With unemployment hovering around historical lows, finding the right employees to lead the business is challenging for many retailers. While you may hire enthusiastic, capable people who can start in an entry-level role and work their way up, what happens when you need to find a manager or fill another higher-level position?
Seek people who aren’t job-seeking. If you come across someone in your day-to-day routine who is passionate about their work, has experience in the home improvement industry or in retail and you think they would be a good fit for your operation, gauge their interest in coming to work for you. Even if they’re not actively looking for a new job, your outreach may open their eyes to a new opportunity.
Search for a good personality, not the position. Speaking of finding a good fit, it’s always important to prioritize personality, especially when hiring a manager or someone who will lead other people. It’s also important that you overview your business philosophies so they can take time to consider whether your business and management style would be a good fit for them, too.
Ask for their input. You may find just the person you’re looking for in general conversations with the people you do business with every day. If you’re considering someone you already know, take them to lunch and get their thoughts on a business challenge you have. You’ll find out if their problem-solving skills match your needs and it’s more casual than a formal interview.
Be prepared to discuss the future. A popular question in interviews is, “Where do you see yourself in five years?” Instead of asking that question, be prepared to answer it yourself. If you’re looking to recruit someone from another place where they may already know their path, they deserve to know they’re entering a healthy business and how they will fit in moving forward.
Consider your current staff. Hiring from within is always a preferred method because they are already familiar with your process and you likely hired them because they fit well into your culture. Give one of your high-performing associates more responsibility to see how they handle it.
The North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) also has opportunities to build up your staff into leaders. The Foundations of Leadership course is a 16-week online program that helps up-and-coming managers learn more about their leadership styles and how to manage an independent home improvement retail operation. Click here for more information.