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Retailers: Why You Keep Picking the Wrong Employee Time after Time

picking wrong employeeAs a retail consultant, one of the most valuable pieces of retail advice I’m asked about from an owner or manager is how to select employees that are worth investing in.

All too often, applicants that seem like a solid bet during the hiring phase turn out to be disappointing.

Understanding why this happens continually, then building a strategy to prevent it from recurring in the future, is the key to hiring strong-performing employees that can sell your merch time and time again.

Five Common Situations That Often Lead To Employers Making Bad Hires:

  1. Scrambling to fill an open shift.

    Employers who need to find someone quickly to fill a vacant shift often find themselves in a bind, particularly if the hours are traditionally undesirable (think Friday nights or Sunday mornings, for example). During the interview, candidates will often say whatever they think they need to say to get the job, but if the going gets tough when the job actually starts, they can leave you high and dry…and right back where you started. Have them write down availability and pledge not to change for 90 days.

  2. Giving current employees too much input.

    Present employees might like a particular candidate and push management to hire them, but there’s a good reason employees are employees and managers are managers. Basing hiring decisions on quantifiable attributes rather than employee recommendations will lead to a much higher success rate over the long term. A new employee isn’t there to “fit in” but do better; that won’t happen if you are hiring for comfortability.

  3. Hiring based on a “good gut feeling.”

    While the adage that you should “trust your gut” may prove to be true, this approach is no more reliable than hiring someone based solely on employee recommendations. As an important piece of retail advice, prioritize tangible assets far ahead of any good gut feelings you may have for a particular candidate.  If you really like someone, find a reason not to like them, find a fault or shortcoming so you have a balanced picture. No one is all good or all bad. Then remember…a good hire often is a flip of a coin. It’s how they take to your training where you’ll really know.

  4. Accepting the first applicant that comes along.

    Again, this tends to happen when retailers find themselves in a bind and feel rushed to make a decision. It’s always a better idea to take the time to do your due diligence than it is to place your trust in the first person who comes through the door who has availability. You don’t won’t win points with the rest of your crew if the bandaid employee doesn’t show up to open a week later.

  5. Hiring someone to help them out of a bind.

    People who really need the job can turn out to be excellent workers, and there’s plenty to be said for giving someone who desperately needs a chance the benefit of the doubt. But this approach is also fraught with risk, and sound retail advice and wisdom suggests it’s better to put in the extra effort to be sure. While you might love your best friend and her family, if you hire the daughter because she “just can’t get a job” – if she fails you probably won’t feel able to fire her.

Preventing these types of situations at the outset is much easier if you know how to match your applicants to the everyday demands and rigors of your retail job.

Personality profiling offers one of the most effective and reliable ways to do this. That’s why I developed a groundbreaking profiling test which employers looking to take the guesswork out of the hiring process can administer to job candidates. Check it out using the button below



Retail Employees: 7 Things You Must Do To Develop and Train

retail sales consultantYour success depends on how well you develop and train your retail employees.

Yesterday I shared an important story on the teenage mind, how there are two different neural and psychological systems that interact to turn children into adults. Over the past generation, the developmental timing of these two systems has changed and researchers have discovered that experience is what shapes the brain, not schooling.

As long as they are given real responsibilities with a mentor, teenagers are able to mitigate the effects of the onset of puberty at a younger age and go on to become successful adults.

I interviewed Scott Reed, who has owned his successful Chick-Fil-A franchise for 23 years in Marietta, GA for this post. His restaurant is known across town for its immaculate interior and manicured exterior.  Scott’s outlook about who he hires and where he focuses his training time provides clues for any retailer working with teenagers – or anyone really. Continue reading Retail Employees: 7 Things You Must Do To Develop and Train »

Teenagers Have Changed: Here’s What It Will Take For Them To Succeed In Retail

In the Wall Street Journal article, What’s Wrong With the Teenage Mind? Alison Gopnik takes an in-depth look at two trends affecting the maturation of teenagers.

She has found puberty is kicking in earlier and earlier, and that teenagers are taking on adult roles later and later.

She says in part, “In the past, to become a good gatherer or hunter, cook or caregiver, you would actually practice gathering, hunting, cooking and taking care of children all through middle childhood and early adolescence.

But you’d do all that under expert adult supervision and in the protected world of childhood, where you would have experienced the impact of your inevitable failures and learned from them.” Continue reading Teenagers Have Changed: Here’s What It Will Take For Them To Succeed In Retail »

What to Do When Your Employee Quits

We’ve all been there. You just got into the office, put your keys down and an employee drops the bomb, “I quit.”

It might have come out of the blue from one of your best employees. Or, maybe it came from an employee that you’ve never gotten along with. Regardless of the reasoning, it’s never a positive experience to have one of your employees unexpectedly quit. Continue reading What to Do When Your Employee Quits »

The Worst Thing To Hear From An Employee

Where were you when it last happened? At home watching TV? Attending a family birthday party? On vacation with a drink in one hand and enjoying a relaxing tropical paradise …

The fear starts when the phone rings and your caller ID shows it is your business.  You are snapped out of pleasant feelings into the “fight or flight” mode so you answer, “What’s wrong?”

Or …

You just got into the office, put your keys on the desk and an employee says, “We have to talk.” Continue reading The Worst Thing To Hear From An Employee »