What You Need to Know to Hire the Best Hourly Workers for Your Retail Business

“The demand for hourly workers is going up, but with low unemployment, there aren’t enough people to go around,” says Snagajob.”It’s definitely a job seeker’s market out there, which makes it competitive for you to find and hire the right workers.”

Fortunately, there are several ways you can attract good job candidates for your retail business.

Attracting & Retaining The Best Hourly Workers

According to a recent Snagajob study, retail is the most desired position among hourly workers seeking jobs.

The key to hiring the best hourly workers for your retail store is understanding what drives them, as well as what is required to keep them motivated. When you focus on meeting their needs, you’ll create happier, more fulfilled employees who stick with you for the long run.

“A happy employee is a more productive one—and a more productive employee increases your bottom line.”

Source:  Snagajob

Here are 8 ways to attract and retain the best hourly workers for your retail business:


1. Shift Flexibility

About 1/3 of hourly workers view their job as a means of paying bills while pursuing other interests. In other words, they’re motivated by a variety of benefits. One of those benefits is flexible shifts.

When you offer flexible shifts, workers can fulfill outside commitments and have time to do what they love. This is a simple way for you to keep them happy—and keep them working for you—which will help prevent turnover and the high costs that go along with it.

2. Competitive Wages

When searching for a job, wages are a priority for hourly workers. Unfortunately, about 20% of those surveyed make less than eight dollars per hour. Keep in mind that hourly workers don’t demand much. In fact, the majority of them feel that $10 to $11 is a fair hourly wage. So, even if you offer a small amount over what other retailers are paying, it will give you a competitive advantage.

Can’t afford to increase wages permanently? You might consider bonus programs or commissions that will help motivate workers and give them a chance to earn more.

3. Convenience of Location

Another key factor for hourly workers seeking jobs is location. Ideally, they’re looking for jobs that are near home or close to public transportation to reduce the hassle of driving or taking the bus or train.

Consider promoting your open positions in local places such as high schools and college career centers, as well as in the local newspapers’ job listings. Boost your efforts even further by using local keywords, such as the name of your neighborhood, when posting online ads.

4. Less Restrictive Dress Codes

Snagajob discovered that about 30% of hourly workers consider being able to wear what they want (within reason) to work as an important factor when looking for a job. Of course, you’ll need to set some basic rules, including the color and style of clothing required, but leave a little wiggle room for workers to choose what they want to wear within those boundaries.

Creating a consistent look for your store, without making employees wear uniforms, could help you attract more hourly workers.

5. Store Purchase Options

When survey participants were asked about their favorite workplace perks, nearly 20% of hourly employees mentioned store discounts. Furthermore, more than 1/3 of them said they’d like a monthly voucher for purchasing products from the workplace.

When considering your new hire rates and workplace benefits, see what you can do to incorporate small benefits such as this one to help you attract more hourly workers.

6. Sufficient Hours

Not offering enough hours can be a major deterrent to finding good hourly workers. In fact, 65.4% of survey participants say they’d like to work a minimum of 36 hours a week. Most of these workers are willing to work multiple jobs—in addition to yours—to get these hours.

As Small Business Trends points out, you might want to consider the effects of your retail employees splitting their loyalties with other employers instead of devoting all their time to your store.

7. Mobile Friendly Job Postings

“Most workers tell us that using their phone to look for and apply for jobs is their preferred method,” says Snagajob. “That means it’s time to let them apply for jobs the way they want.”

Unfortunately, only 54% of employers post jobs with mobile-friendly applications. That’s a mistake, considering that there’s a 98% completion rate on mobile-optimized applications. Fewer than half of survey respondents used a paper application or walked into an employer location, so a mobile-friendly job application process can definitely give you an edge.

8. Timely Response to Job Seeker Queries

According to Snagajob, the biggest frustration for hourly workers is a lack of communication. Think about it…you’d feel the same way if you sent your job applications into “black holes” and never heard from those employers again, right?

To gain a competitive advantage over other employers, respond to every applicant, whether you plan to interview the person or not. And don’t forget to follow up with people you actually interview! Not communicating with them, whether they got the job or not, is simply rude.


If hourly workers account for 60% of the American workforce and 80% of all hires made each year, why are so many retailers having a hard time hiring good help?

“With the changing economy, there’s an increase in the demand for talented hourly workers,” says Snagajob. “But the low unemployment rate and a steadily shrinking labor participation rate is decreasing the supply of available workers.”

When you focus on understanding and meeting the needs of hourly workers who are looking for flexibility and opportunities for more work, you’ll gain a competitive edge over other employers and meet your own needs in the process.

Find out how retailers like you are saving time and making money with the Rain POS system. POS, E-commerce, and Marketing all in one.

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.