For many retail stores, the summer season is incredibly busy, which makes it essential to find the right employees to help your customers. And now that the summer hiring season is upon us, you need to concentrate on overcoming the candidate shortage so your store has enough people to help the influx of visitors. We have gathered some great tips on how to hire seasonal retail employees from our retail clients that we hope you can put to use this summer.
Retail, and especially seasonal work, can be a fill-in job for students in college, moms (or dads) who want to stay at home with their kids but also get a bit of extra money, or those looking for an extra gig during the summer. With that in mind, it’s pretty clear why retail turnover is notoriously high. So, to hire seasonal retail employees – highlight your value proposition.
What makes working at your retail store worthwhile? Is it the flexibility? The salary? The work environment? Find out what makes your company unique and sell it to your candidates. We all have that friend that worked at a coffee shop and would bring a ton of free bagels and donuts to the party (spoiler: it was me. I am the friend), and those free bagels and donuts are a massive reason why I liked that job. Here are some ideas of things you can highlight about your store:
Especially when hiring for seasonal work, you don’t need to look for the king or queen of retail experience. As long as your candidates have the soft skills to be successful and you have enough experienced employees that can guide your new hires and show them more technical aspects of the job, hiring someone without experience shouldn’t be a deal-breaker.
If you’re hiring someone with no experience at all, ask them to give you character references from family friends or a teacher, and ask them to come in to do a trial day at your store. After watching how they interact with customers and coworkers, you should get a good idea if they’ll be a fit or not.
Chances are, your best seasonal employees will have friends that also fit into the culture of your company. Ask them to refer their friends, and if their friends are a fit – give your employee a bonus. Creating an employee referral program is a great strategy if the majority of your summer employees are students because eventually students graduate and move on to different careers, but they’ll have friends or siblings who are younger and interested in being a part of your retail store.
Your customers are your strongest brand advocates, so make sure they are aware when you have a job opening in your store. Put up a sign in the store near the cash register and definitely outline the perks of becoming a team member. They’ll already know your company culture and store vibe, making it easier for them to start out strong in their summer job.
It is 2022, so you should have an ATS that tracks applicants’ statuses, has their resumes on file, and allows you to evaluate each applicant as a team. Other useful software includes software that allows you to recruit via SMS message – which will garner you a much higher open rate and a faster response time.
And, of course, video interviewing. The ability to remotely recruit potential employees is crucial, especially for students who might be at universities out of state. Video interviews also save time (for both recruiters and candidates!) and offer more flexibility than an in-person interview. As an added bonus – they allow you to reach 30% more candidates than traditional interviewing.
If you need a sustainable solution to making quality hires – reach out to us for a demo or a chat. interviewstream exists to simplify your hiring process and create more flexibility and efficiencies for your recruiters and your candidates. Let us know if we can help you with your summer retail hiring!
Caroline Chessia is the Marketing Operations Specialist at interviewstream. She loves color-coordinated graphs, hiking in the mountains, and every dog she meets—especially the Golden Retrievers.