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5 Tips for Finding the Best Employees

5 Tips for Finding the Best Employees

When a member of your team decides to leave, finding someone new to replace them can be one of the most difficult tasks you have all year. Your employees are the face of your business. They can make or break your customer service. They can be the difference between a great year of sales or a mediocre one. The time and effort you put into the recruiting process can be reflected in the quality of employee you get. Here are five tips to help as you think about your next hire.

1. Always Be Recruiting

Don’t wait until you are in desperate need of a new employee. Wherever you shop or do business in your community, always keep your eye out for employees who give you great customer service. Hand them a business card and tell them to give you a call if they’re ever looking for a job. Some retailers even maintain job postings up on recruitment sites even if they don’t have an open position, so they at least get exposure to quality candidates who might be on the lookout for a new job. Especially in markets where the pool of quality candidates seems to be small, it’s important to be ready for great opportunities to hire when they come up.

2. Look for Personality

Even if you find a job candidate who is a walking encyclopedia of hardware knowledge, they still may not be the best fit for your business. Success in the retail world hinges on good customer service, and that is usually best delivered by those who have a positive attitude and strong people skills. Of course, you want an employee who can learn the product knowledge needed to be effective on the salesfloor, but knowledge can be taught; personality cannot. Use your time in your interview to gain insights in to a candidate’s personality and character.

3. Communicate Your Culture

Can you easily and succinctly tell a candidate your company’s mission statement, goals and values? Hiring someone who doesn’t fully understand the culture of your company, or who is not likely to fit in well with your team, could be an exercise in futility. Employees who do not operate well in your company culture may grow frustrated or not be good team players, and they may soon look for another job. Clearly communicate your company culture during the interview so the candidate knows what to expect.

4. Review Your Training Plan

Job candidates could be intimidated by all of the knowledge a job in the hardware business requires. Make sure you have a clear plan for how you will train a new employee and communicate those steps during the interview process. Reassure candidates that you are invested in their training, not only during the orientation phase, but also in their ongoing career development. Quality job candidates will likely be thinking about how they can advance their career, so show them how that will be possible within your business.

5. Get Current Employees Involved

Don’t be the only one on your staff that interviews a potential new employee. Get others on your staff involved. Having one more person involved will give you multiple opinions about a candidate’s suitability. This is also a good opportunity to see staff interact with the candidate and spot potential problems right away. Some retailers even allow job candidates to work at the store for a day to give them more insights on the hiring decision.

About Jesse Carleton

Jesse Carleton
Jesse Carleton has visited independent hardware retailers, conducted original research on the industry and written extensively about the business of hardware retailing. Jesse has written for more than a dozen of NRHA’s contract publishing titles, all related to the hardware retailing industry. He also was instrumental in developing the Basic Training in Hardware Retailing courses now used by thousands of retailers across the country.