One of the topics I regularly discuss with retailers and one of my favourite training courses to run is how to recruit the best possible person. Most retail leaders don’t get trained in how to lead and coach; they learn on the job. Most learn by making mistakes and finding out the hard way. It’s very similar to learning how to recruit, most leaders have little or no formal training in how to do this.
Most retailers don’t follow a rigorous process to find the best people, they accept the best of the bunch they have in front of them. I don’t believe that is good enough in today’s very competitive marketplace, you have to hire the best to be at your best when taking on your competition.
If we want the best we have to define what we want in advance, be creative in looking for them and get beneath their pre-prepared façade to find out about the real person.
Here are four tips to help you out:
• Define what the perfect person looks like – what are the key personality traits you want? Smiling, holding eye contact, initiating conversation etc. What qualifications and experience (if any) do they need to have. Define the important aspects before you start the process.
• Be creative in trying to find these people. If you are finding enough great candidates with your existing process that’s cool, if not change it.
• Arrange to talk to and see applicants before the interview at a set time. Ask them to come in to fill an application form or to show them around – anything to get them in before the interview.
• Have a structured interview process that you follow with every applicant. Ask the same questions so you can compare their answers. Have a list of open-ended questions so they have to do most of the talking. You must have two people at the interview so you can take notes. Probe for more information and really listen to their responses.
I hope these tips are helpful, recruiting the right person is critical as I have already mentioned and it’s not easy. Yet, if you get it right your customers and other staff will thank you for it.
Roger Simpson – CEO, The Retail Solution and Author of “The Ultimate Retail Sales Experience” With over 35 years’ industry experience, Roger Simpson is recognized as Australia’s #1 Authority on customer ROI in the retail industry and as a global expert on staff coaching, customer service, and selling skills.