3 Tips for Hiring Rockstar Store Associates

More than any other industry, recruiters for retail positions have a level of volatility baked into their hiring. On average, retailers are much more likely to experience high levels of turnover compared to other industries, but there are exceptions. 

Certain retailers have been able to post high-retention numbers in recent years. 

Best Buy, for example, has pledged nearly $50 million to diversity, inclusion, and community efforts, which in turn increases retention by giving employees continued confidence in the executive leadership team.

While hiring managers and recruiters may not be able to allocate $50 million of their budgets to D&I initiatives, they can influence retention in other ways. Hiring effectively and getting the right people in place directly affects the company environment. 

Here are three strategies to help you attract the right applicants for store associate positions and positively impact your company’s culture.  

Enact a Generous Employee Referral Program

What better way to build a positive company culture than by hiring people your current team has already indirectly screened for? Employee referrals are one of the best ways to find the right talent for your stores. 

Applicants who are referred internally are likely going to be more qualified than random applicants because the employee who refers them should already be aware of the job requirements and duties, and will know whether the applicant they are referring meets these qualifications.

You can motivate your employees to make referrals a priority by offering time off, a small bonus, or other benefits. 

Role-Play Common Scenarios

How a candidate responds to common retail scenarios (and challenges) will help you understand how they will affect the workplace culture if and when they are hired. It will also help them understand whether this is a job that they’d want to do for the long term.

Consider having candidates work a half shift before extending an offer, and evaluate how they would handle various situations on the job. You’ll need to compensate them for this time, but the cost of backfilling an incorrect hire will be much more in the grand scheme.  

Hire Your Brand’s Biggest Fans

One of the best ways to increase company retention is to hire people who are just as excited about the brand as you are! How can you find your fans? 

Log into your company’s Instagram account and go to the “Mentions” page. Here, you’ll see every user (who has a public profile) who has tagged your company in one of their posts.

These ambassadors are already aligned with the company’s image and should fit in well with the culture you’re building. With an initial list of potential candidates, it could be as simple as thanking them for their tag and sending them a link to apply to job openings.