The Complete Guide
2020, the year of lockdowns and online-only shopping, is finally over — and as brick-and-mortar stores start to reopen, retailers expect a rush of consumers keen to get back to hands-on shopping.
But with these expectations comes a huge demand for workers and a lot of work for retail recruiters.
From running continuous recruitment events to drilling down on competitive job offers, retailers are diving headfirst into hiring — and it’s far from easy.
After huge layoffs and an ongoing debate over minimum wage, attracting great candidates is harder than ever, leaving many retailers struggling to get candidates through the door — some even resorting to self-checkout systems (and battling with the criticism that comes with them) instead of hiring real people.
So, how can brick-and-mortar stores balance customer demand with low candidate numbers, and still hire quality talent?
In this complete retail recruitment guide, we’ll give you the lowdown on the best retail recruitment strategies today, and help you navigate one of the toughest times for retail recruiters.
First things first, to get your retail recruitment strategy right, you need to define your hiring goals from the get-go.
These goals should focus on the number of new hires you need at different times of year.
For retail hiring teams, there are two main things to keep in mind:
To help define your hiring goals, ask yourself these questions:
Now that you know how many new hires you need and when, it’s time to drill down on your target candidates.
Many retailer brands wait until the eleventh hour, rush to post an open role, then sit back and pray to get the right candidates in. But knowing exactly who you need to bring on board will help you get ahead of the game with your recruitment marketing strategy. Think: Where candidates are currently hanging out online, how to approach them and what they will respond to best.
To get started, you’ll need to build a strong candidate persona, so you can market new job roles to the right candidates. Here are a few things to think about:
Top Tip: For many retail roles, experience isn’t everything — so focus on personality, skills and goals over qualifications.
You know your company is awesome. Now it’s time to let potential candidates know it too.
And remember, how you present your employer brand will directly affect the number and quality of candidates, so it’s important to get this one right.
Here’s how to make sure your company culture is worthy of awesome applicants:
MOD Pizza: A DEI statement that thinks outside the (pizza) box
EEO statements are a great way to show exactly where your company stands when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion. But there aren’t many companies that get it right.
MOD Pizza is an awesome exception to that rule.
The US-based pizza chain focuses on letting everyone know they’re welcome, no matter what, with thoughtful job postings that include inclusive language, links to company DEI initiatives, and an intro/outro focused entirely on inclusivity.
Their statement’s so strong, we’ve got it here in full:
“MOD welcomes people from all backgrounds and walks of life, and it’s reflected in our largely diverse community of MOD Squaders. MOD is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and is committed to providing equal opportunity for all employees and applicants. MOD recruits, hires, trains, promotes, compensates, and administers all personnel actions without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sex stereotyping, pregnancy (which includes pregnancy, childbirth, and medical conditions related to pregnancy, childbirth, or breastfeeding), gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, mental or physical disability, ancestry, medical condition, marital status, military or veteran status, citizenship status, sexual orientation, genetic information, or any other status protected by applicable law.”
Great news — if you’ve made it this far, you’re sure to have a pipeline full of quality candidates by now. 👏🏼
You know the drill: The next step is all about an awesome interview process.
When it comes to retail recruitment, here’s what an unbeatable interview looks like:
The fun doesn’t stop once you’ve found a great candidate.
Next, you have to decide whether to offer them the role or not — but either way, it pays to treat them right, especially if you want to hold onto that talent for future hiring needs.
There are two main routes to take to hold onto quality retail candidates:
Retail recruitment is a tough game to play post-pandemic, but with the right strategy and a few smart tools to help, you can find the right people in no time.
But before you dive in, take a little time to uplevel your hiring plan to reflect your ideal candidates so that you can hang onto them once you’ve found them (even if they’re not right for this role). Because the more quality candidates you have in both your pools and pipeline, the more likely you are to keep up with whatever the future may bring.
So, next time you set out to hire awesome retail candidates for your brick-and-mortar store, remember: The more plans you put in place now, the better your chances of hiring quality candidates later.