employees and difficult to gauge from just a resume. So, what does a savvy hiring manager dealing with high turnover rates do to find ideal retail candidates consistently? And how do they deal with an ever-shifting workforce? (Step 1: Don’t panic. Or don’t do it in front of the new hire.) 

Read on to grasp the retail recruitment practices you can utilize to excel in your role and improve your business with qualified candidates. 

The Best Strategies for Retail Recruitment

It’s simple math, really. The more quality retail recruits you hire, the fewer resumes you’ll have to churn through in the future. Here are the best strategies to make your job easier. 

Set Expectations

Setting expectations is just as crucial for you as it is for the candidate. Any job has many moving parts, but some are more important than others. (Sure, a bartender is a therapist too, but at the end of the day, their primary skill is mixing a drink and managing the chaos of crowds.) Figure out the primary skill your ideal candidate needs and work from there. Next, isolate 2-3 skills that anyone in the role can’t excel without. It’ll make it that much easier to write the perfect job requisition and to attract high-quality candidates. 

Another thing to consider when hiring for retail is whether or not a role is temporary or permanent. If it’s a temp position, put that in a hard-to-miss spot in the requisition and bring it up before the initial interview and during. Remember, tempering expectations for retail recruitment helps you find qualified candidates and retain them longer. 

Temper Expectations

Setting your expectations helps you establish a baseline of what your business needs. Tempering those expectations for retail recruitment strategies means aiming for the ideal retail candidate but, missing that, hiring the candidate that needs minimal work to hit your standards. For example, does your best potential employee have two of the three skills the job needs? Then consider how long it’d take to train them in the third and whether or not that would be cost-effective.

Cast a Wide Net

An employer can never have too many hiring options for a role. Businesses rely on their hiring manager to attract high-quality retail recruits, and casting a wide net lets you pull in as many ideal candidates as possible. To achieve the widest net possible, utilize as many resources as your business allows. That includes online job boards, physical job boards, targeted ads, attending industry conventions, or leveraging in-house connections to find your perfect hire.

Master the Interview

The ideal candidate is interviewing you as much as you’re interviewing them. Mastering the interview means asking targeted questions to weed out inadequate candidates. Mastering retail recruitment strategies is a balance between your industry experience and time at the company in question. Don’t shy away from your instincts, abide by hiring regulations, and reiterate your expectations for success. 

What Does Retail Recruiting Mean?

Retail recruiting strategies have become increasingly important in recent years. Mainly because the amount of retail job hires are rising. Retail recruiting is all about finding people to fill those requisitions. Thankfully, hiring managers have tons of resources to recruit the right candidate.

Retail Recruitment Challenges

One of the biggest challenges for recruitment in the retail industry is retention. Businesses with high retention have undeniably better profit-per-employee, also called Net Income Per Employee or NIPE. Plus, high retention results in higher morale and productivity. Another critical factor in retail recruitment practices is hiring the right employee for the role – this is true for any industry. Here are other challenges for retail recruitment and what you need to overcome them.

Temporary Hires

Temp hires, often due to the seasonal influx of retail businesses, are incredibly tricky to hire. Many hiring managers ignore major red flags just to meet the hiring quota for a given season. 

This is one of the few things in your control. Don’t cut corners. Practice due diligence and hire quality employees to reduce the high turnover rate. (Insert link to “How to hire temporary employees.)

Local Competitors

There’s a high chance that your ideal employee works for a nearby competitor. What can you do besides contacting them directly with the higher pay offer? Create a benefits-focused job requisition and advertise it within a reasonable radius. Leverage your social media accounts or traditional retail recruiting strategies to attract quality employees.

Retail Recruitment Strategies

Retail recruitment strategies are about adapting to a constantly changing workforce, seasonal demands, and more than a bit of savviness. Set expectations for yourself and your candidate, temper your expectations, and use all your resources to attract the quality candidates you’re looking for. One of the best ways to ensure potential retail employees are worthwhile for retail executive staffing is by utilizing KarmaCheck background searches. Conduct a series of checks to make sure your candidate is who they say they are and that they contribute to a safe and productive work environment. The first gate any employee has to pass through is you. Make it easier for quality employees to get in and more complicated for bad employees to breach the gate. The only way to do that is by keeping background checks and other tools in your arsenal. Get started with KarmaCheck. 


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