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Hiring and Managing your Retail Store Staff

As the owner of a retail business, you would have probably thought about getting some external help. You can put up a “pro-needed” advertisement for the vacancy at your store to take over a part of your workload, but the most challenging part in itself is finding that right person.

Here are some quick tips on how to hire and manage your retail store employees so that you get the help you need and don’t continue to face increased recruiting and turnover costs.

It’s not easy to find and recruit great talent for your store. Your existing tactics and strategy might or might not be helpful to recruit as many people as you want but this advice by customer service expert- Anne M Obarski might help.

Great employees are not born, they are developed in a business atmosphere where training is stressed, individuality is encouraged and personalities are respected. Word travels about the work environment in all sizes of stores. The key to recruiting quality employees is promoting and possessing a positive work environment no matter how large or small you are.

By keeping this in mind, your initial step is to develop criteria for the ‘perfect retail employee’ by having a concrete retail job title and job description. Make sure you mention their responsibilities, day-to-day duties, physical requirements, qualifications, and experience level well in the job description.

You might have a cash flow crunch and not have enough budget to prepare flyers or boards to hang outside your store. So, you can implement cost-effective ways to advertise your job openings on social media accounts like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc., or asking for referrals.

This whole process requires a budget and if you face a cash crunch, you can always go for funding solutions for retail stores.

Some of the things to consider before hiring,

To hire full-timers or part-timers? To contrary beliefs of employing a number of part-timers to maximize your business’ flexibility, this might cause disengagement between your part-time employees and your business’ brand mission as they are juggling between multiple jobs. Thus full-timers are preferable for your retail stores.

Devil is in the detail: Asking generic questions about your candidate’s past experiences or future goals will not work in this industry. Make sure to probe upon their knowledge and check how detailed their answers are. Customers love the staff who are highly knowledgeable about their product or service and are also willing to enthusiastically share this knowledge. Thus, zero upon a candidate who can elaborate on any given topic and answer without getting agitated when asked repeated questions.

Why is your store their paradise: It’s not enough to grill new applicants you have to sell to them. Give them every possible reason why your store is a great place to work in. Talk about your retail store’s history, how you view the environment you have created for your customers, the exceptional services provided by your store, your management style and how you want your customers to feel. This is one of the most important aspects of hiring, the best applicants will see how you are a fit for their style of working and be more inclined to take this job.

Your gut can mislead you: If the applicant is successful in ticking off all the boxes that make him suitable for the job, then find something not to like about them. Don’t go with your gut instincts and get tripped, ask questions like – Can you give me an instance when you didn’t provide great customer service? What did you do to handle that situation? This is where you can analyze and differentiate the candidates. If the candidate pinpoints such an instance and tells you what they would have done differently and what their learnings were, then it marks the trait of a great employee. Whereas the low performer will just tell you that there was no such time, or it never happened.

Look for Team Players: Retail requires employees who are great people’s person. Your employee should enjoy being around people and taking care of their queries. This quality will make the customer experience pleasant. So, make sure during the interview you craft your questions accordingly.

Onboarding new staff is the process through which new employees learn the responsibilities, duties, and program they need to work on.

How to manage new employees

Hiring a new employee is only half the river crossed. You also have to onboard, manage and train them to deliver their best possible work.

Unlike large organizations, who have typical formal on-boarding and training programs for new hires, small business’ onboard people on a case-by-case basis.

  • Introduce the employee to vendors and key customers in your business.
  • Make sure you observe more than you talk and do not sound like a person who knows-it-all, be open to ideas, suggestions, and new ways of doing things.
  • Motivation is key, so understand what your employees are inspired by. Encourage your employees accordingly and make them do better at their work.
  • People make mistakes, help them learn. Consider helping them reflect on their actions, and on what can be done differently the next time around for improved results.

Well, after you put in so much effort and time to search, interview, hire, train and then lead a new employee, it’s devastating when they prematurely leave.

You have to go through this whole hiring process again. A bunch of highly energetic, talented and committed team is what makes a business successful. How costly it is to substitute an employee though?

The small business chron estimates that on average it costs $17,000 to replace an employee; that’s an average median income in the U.S. The bottom line is it’s expensive to lose good workers.

There are various ways to increase retention for your retail employees:

  • Mostly, employees leave for better opportunities, not necessarily better pay. Make your employees see future opportunities within your company and envision where they could be in the next five years and provide them an advancement roadmap.
  • Get feedback and obtain your employee’s opinions and concerns in every aspect of your business.
  • Flat hierarchy in your workspace and keep your doors open for all your employees to walk in.

The expedition to find the best employees is a mixture of art and science. It requires good intuition as well as strong judgment. If you have made any mistakes in the past, learn your lessons, and move on. Hiring and managing employees is never an easy task, but that is how you get your store properly staffed. With the above-mentioned tips and strategies, you will have a better understanding of what else you can do differently to improve quality employee count in your retail store.

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