The Secret to Hiring the Right Employees for Your Retail Store

Doing business in today’s competitive retail landscape can be tough, especially if you don’t have good employees who can help your store succeed. When looking for new employees, the default instinct is to hire people with good skills, but there’s a problem with that line of thinking. Here’s why:

“No matter how great your product is or how talented your staff is, says SurveyMonkey, “one of the things that customers are most likely to remember is the direct interaction they have with your company.”

Your retail sales team is the face of your company, and customers’ experiences will be defined by the quality of the service they receive. That means that the success of your store doesn’t solely rely on training, but it also depends on the attitudes and values of your staff.

Bruce Nordstrom once said, “We can hire nice people and teach them to sell, but we can’t hire salespeople and teach them to be nice.”

It’s a heck of a lot easier to train positive people who share your values and are eager to learn than it is to alter someone’s inherent attitude and personality.

In the book The Nordstrom Way it states:

“The company hires nice people and teaches them to sell rather than trying to retrain salespeople taught other methods. Nordstrom believes the best people have been trained by their parents while growing up.”

According to the Disney Institute, JetBlue believes that you can train for skill, but not for attitude, and this conviction is evident in their hiring process.

JetBlue conducts group interviews in which they observe how candidates interact with one another. This lets hiring managers gauge applicants’ people skills and communications abilities in a manner that would otherwise be impossible in one-on-one interview settings.

The Takeaway

According to Fivestars, 70% of the buying experience depends on how customers feel they’re being treated.

If you’re hiring for skills over disposition, think again. You can always teach them the necessary skills, but that will only take them—any your business—so far.

Behind the credentials of the people you hire, there are real human beings with attitudes, values, and personalities. Make sure they align with your company culture and your vision for customer care. This will ensure that you bring on board someone who’ll be able to connect with your customers on a meaningful level and treat them to a retail experience that’s out of this world.

Also published on Medium.

Sherene Funk is the author of the contemporary romance Autumn in Your Arms and two small business e-books. She is a voracious reader who owns more books than she can ever read in this lifetime. A graduate of Brigham Young University, she worked in advertising for many years before moving to her current writing position at Rain Retail Software. She researches non-stop to see what successful retailers do and loves to share what she learns with small business owners.