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How to Hire Good Employees for Your Store

For retailers, hiring the right employee can mean the difference between a great season and a dud. 

How to hire the right employee for retail?How to hire the right employee for retail?

For customers, your employees are the face of your store. How employees act, what they tell customers and even how they carry themselves can have a tremendous impact on the success of your business.  At Melrose we understand that finding good employees is difficult. That’s why we’ve put together these hiring guidelines as the first in a three part series called Hire – Train – Retain.

When hiring, before you even think of looking at an application, you need to know the job, understand your requirements, and consider your current employees. Once you have these down you will be prepared to start digging through resumes and scheduling interviews.

Know the job

To start, consider the job you are hiring for and ask yourself what tasks it entails. Use the following questions as a guide.

What activities will the person do? Start by making a list of the primary activities this job will fill. That may include working a cash register, stocking shelves, merchandising, and interacting with customers.

What parts of the job will motivates the employee? Then think about the rewards—beyond a paycheck—that an employee receives from doing the primary activities of the job. That may include satisfaction from making sales, helping people or creating a visually pleasing display.

What kind of business judgment does this employee need? Finally consider what “common sense” the job requires. That may include being a people person with the ability to read customers, an understanding of technology and willingness to manage a POS system, or good grasp of design.

Know your requirements

Now that you’ve mapped out the activities, motivations and business judgment required of the job, consider the requirements for the person who is going to fill it. Go beyond “retail experience” and think about what other qualities might make an unlikely candidate an ideal candidate. For instance, if you carry jewelry and fashion items alongside your home goods, then a college student getting a fashion degree—even one who does not have retail experience—may be a great fit.

Know your current employees

Consider the strengths and weaknesses of your current employees—yourself included—and think about what attributes would complement your team. Perhaps you’ve got a team of excellent sales people but no one who really excels at merchandising. Or your creative staff ensures your store looks great but constantly loses the sale tags. In this case someone analytical with a good attention to detail would be an asset.

As you move through the process of understanding the position you are hiring for, knowing what to look for in a candidate and considering what attributes will compliment your current employees, you may find you second guess yourself. If that happens, first, take a deep breath and then go back and review the list you just made. If all else fails, ask yourself, “Would I want this person working for my competition?” You’ll know the answer to that one right away and hopefully it will lead you to the best choice for your store.

Do you have a hiring story? Share it with us and the other MelSpeak readers in the comments below.

Melrose International is an industry leader in wholesale home décor, giftware, and seasonal items. Providing outstanding products, service, design, and value since 1985!

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