Retail Recruiting: Our Top Strategies

Do you consider e-commerce giants like Amazon to be the most serious threat to retail? Nope - the most serious threat is actually a bad recruiting strategy!

The retail industry in the United States has one of the highest employee turnover rates, and the pandemic has made an already dire situation even worse. In addition, most retail managers fail miserably at recruiting in a highly competitive labor market.

However, things can change if retail recruiters become more innovative in their hiring processes and attract outstanding candidates to help their businesses grow.

In this article, we'll tell you how to find, attract, and recruit for the retail industry. Read on to learn some of the top hiring tips and methods for retail recruiting.

What Exactly Is Retail Recruitment?

The process of identifying and recruiting skilled applicants for positions in the retail industry is known as retail recruiting.

Retail is one of the world's major industries, with billions of dollars in sales. It includes anything from kiosks and tiny grocery stores to supermarket chains and large department stores. So, what sets retail recruiting apart from the rest?

There are numerous hypotheses for this, and we think the basic explanation is retailers recruiting workers from various walks of life. This is owing to its size and the fact that retail enterprises sell a wide range of products like groceries, clothing, electronics, etc. Thus, there is no “one-size-fits-all” employee type. You need to take your products and target audience into account and then use that information to build the best retail recruitment strategy. 


16 Retail Recruitment Tips

We've compiled the following list of tips to help you develop a successful retail recruitment strategy that will boost your hiring efforts and attract top talent.

1. Establish your hiring objectives

Setting your recruitment goals should be the first step in any hiring process. You should build a defined strategy that helps you meet your business's staffing requirements. To do this, describe how many new hires you need, what types of individuals you're searching for, and the timeframe you'd like to follow during the hiring process.

Your hiring objectives may differ in the retail industry depending on the type of staff you're attempting to hire and the time of the year. Examine the store's history and progress, as well as any future holidays or festivals, before making your hiring decision.

2. Promote a flexible work schedule

The retail industry frequently operates on a timetable that differs significantly from that of a conventional workplace. Employees are needed at all hours of the day in 24-hour supermarkets, weekend shopping complexes, and appointment-only boutiques, creating a need for a workforce that can be adjusted to the demands of store management.

Many individuals go for retail jobs because of the flexible hours they can work. Working a flexible schedule is one of the most coveted qualities of a retail job, whether it's a side hustle, supplemental employment while in school, or a full-time profession. People in the retail industry also enjoy the flexibility of working shorter shifts or rotating schedules.

Thus, we think that providing a flexible schedule is an excellent method to attract people looking for a job that suits their hectic schedule.

3. Create detailed job descriptions

Learn how to develop job descriptions that attract the right type of people for the retail roles you need to recruit. Ensure sure to specify the technical skills and cross-functional experiences you seek in your ideal candidates. We recommend that you use online retail job description templates to save time.

4. Don't write off a less-experienced candidate

A long and detailed resume may be required for C-suite positions, but they should not be expected for retail positions. Employers must recruit suitable people with varying levels of work experience, including zero, for entry-level retail employment.

Rather than trying to recruit retail staff with extensive experience, look for applicants with the right attitude. Since we believe human connection is so important in the retail industry, candidates with a brief CV who display exceptional people skills may be a better fit than those with a long resume but a bad attitude.

5. Recruit people with character

When recruiting for a customer-facing position, your ideal applicant must be pleasant, engaging, and enjoyable to work with. With these qualities, they will leave a favorable impression on the buyer. Passionate employees last longer in the minds of your customers than someone who works their shift without any zeal.

A fun personality among your retail staff benefits more than just your customers. Your recruits should be able to operate as part of a team and be a suitable fit for your current workplace. After all, having staff that doesn’t get along can lower morale, leading to other team members leaving or feeling upset about their jobs.

6. Promote your brand’s image

Retail recruiters should convey to job seekers how a position in the retail business may help them advance their careers. Emphasize that your company cares about the success of its staff!

A compelling employee value proposition can persuade candidates that retail jobs are worthwhile. A clear brand image illustrates why a candidate will have a positive experience as a prospective employee, whether through the goods sold, the benefits supplied, or the overall impact on the community. When a candidate expresses interest in your company, recruitment marketing tactics such as e-mail and text campaigns can help them convert that interest into a completed application.

7. Be transparent about what the job entails

Unreasonable expectations are one issue that might lead to excessive attrition. So, put this to rest by portraying what it's like to work with you realistically. Transparency about the job's highs and lows might help your new hire prepare for the expected difficult circumstances. You can then eliminate applicants who aren't ready to deal with consumers in high-pressure situations.

Provide a situational judgment exam in your hiring process to check if potential applicants can handle the daily challenges of the position. This is a multiple-choice test based on real-life scenarios that the candidate would most likely encounter while working.

8. Consider hiring from industries other than retail

Look outside the box while scouting for retail candidates. Take a look outside of the retail industry, and you might also find some excellent individuals in other fields, such as academic staff, rescue workers, or students, to name a few.

Don't be hesitant to hire people who haven't worked in retail before. They could end up being your top performers, bringing different insights and inventive ideas to the table.

9. Maintain a strong talent pool

One of the major recruitment issues that retail businesses encounter is high staff turnover. Because retail jobs are frequently used as stepping stones to higher-level positions, it's critical for retail recruiters to keep looking for talent even when there aren't any urgent openings.

We think the best way to overcome a high turnover rate and attract prospects throughout the year is to invest in a solid recruitment marketing plan. Try things like promoting your brand across all social media platforms, inviting applicants to join your talent network, and frequently communicating with prospective staff all year round.

When the moment arises to hire personnel for newly available positions or bring in new staff members for seasonal employment, you'll have a well-established talent pool ready for their next job.

10. Go digital by recruiting through social media

Today's retailers work in a highly competitive environment that necessitates keeping up with the times. If you want to attract top candidates, you need to look beyond traditional channels like job boards. Social media is well-known for its effectiveness as a recruiting tool. LinkedIn offers a range of talent management tools that help you identify, vet, and contact applicants.

You can use Twitter to promote your job vacancies and create a specific careers link on your Facebook page. We also recommend using Instagram, which has shown to be an effective venue for attracting a young generation of candidates.

11. Employ your customers

It would be best for your business if your staff shares your enthusiasm for creating a unified, healthy, and credible brand identity. What better way to ensure this passion than to hire your most dedicated customers? 

Customers are excellent candidates because they are familiar with and enthusiastic about your brand, product lines, and services. Having them become a part of the team allows them to communicate their enthusiasm for your brand formally.

12. Recruit internally for higher positions

When the economy is robust, retail employees have more options to leave their existing companies because they see opportunities for advancement elsewhere. Employers who provide similar possibilities in-house have a better chance of retaining top personnel.

Start focusing on creating an internal mobility culture to reduce turnover. You can improve your staff's perspective of their potential at your retail chain by doing so.

13. Referrals are a fantastic resource

Plenty of your greatest staff already knows and hang out with other retail staff. Because of these ties, referrals are the most effective hiring strategy. Encouraging each of your top-performing workers to locate, assess, sell, and then suggest at least one quality potential recruit each month is the key to referral success. To motivate referrals, provide immediate feedback to employees when they make referrals and offer an incentive for each recommendation employed, such as a cash bonus or gift vouchers.

14. Streamline the onboarding process

When an applicant accepts a job offer, there is usually a time between when they accept the offer and when they begin working. This, however, does not have to be a waste of time. It's a great way to get them involved in your pre-boarding process.

This includes providing new workers with an employee handbook, familiarising them with daily chores and responsibilities, and advising them about safety, vacation and sick leave policies, and complaint procedures, among other things. They should be familiar with all of the fundamentals and workplace frameworks before their first day on the job.

When they start training, you move from the pre-boarding process to the retail onboarding process. This should include checking in with new hires and matching them with a senior colleague to mentor and support them. Beginning a new job is exciting and always a little scary, so being supportive and guiding them in the correct direction may make a huge difference in work satisfaction.

15. Make the interview process easier

Several retail chains have high-volume hiring requirements; therefore, it's critical to gather as many applicants as possible during the hiring process. By removing complexity from the interview process, you can ensure that you always have a consistent stream of applicants available for recruiting for retail and onboarding.

We recommend that businesses use mobile job applications through which candidates can easily apply from their smartphones with only a few pre-screening questionnaires. The business rapidly decides which candidate matches the minimum requirement for the job.

16. Concentrate on the recruiting strategy that produces the best result

Recruitment and talent analytics can assist you in determining which of your recruitment sources attracts the most qualified individuals. Once you've figured out what works, you can devote more time and resources to it. For example, if you're obtaining great hires through employee referrals, it's a good idea to expand your referral recruiting plan.

To make this work, you'll need to collect data about all of your candidates and workers on a regular basis. This includes assessing new employee performance, particularly within the first three months, to determine whether the recruitment method resulted in a suitable fit.

Recruit Top Talent and Fulfill Core HR Tasks With Lanteria

When it comes to hiring the best people with the required capabilities, retail recruiters and the industry face a unique set of hurdles; recruiting quality workers rapidly is a hard task in the retail industry, where the majority of workers are hourly, part-time, or seasonal.

We believe that adopting the right strategy from the above list of tips could be the key for your business to navigate the retail industry more effectively.

The talent acquisition software from Lanteria makes high-volume retail recruitment a breeze. Lanteria speeds up the recruiting process from screening through interviewing, allowing you to keep up with and meet your high-volume pipeline targets. Contact us today to find out more and speak to our team of experts!

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