How many of you have hired salespeople knowing it could be a temporary fulfillment? Perhaps a summer job or a high school staffer looking to earn some money for a car or college? Despite turnaround, most retailers and business owners hope to find an employee, temporary or permanent, who is dedicated and customer friendly when on the floor. Unfortunately, two out of three new hires will disappoint you, as 95 out of 100 of them exaggerate during the interview process. Retailers can expect a plethora of applicants, as “Good employment opportunities are expected because of the need to replace the large number of workers who leave the occupation each year,” according to the Bureau of Labor Stattistics. That leaves you facing the challenge to prevent any hiring mistakes, especially if you will be hiring frequently.
Four Things to Consider During the Hiring Process
Tom Harnish, writer for American Express Open Forum, recently published his advice on four avoidable mistakes frequently made during the hiring process. Your employees will be handling two of the most important elements of your business, customers and cash, and you need to ensure that they will work with care.
Interviews don’t tell all: An interview is generally about employer and employee chemistry. But what does that tell you about their performance level? As recommended by Harnish, “You need to use a structured interview with questions that have been validated as good predictors of performance.”
Comparisons can’t be made to your model employee: Everyone wants a staff of superstars, but you can’t mirror your best employees by matching characteristics. Harnish’s advice, “You can avoid the mistake of trying to clone your superstars by finding someone who has done the work to validate the critical skills for success.” The proof of a superstar is in the experience.
A position isn’t all personality: Don’t assume that a certain personality type is built for a certain position, especially when an interviewee is putting on their best face and best manners. You are better off basing your decision on skills-based or job-knowledge tests.
Take a close look into their past: Pre-screening is essential. According to Harnish, “As many as one in three resumes leave out important information, and some estimates suggest as much as 40 percent of all information on resumes is false or misleading.” If your interviewee is taking great effort to hide a history, how trustworthy can they be on the job?
Investing in Your Final Decision
Hopefully, with the consideration of the above hiring guidelines, you’ve avoided common mistakes and made the best decision for you and your store. To ensure you’ve hired the type of employee you are looking for, there must be continued investment on your part. No one is perfect, but with a little guidance you could build a staff of superstars. For instance, most retail salespersons receive on-the-job training, including topics on customer service, security, policies and procedures, cash register operation etc.