Canadian Retailer - September/October 2010 - (Page 46)

| you asked us for I’m going to hire extra staff for my store during the holiday season. What are the things that I should consider when making these hires? It’s that time of year again when many retailers, large and small, are preparing for the rush of the holiday season and the increased customer traffic to their stores. Part of this preparation undoubtedly for some retailers requires them to hire part-time help to ensure that the increased traffic converts to sales and, above all else, an exceptional shopping experience for their customers. Here is some recruitment advice – often used when hiring fulltime teams - that retailers can also benefit from keeping in mind when hiring for the holidays. your bottom line, relying on some more rigorous techniques might just be worth the effort. 3. Give your hire the tools to succeed right away Educate your part-time help and seasonal employees with the knowledge that they need to be a true asset to your store, for whatever length of time they are with you. Teach them about your products, your customers, and your store’s goals for the season. This will likely ensure that, even though they may only be with you for a short time, they are prepared to hit the ground running and provide the service that your customers have come to expect from you and your full-time teams. 1. Conduct rigorous interviews When interviewing potential employees, always keep in mind that the person you interview, if hired, will become an integral member of your staff, and that you will depend on them to some extent to ensure that your customers are happy and that your store remains successful. Because of this it’s imperative that you conduct a thorough interview and ask all of the necessary questions that you feel are pertinent in order to gain from them a sense of their dedication and commitment, even if you intend for their employment to be part-time during the holidays. A quick interview that does not allow you to fully evaluate and feel 100% confident about a candidate will not cut it, and may result in a poor fit who won’t be able to help you achieve your goals during a key selling and customer service season. Also, be sure to standardize your interview questions so that you ask everyone the same ones. Make them fair, but make them rigorous. And you definitely don’t want to leave any stone unturned when deciding if this person can do the job, and if they are going to fit into your store’s culture and values. 4. Constant coaching With part-time seasonal employees, you may need to coach them a lot more than you do your full-timers. This, however, could be an opportunity for your full time employees to help. Providing an extra touch point and staff resources can go a long way to ensure that they’re comfortable and that your customers are too. The reward that you’ll receive by doing so is obvious – a better in-store experience for your customers, and a lot less stress that you need to deal with. 5. Consider seeking out the help of temporary staffing firms You can’t always do it all by yourself. To help with the recruitment and hiring of part-time help, a temporary staffing firm may be exactly what you need.They are often experts at finding suitable, enthusiastic employees and will also be able to ensure that the interviewees that you receive have already been screened, with references checked and aptitudes verified. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the recruitment and hiring of talented part-time and full-time staff, visit to explore our many tools and resources related to HR staffing and recruitment. Or, call our membership service team who would be happy to assist you at 1-888-373-8245 or 416-922-6678. 2. Be sure to check references References can sometimes offer additional insight into a potential hire’s character and employment mindset alongside a structured interview. If you’re hiring for the holidays, you may be tempted to skip this step. Consider this: references are meant to provide an indicator of a potential hire’s fit for your store–the best indicator of future performance is past behaviours. Considering the importance of the holiday season to 46 | canadian retailer | september/october 2010 |

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Canadian Retailer - September/October 2010

Canadian Retailer - September/October 2010
Publisher's Desk
Shop Talk
Store Design
Mobile Retail
Social Media
Environmental Sustainability
Human Resources
Business Intelligence
Technology Trends
Online Retailing
Advertisers' Index
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Canadian Retailer - September/October 2010