How to hire retail employees

Retail recruitment can be challenging, as retail workers must possess the right mix of hard and soft skills to succeed in the industry. Retail workers often have to work at pace, show empathy, solve problems on the spot, communicate effectively and adapt to changes in a busy environment.  

Retail workers also need to be great salespeople, be able to manage their time effectively, retain product knowledge and have the technical skills to process payments and ensure products are stocked and ordered on time. In this article, we’ll discuss how to attract the best retail talent possessing these rare sets of hard and soft skills and how you can retain them in the long run. 

Benefits of using skills assessments to recruit retail staff

Recruiting retail staff can be tricky as recruiters often have to deal with a large number of applicants, spikes in hiring needs during annual holidays and, in some cases, a high turnover rate. Using skills assessments to understand the candidate is a good idea for the following reasons. 

1) Skills assessment offers an objective evaluation

Skills evaluations offer an impartial means of assessing a candidate’s aptitudes and proficiencies. Rather than depending only on a candidate’s subjective assessments or statements from CVs or previous employers, they offer verifiable proof of their abilities, so you can rest assured that applicants are evaluated based on their true ability.

2) Skills assessments identify job-specific competencies

Retail workers must possess a certain set of skills, including cash handling, inventory management, sales strategies, and customer service skills. By using assessments, employers see what skills an applicant has, and an applicant can prove their skills directly to the employers. This is a far more efficient way of gauging skills and gives employers a far better picture than what’s listed on an applicant’s CV. 

3) Skills assessments save time

Skills assessments effectively determine candidates’ talents early in the recruitment process and reduce the number of candidates selected for an interview. They also save recruiters from the task of searching CVs to see if candidates have the abilities required for the position. Thanks to skills assessments, recruiters can focus on candidates who have proven the necessary competencies by evaluating skills up front.

4) Skills assessments predict job performance 

Candidates who do well in assessments will likely do well while working on the shop floor or even in HQ and office roles. A test that mimics sales situations or customer interactions, etc, can show whether a candidate is capable of managing the pressures of a retail setting.

5) Skills assessments are fair 

Skills assessments guarantee that applicants are assessed according to the same standards, as every candidate must pass the same tests. This lowers the possibility of prejudice and discrimination by promoting uniformity and fairness in the recruiting process.

The importance of a quick and effective onboarding process

As well as attracting new staff, skills assessments also help make the employee onboarding process quicker and more effective, as the HR department already knows the strengths and weaknesses of a new recruit. A quick and effective onboarding process helps integrate an employee into the company’s culture and develops them into a productive team member. When the onboarding process runs smoothly, it shows new hires that their workplace will foster both professional growth and support.

Retail retention strategies 

The best retention strategies are all built around how staff are treated day to day. By offering the following benefits, you’ll be able to retain talented staff members for longer. 

1) Competitive base salary and benefits 

Providing a competitive base salary and benefits package is a great way to retain retail workers. Research shows that increasing pay among warehouse workers by one dollar per hour resulted in a 2.8% retention boost. Reviewing salaries on a regular basis and increasing them according to good performance will help retain employees for many years.

2) Employee recognition 

According to Forbes, when employees feel recognised at work, they are less likely to leave. Nobody likes to feel undervalued at work. Showing appreciation to high-performing employees with rewards such as bonuses, time off, gift cards, etc, will show the individual and their team that they are highly valued.  

3) Training opportunities

Training opportunities are a fantastic way of making employees feel motivated in the workplace, which dramatically helps employee retention. Simply put, nobody likes to feel bored at work. According to LinkedIn’s 2022 Workplace Learning Report, a whopping 94% of employees who left their jobs said they would have remained in their roles longer if the company had invested more in teaching them new things.  

4) Feedback and coaching 

Offering staff constructive feedback on a regular basis makes them feel valued and perform to the best of their abilities and reduces staff turnover rates. Providing staff with mentoring and coaching will help them advance and succeed in their positions and even work their way up to higher positions. 

5) A positive work environment

According to Harvard Business Review, people working in positive work cultures are more productive. Forbes found that a toxic workplace culture is ten times more likely to drive employees away. To keep your staff from leaving, it’s important to create a happy, upbeat work environment full of highly motivated employees. In retail, it’s important to promote cooperation, honest communication and staff input.

Emerging trends in retail recruitment 

The world of work has changed rapidly since the pandemic, and the retail industry is one of the industries that has changed the most. Even before the pandemic, e-commerce had reshaped the role of a retail worker and impacted staffing needs. 

Online retail means hiring candidates with good digital abilities is more important than ever. Today’s retail workers might be expected to be tech-savvy and understand social media management to promote sales and offer better customer service.

As more people shop online, customers who still come to a brick-and-mortar store must be offered the best standard of customer care. Now, retailers want people with outstanding customer service abilities and a thorough awareness of customer needs. This involves having the capacity to manage client complaints, connect with customers, and provide tailored shopping experiences. As retail is a rapidly changing industry, employees also want to hire people who show resilience and adaptability, who can quickly respond to change and easily adopt new technology. 

The bottom line

Attracting the best people to your retail store and reducing employee turnover is easier with skills assessments. Employee assessments such as the Clevry Assessment Platform offer powerful insights into a candidate’s personality and abilities to give you a bigger picture of the person you choose to hire.   


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