3 Mistakes That Lead to Bad Retail Associate Hires

Author Sean Behr Date Apr 15 2021

More than any other industry, recruiters for retail positions have a level of volatility embedded in their hiring process. On average, retailers are much more likely to experience high levels of turnover compared with other industries, indicating a need for improved hiring processes.

Below, we outline the top possible mistakes you may be making when hiring retail associates and offer solutions for how to fix them.

Mistake #1: Complicated Applications

Long-winded, multi-step applications can deter applicants from finishing or even starting. Make your applications concise and to the point to help increase completion rates and the amount of applicants in your pipeline.

For example, when creating your job description, avoid oversaturating the post with irrelevant details and convoluted messaging. When candidates are presented with confusing jargon, they’re less likely to apply.

Key takeaways:

  • Only list the most relevant job duties.
  • List not only job duties but also the basic requirements all applicants should have, such as a high school diploma, excellent communication skills, and reliable transportation.
  • Include the wage rate or a range.

Don’t be afraid to go into detail about the benefits offered as part of the job. Although these aren’t the main focus of the job, listing four or more benefits in a job description can yield up to a 22.5% apply rate.

Mistake #2: Incomplete Assessment

You might not always get all the information you need just from a one-to-one interview. To further evaluate the candidate’s skills, consider including role-play scenarios to gauge how a candidate might respond to common retail scenarios (and challenges). For example, how would they deal with an unruly customer? How would they react to a dispute with a coworker? These exercises can also help the applicant understand whether this is a job that they’d want to accept if hired.

Mistake #3: Unsuccessful Onboarding

Unengaged, unmotivated, and unhappy employees may consider leaving their roles within the first 45 days. Setting up your team for success begins with an effective and engaging onboarding program.

Onboarding should begin as soon as a candidate accepts the position and should be personalized and thoughtful. A handwritten greeting card, a bag of branded swag, and a coupon to the store or reminder of an employee discount can convey to your new hire that you’re invested in bringing them onto the team.

To take personalization a step further, include an interview question about their hobbies and interests outside work. This will give you some insight into their personality and can help you add a thoughtful touch to their congratulatory note.



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About the Author

Chief Executive Officer

Sean Behr

Sean Behr is the CEO at Fountain and has served in leadership roles at STRATIM (acquired by KAR), Adap.tv (acquired by AOL), and Shopping.com (acquired by Ebay). Behr also advises, mentors, and invests in entrepreneurs and early-stage companies.