Retail Recruitment: 7 Tips to Attract and Keep Top Talent

Retail Recruitment: 7 Tips to Attract and Keep Top Talent

Marcus Mak

January 15, 2024


Jan 15, 2024


8 min read

Check Interview candidate profiles
Check Interview candidate profiles
Check Interview candidate profiles
Check Interview candidate profiles

What is retail recruitment?

Retail recruitment is the process of identifying and hiring individuals for roles in the retail sector, from entry-level positions to management. The goal is to find candidates with the right skill sets and cultural fit for your company.

The recruitment journey starts with defining job requirements and advertising positions before moving on to screening and interviewing candidates. This process may include background checks and reference verifications to ensure each candidate’s qualifications.

Nearly 4 in 5 employers report experiencing difficulties finding skilled talent in 2023, so if you’re having trouble recruiting the right people, you’re not alone. When recruiting, it’s important to look for individuals who have skills that enable them to meet the unique demands of the retail industry, such as organizational and customer service skills.

However, in a competitive hiring environment, the challenge isn’t just finding the right people to meet these demands but also retaining them.

In this article, we’ll dive into key strategies to help you retain the best possible team and deliver strong business results.

Common challenges of retail recruitment

Gallup’s latest State of the Workplace Report cautions that organizations must adapt to the modern workforce’s needs in order to attract and keep great employees and customers.

In the context of retail, this statement underscores a unique set of recruitment challenges, including the following:

High turnover rates

High turnover rates are a common hurdle in many industries. In fact, over one-third of employees are likely to quit their jobs within the next year.

Finding employees with the right skill sets

Working in retail requires employees to have customer service expertise, product knowledge, and sales ability, among other skills.

Retail manager and retail workers

Notably, 48% of companies report that their top recruiting priority is to improve the quality of hire. This statistic highlights the need to invest in top-notch recruitment processes to make hiring efforts more effective.

Locating qualified candidates

The retail industry saw a 52% increase in hiring in 2022. But where are these qualified candidates coming from?

Many retailers struggle to find suitable people because traditional recruitment methods often don’t reach them. The challenge for retailers, then, is targeting the right platforms and strategies to attract candidates with the necessary qualifications.

Lack of technological adoption

Only 12% of hiring professionals use artificial intelligence in their recruiting or talent management processes. Slow adoption of recruitment technologies can hinder the retail hiring process’s efficiency and effectiveness.

7 retail recruitment tips

Here are seven actionable tips to help improve your hiring process and secure the best possible talent for your retail business:

1. Set specific hiring goals

Define clear objectives for each role. Don’t just copy and paste generic job descriptions; instead, outline the desired skills, experience, and cultural fit necessary for the position.

A clear and detailed job description will significantly increase your chances of attracting candidates that align with your objectives. This helps ensure a better fit for both the employee and the organization.

However, it’s important to regularly review and update your hiring criteria to stay relevant. For example, it’s well known that younger workers today value work-life balance and career development opportunities. You can highlight your business’s commitment to those things to attract more candidates.

2. Use an applicant tracking system

Implementing an applicant tracking system (ATS) makes your retail recruitment process more efficient and manageable. With it, you can track candidates, communicate, and schedule interviews with ease. The system streamlines candidates’ data management by offering easy accessibility and centralized organization.

An ATS can also improve your hiring strategies by giving you data analytics to identify areas that need work. You’ll be able to make more strategic, data-driven hiring decisions.

ATS helps track and manage job applicants

3. Cultivate strong employer branding

How your brand is perceived determines who you attract.

Developing a strong, positive brand can help you draw in top talent. Not only that, but it also sets the tone for the kinds of retail employees you want to join your team.

Share what makes your business stand out. For instance, you can showcase employee testimonials and success stories — real-life insights that offer candidates a genuine glimpse into the company culture and the experiences of those who work there.

Another alternative is to highlight the unique benefits and opportunities your company offers, such as in-house yoga classes, a pet-friendly workplace, or unique team-building retreats.

4. Implement structured interview processes

Use a consistent, structured interview process to evaluate each candidate more objectively and standardize their experience.

A good practice is to include competency-based questions to evaluate how candidates would handle real-life retail scenarios. This will give you insights into their problem-solving and customer service skills.

Additionally, It’s important to provide training for interviewers to ensure they conduct interviews in an unbiased and professional manner. Training should include techniques for asking open-ended questions and avoiding unconscious biases, like not making assumptions based on a candidate’s background or appearance.

5. Establish employee referral programs

Offer incentives to your current retail employees to refer potential candidates, such as a financial bonus or a day off. Employees are more likely to participate if the process is straightforward and the benefits of referrals are clearly communicated.

Regularly communicating the success of your referral program to the team can also boost participation. Share stories of successful hires through referrals to not only help maintain engagement but also generate enthusiasm for the program.

6. Invest in employee development

With only 40% of employees stating that their company is actively upskilling them, there’s a significant opportunity for retail businesses to stand out by investing in employee development. Offering continuous learning and career advancement opportunities attracts and retains talent, as it helps provide them with a career path rather than just a job.

Comparison of job and career

Clear career paths and professional development programs demonstrate your commitment to employee growth. This can take the form of regular training sessions, mentorship programs, or opportunities for employees to attend industry-related workshops and seminars.

These initiatives show that you care about your employees’ career progression and are invested in their long-term success.

7. Expand recruitment channels

Use a variety of recruitment channels, such as job boards, social media, and career fairs, to reach a wider audience. Niche platforms and industry-specific events are also good resources for tapping into specialized talent pools.

Each channel should have a specific function in the recruitment process. For instance, job boards are effective at reaching a wide pool of potential candidates who are actively seeking employment. Social media, on the other hand, allows for targeted advertising and is an excellent platform for showcasing your company culture to potential employees.

Successful retailers often balance online and in-person outreach efforts. Online methods offer convenience and a broader reach, making it easier to connect with candidates globally. In contrast, in-person efforts provide a more personal touch, allowing for direct interaction and engagement with potential candidates. When combined, they can create a comprehensive recruitment strategy.

Use Lark for retail recruitment and more

Lark offers a comprehensive set of tools to help improve your retail recruitment process. Here are just a few of them:

Video-calling capabilities for interviews

Have you ever been in one of those awkward virtual interviews where there’s a constant struggle with technical issues and communication barriers?

Lark’s video-calling feature helps to solve these challenges. With high-definition video and clear audio, we enhance the quality and professionalism of your interactions. Moreover, your automatic meeting transcriptions keep a record of each interview, which you can always refer back to when discussing the candidate with the team.

Real-time auto-translation also makes it possible to communicate with candidates in different languages, expanding your reach to a global talent pool.

Real-time translation during video call

ATS-building capabilities

Build a customized ATS in Lark Base. We empower you with robust features for scheduling, organizing, and tracking candidates, helping you create a flexible recruitment process that aligns with your company’s unique needs.

When it comes to recruiting, Lark can even automatically update you through chat messages on candidate interview statuses. Customize your automated workflows so you don’t need to manually circle back on each applicant’s progress.

With Lark, you can simplify your hiring workflow — effortlessly importing data, automating workflows, and managing tasks. You can even build your own interview workflow, ensuring the interview process fits your organization’s criteria and style.

Onboarding and training capabilities

Create a customized and comprehensive onboarding experience for each new employee with Lark’s Onboarding Guide. Use our platform to automate and manage onboarding tasks, from document sharing to initial training. Plus, you can organize documents all in one place through Lark Wiki.

Customize employee onboarding with guide

Or develop training webinars with Lark to engage new hires and provide them with the skills and knowledge they need.

Moreover, with Lark’s analytics dashboards, you can efficiently review attendee reporting and measure the success of your events.

For a shortcut to other retail resources, access our retail templates here.

Noteworthy integrations

Lark’s intelligent recruitment solution seamlessly integrates the recruitment system through numerous APIs, putting you in control throughout the recruitment process. Notable integrations include Zapier, Mockplus, and Jira Master.

Integrate recruitment system through APIs

Keep your team updated on your recruitment progress with integrated notifications, and simplify interview scheduling with one click. Plus, with our message card features, you can even easily share CVs and approve job offers.

Lark simplifies the retail recruitment process for you

Use Lark to attract, manage, and keep the best talent. From more effective recruiting to higher employee engagement through collaborative documents, video meetings, and real-time dashboards, Lark lets you spend less time worrying about your processes so that you can focus more on your people.

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