Operators in Retail will tell you that the most frequently asked question from their executives is – how do we increase sales? How do we capture a bigger market share? How do we get 10% growth vs last year’s sales?

Every leader will have a different answer to the questions asked above, and there are many ways to look at your business and identify an opportunity where you can do better. In the next few articles that I write, I will explore different components of the retail business that directly impact sales.

In this article, I want to focus on a very basic one. Hiring.

Specifically, I want to explore the difference in proactive hiring vs reactive hiring.

Being an operator in retail carries countless responsibilities and most of them require time-sensitive completion and high attention to detail. So, a lot of what I do in retail is both, urgent and important.

Mistake #1 – I am fully staffed and I don’t need to do interviews.

When my stores are fully staffed and I am not in need of additional employees the urgency of recruiting and doing interviews becomes very low. With that being said, has it stopped being important for me to find the best talent out there?

There are many ways I can effectively spend my time that requires my urgent attention so I will not bother looking for good talent, especially when there isn’t a current opening.

Mistake #2 – I will pick the best available candidate from the round of interviews I do

When my stores are short-staffed the hiring need becomes both, urgent and important, so what I do then is to schedule a bunch of interviews and pick the best candidate/candidates from the pool of people I interviewed. Seems like a normal process, right?

Mistake #3 – I picked the best available candidate so the onboarding process will be shorter

Now that I hired the best individual from the pool of candidates I had, I am convinced that with their experience and background they will not need as much training and on-boarding so I will take some short-cuts in their onboarding process in order to get them on the floor sooner.

Here is what my experience has taught me on proactive hiring. I worked a program where all store managers were consistently recruiting and interviewing. Regardless of current staffing levels, every manager was responsible for doing one interview a week.

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When I am in need of an employee and I interview ten candidates I pick the best available candidate. Regardless of how strong or weak the total pool of candidates was, I had to pick one. It might be a superstar or it might be a below-average candidate, it just so happened to be that at that moment they were the best available.

Doing one interview a week allowed me to pass on and keep the average and above-average candidates on file. When I found a superstar I hired them, regardless of current openings. In retail, more often than not you can hide the additional payroll costs of an employee without doing a lot of damage to the P&L. With current turnover rates in retail, I know the need will come soon anyway.

Now imagine what your business would look like if you and your team consistently hired superstars? What is possible?

The best part is, it only takes an hour a week to do a proactive hiring program.

About Retailors Group

The team at Retailors Group has over 15 years of retail sales and field marketing experience. Retailors Group takes the time to understand your brand and align your core values into a tailor-made solution that builds a long-lasting relationship with your consumers.

We offer services in Experiential Field Marketing, On-site Sales Assist, Retail Management, and Digital Marketing.