Best practices for hiring and keeping staff in today’s retail landscape
It’s been a challenging time for many companies, particularly in retail, to find and retain staff. While things seem to be leveling off for employers in 2023, companies still need to work hard to entice jobseekers and be competitive with not only compensation, but work flexibility and a healthy company culture. That means fine-tuning the hiring process as well as employee retention programs.
At T-ROC, we first prioritize promoting internally, which is made possible by focusing on career pathing from the beginning. Simply put, career pathing is showing an employee their potential for future growth at the company and then creating a solid, detailed roadmap on how they will achieve that. Companies can also groom their current employees for future promotion with upskilling—teaching them additional skills—strong management, and coaching that ensures that they are always growing and learning. That way when a job suddenly becomes vacant, they’re ready to slide into a new role and the employer is not scrambling to find a replacement. Plus, growth potential plays a strong role in employee happiness and determines whether they will stay or go.
Companies should also expand their external and internal hiring requirements to include soft skills and training hard skills. For example, someone with soft skills may be a standout leader, have a willingness to learn, be a strong communicator, or have a positive attitude that’s contagious to others, but doesn’t have the prior knowledge on how to use a certain software or operate a certain machine. These employees should be considered and then given the proper training and coaching to get the job done right.
In the current job market, those hiring from outside candidates must act fast. Good talent is scooped up quickly, and job seekers are looking for fast and clear communication whether that comes from the recruiter or the hiring manager. For companies, that looks like heavy investment in technology and systems from bots to artificial intelligence that immediately recognize a job applicant and respond with instant communication from an email to even a phone call. AI can even send facts about the job, schedule an interview or answer questions. Potential employees want to know that they’re moving through the process. At T-ROC we’re focusing on more efficient and proactive recruiting with our Applicant Tracking System (ATS) which allows us to integrate with sites like Indeed and other hiring sites to expedite the application process. It also allows us to leverage AI to automate and speed up screening, interviewing, onboarding, and candidate communication to avoid missing out on stellar candidates.
In order to fill more positions, companies need to stay agile and target people who aren’t looking. One unconventional way to recruit is through social media which is a hotbed of candidates, as this is where the younger demographic engages and transacts. At T-ROC, we encourage employees to post positively on their social media accounts about their jobs and workplace culture. We also believe in sharing the responsibility with our staff of finding and maintaining the best people through an Employee Referral Program. T-ROC rewards workers with who help bring in like-minded, skilled workers that they are friends with or communicate with through social media, with bonuses.
But it goes much deeper when it comes to attracting employees. Companies must lead with a healthy company culture that gives employees meaning in their work and in their communities. Jobseekers want to see that the company imbues certain values and is devoted to giving of their time or money to noble causes while creating opportunities for staff to get involved from volunteering to activities that raise money or awareness. At T-ROC, we are also hyper-focused on our DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) strategy, as candidates are looking for companies that value diversity and belonging. After the pandemic, potential employees also want to join companies that are committed to their staff’s wellness, safety, and support. It’s now one of the biggest concerns for those employees who are in customer-facing jobs or in single-staffed locations.
Once an employee does agree to accept a job, it’s up to the employer to onboard them properly, and offer long-term support and management. Turnover is extremely expensive and replacing an employee costs money and time. Engaged and satisfied employees make everyone successful. Hiring and retaining a staff in the current job market requires strategy, heart, and an ongoing investment in technology and training.