Hiring, Training And Retaining Winning Employees

By Debbie Allen

Today’s low unemployment rate is making retailers feel the pressure to keep quailed, motivated and happy employees.

The shrinking pool of available help for retail is taking its toll. Retailers of all sizes are struggling to find and hold enough sales staff to get the job done successfully. Think about finding more part-time staff, creating a job share program or adding creative work schedules to entice more quality applicants.

The impact of this vacuum in the labor market is that there are substantially fewer people available to work. With 280 million people in the US alone, why is there such a problem? There are a few major reasons, including a higher grown in retail chains and technology and other jobs offering higher pay.

In addition, with smaller Gen X population is needed to service and sell to a largely populated Baby Boomer generation and the ever-increasing Gen Y population. The Gen Y generation (ages 1-20) is expected to meet or exceed the huge Boomer generation of over 73 million in the U.S. Bottom line: a growing number of people to service and sell to, with the result being that consumers have had to learn how to service and sell themselves to save time.

If you want to offer great 21st Century Service, you’ve just got to work harder to find quality members of your team today. Here are some helpful strategies that should help you find those winners for your organization.

Hiring Strategies for Creative Recruiting In The New Economy

* Post a sign highlighting your company benefits
* Post a sign offering a free $50 gift certificate for anyone that helps find the next winning member of your team
* Create a brochure about you business and employee benefits
* Post information on the back of your business card about hiring
* Develop a bonus program for your staff to find new employees
* Post help wanted information on your Web site
* Post help wanted information at local colleges and/or high schools
* Ask your customers if they know of anyone
* Inform everyone you are looking: business associates, UPS driver, accountant, business associates - everyone

Questions to prepare before the job interview.

* Why would you like to work here?
* What is your perception of the business?
* How would you handle an irate customer?
* What would be your initial customer greeting?
* Why do you feel you would be a good sales person?
* What would help you to improve your skills?
* How would you go about creating excellent customer service?
* Why have you chosen sales as the career of choice?

How to get the most out of a job interview:
Once you find a good candidate, the job interview is where you’ll get the information you need to decide weather or not to hire him or her. Here are some ways to make the most of each interview:

* Allow adequate time for the interview
* Ask open-ended questions
* Hire attitudes and teach skills
* Get information before you give it -listen more and talk less
* Don’t over promise job benefits, hours or pay
* Don’t try to make it work if it doesn’t feel right
* Always hire on a 30- to 60-day trial period
* Picture them in your business - that new employee represents your image

The purpose of the interview is to gain deeper insight into the applicant’s skills, interests, values and beliefs. And, of course, to evaluate how these skills apply to selling and servicing customers in your business. Remember to ask challenging questions - avoid yes or no responses. Get the applicant to talk to you and sell themselves on the position. How else can you expect them to sell your store to customers?

This article was contributed by Debbie Allen, CSP “The Shameless Success Expert”  who is one of the world’s leading authorities on sales, marketing and effective self-promotion. Her expertise is in retail business, business image, marketing, customer service & sales.As an international business speaker for 13 years, Debbie Allen, CSP has presented to thousands of people in 11 countries around the world. She is one of less than 10% of professional speakers worldwide to have achieved the honor of Certified Speaking Professional by the National Speakers Association and International Speakers Federation.


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