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Promoting the Value of a First Job to Potential Employees

Finding quality employees who stay long term and have the potential to become a next-generation store leader is a concern independent home improvement retailers express to the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA).

Recruiting members of Generation Z—who are the current teens and early 20-somethings entering the workforce—may be challenging, because less than half of them work full- or part-time, according to data from the National Retail Federation (NRF). Many of them aren’t interested yet in finding work due to the low pay of first-time jobs, among other reasons, the retail trade association reports.

Yet first jobs are the initial building blocks for careers in a variety of trades. In an NRF study, most hiring managers say retail offers “foundational skills and experience that are transferable to other industries,” as well as “opportunities to start at the ground floor and work their way up.”

Applied to Retail

When you are recruiting or hiring young employees who haven’t had jobs yet, you are offering opportunities for them to start building their work histories. Highlight that opportunity, and the skills they will acquire working for your business, in your job listings and in new-hire training. 

NRF lists some of the skills successful workers develop in retail, such as good time management, working on teams, multitasking and treating people respectfully.

Flesh out that list for yourself and make it specific to your business. Then, discuss the list with new recruits, reinforcing the fact that you are offering them far more than just a paycheck. You are launching them into opportunities they will benefit from for the rest of their lives.

Source of Data: National Retail Federation

About Kate Klein

Kate is profiles editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. She reports on news and industry events and writes about retailers' unique contributions to the independent home improvement sector. She graduated from Cedarville University in her home state of Ohio, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English and minored in creative writing. She loves being an aunt, teaching writing to kids, running, reading, farm living and, as Walt Whitman says, traveling the open road, “healthy, free, the world before me.”

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