Short-sighted retailers have a bad habit of underinvesting in the labor force, increasing their struggle to find talent for hourly positions. Employers who view labor purely as an expense often provide low wages, minimal training and limited advancement for retail jobs, attracting low-skilled workers who aren't motivated to perform better. Quality employees need a reason to work hard for your company, so create an appealing work culture to recruit and retain top talent.
1. Pay Fair Wages
In a 2016 study, Snagajob surveyed hourly workers across multiple industries and found that 64.7 percent considered pay a top factor when choosing employers, but 58.6 percent earned $10 or less per hour. Despite a host of customer service, cash handling, merchandising and soft skills involved in retail jobs, employers treat them as unskilled labor and underpay for competencies that are highly valued in professional careers. Offering competitive wages or benefits can differentiate you from other employers and attract skilled workers who are willing to grow with your company.
2. Provide Employee Discounts
Making ends meet is a high priority for hourly workers, so store discounts and vouchers are an attractive way to save. These employee perks motivate your workforce to be loyal workers and customers while leveraging their value as informal brand ambassadors.
3. Offer More Hours
In the Snagajob survey, getting adequate hours was the top priority for 65.4 percent of respondents, and many were open to working multiple retail jobs to meet their goals. Restricting workers to part-time schedules may cut short-term costs, but full-time workers are generally more knowledgeable and committed, leading to better customer service.
4. Support Flexible Schedules
Both full- and part-time workers value time to manage personal obligations, such as school and family. Flexible shifts are an easy way to keep employees happy and reduce turnover. Consider using shift-exchange apps, such as Shyft or Shift Messenger, to empower workers and increase operational efficiency.
5. Design Mobile-Friendly Applications
Millennials are a growing segment of the workforce, and they expect employers to offer mobile-friendly recruitment websites for retail jobs. Make your application process easy to find and complete online, and create engaging career portals that positively promote the job duties, benefits, company culture and employee perks.
6. Speed Up Hiring Decisions
With the wide availability of retail jobs, using slow or unresponsive hiring processes can drive away strong candidates. Nearly 55 percent of the survey respondents were most frustrated by unresponsive employers, so keep job seekers interested by following up on their application status.
7. Rethink Uniforms
Surprisingly, the freedom to choose work attire ranked above discounts and longer breaks among survey respondents. Workers understand the importance of rules and brand consistency, but they value the ability to satisfy the criteria on their own terms by choosing their clothing style.
8. Expand Recruitment Efforts
Retail jobs don't just appeal to first-time job seekers and broke college students. Workers of all ages pursue full-time careers in hourly positions, while others see them as a stepping stone to management. To recruit a multidimensional workforce, advertise locally in places where a wide range of target candidates are likely to see them.
Hiring motivated workers increases profits and improves customer service. Instead of minimizing retail jobs, invest in employee benefits that make your business a great place to work.
Photo courtesy of Grant Robertson at Flickr.com