Retail Store Staffing – How To Get Good People

Hiring staff may not seem like a big deal, just find someone willing to fill a spot, right? Well, not so fast. Hiring a bad employee is worse than not hiring anyone at all. Finding good staff for your retail store is important and you need to know what to do to get good people.

Less is more

Retail Store Staffing - How To Get Good PeopleSo what should you be looking for? A few things, actually. First, don’t hire a lot of people. Instead hire a few people willing to work more shifts. Yes, more may give you more flexibility of hours, but fewer people who have more hours will have a bigger stake in the success of your retail store.

Use social media

Next, look for someone who “plays well with others.” How? Do a simple social media search after you get their application but before any interview. How do they deal with people online? Then during the interview ask them questions that will help you see how they deal with people offline. You’re looking for evidence that they are engaged in the real world with other human beings, so think of questions that will uncover this.

Past behavior as an indicator

People can and do change, but past behavior is usually a good indication of future behavior. During the interview asking questions about future plans aren’t a good gauge of how well they will work for you. Ask questions that probe their past, such as tell me about a time when you went out of your way for a customer. If they can’t do that, or if their answer doesn’t line up with your expectations, then you may not want to consider this person for your retail store.

“Sell” your retail store

You need to “sell” on why your retail store business is a great place to work. During an interview talk about your business, its history, what kind of environment you have created for your customers, what great customer service looks like to you, and about your management style. If this person is going to be a good fit, they need to feel like they are a good fit as well.

Find the negative

Get them to tell you something negative about how they have dealt with customers. Great employees will be up front about it and tell you how they fixed the problem, bad ones will deny they ever had a problem.

Check references

Lastly, don’t offer the job on the spot. Take the time to check their references and work history. Have them call you back the next day to get an answer. If they want the job, they’ll call. If not, they wouldn’t have been a good, long term employee.

Want to learn more about retail staffing solutions? Check out our Event and Mobile Sales services.

Are Millennials Lazy Kids or is Common Wisdom Dead Wrong

The common wisdom about Millennials is they are lazy kids who expect the world on a platter, the kids who got everything handed to them, trophies for participation and on and on. But is that really true? Is the common wisdom, right, wrong or somewhere in between?

With Millennials it is more wrong common wisdom than anything else. Yes, they can be lazy kids. Yes they may have expectations above reality. Are Millennials Lazy Kids or is Common Wisdom Dead WrongTheir helicopter parents did them no favors. However, Millennials are smart kids who know they can do what they can do.Iif you get out of their way, they’ll show you that there may just be more than one way to get the job done despite what you think of their behavior..

Most Millennials think they are entrepreneurs, but not in the traditional sense. They consider it a mind set, not necessarily a business owner. The mindset to them is being a self-starter and risk-taker, someone who “spots opportunity” whether in business for themselves or in business for others. Another area that they think differently? Freelancing. By and large, they value their own time and want to look for ways to make their own schedule. So they like the flexibility that freelancing gives them. They use telecommuting and technology constantly.

Freedom and independence are very important to this generation, as is choice and change. Those don’t sound like positives, but in today’s world they can be used positively in many businesses. Giving them flexibility in how they do their job, their hours and in some cases using things like telecommuting can mean you have and keep great employees while appealing to their needs for independence, freedom and flexibility.

They can also not be the “I expect to be handed everything” generation that people believe them to be. If they know they can achieve the roles they want, they will do what is necessary to get what they want.

Don’t broad brush an entire generation by the “lazy kids” behavior of a few. Millennials are a great bunch who can be a great asset for your business.

Learning Styles – Auditory Learners

If you’ve ever sung along with Schoolhouse Rock(™) in your head or out loud to remember your grammar, math, Constitution or how a bill becomes a law, you could be an auditory learner. A person who uses this learning style uses their ears and voice to recall facts.

Learning Styles - Auditory LearnersAn auditory learner has to hear things to learn them. Only 30% of people are auditory learners, and it is the most difficult way to learn new material, but they can generally remember 75% of what they hear. Unless they hear information, most of it will be lost. These types of learners like classroom learning and small discussion groups. Makes sense because without it they would have a more difficult time learning. They remember instructions well and understand information most when they hear it. Hearing others isn’t the only hearing that works for them. One way auditories can help themselves remember things is to say it to themselves out loud several times.

Auditory learners are the kids you knew in school who loved to do presentations, couldn’t sit and study for hours at a time because it was too quiet, and was very verbal. They may have been the kids who had to talk to themselves when they studied, or would look surprised if they said something and it made the lesson “click” once they heard their own words. They were the kids who loved music and often would sing along with songs they hear. They are good with grammar, but not good with diagrams and charts.

If you have to teach or train an auditory learner, there are a few things that help them retain information more easily. First, repeat key information more than once. If it’s important for them to remember, repeat it several times. Make sure you pronounce things correctly. Remember that their recall of how you said it is what they use. Use multimedia presentations. Sound, music, speech, instruments… whatever works to get the point across in sound.

Auditory learners are all about the sounds so make it easier for them by talking about what they should remember… because they will.

Mystery Shopping Benefits – Do You Have A Professional Sales Staff?

Do you know what mystery shopping benefits are? Do you have a professional sales staff? Every business owner would like to think that they have a professional, courteous, knowledgeable staff. But do you know for sure? So how can you know for sure? Use the benefits of a mystery shopper to test your staff.

Mystery Shopping Benefits - Do You Have A Professional Sales Staff?There are plenty of technology stores. You know that if your customers aren’t happy they will go elsewhere and there are plenty of places for them to go. That means that your staff’s customer service skills, professionalism and knowledge must be top notch. You take the time and expense to train them, but are they using it? A mystery shopper can help you find out.

A mystery shopper is a person you hire to go into your store and shop. Your staff has no way of knowing if any customer could be a mystery shopper, and ideally don’t have an idea that the store manager/owner is even using one. The mystery shopper is trained to look for specific things. They find out for you, the owner or manager, if your staff is knowledgeable. Are they following your rules or loafing around? Did they greet customers and make eye contact? Customers are put off by rude or inattentive staff. Did they offer solutions to questions or just rush to push the most expensive or newest technology without listening to the customer? In other words, are they following your sales training?

Some mystery shoppers will be difficult on purpose just to test the patience of your staff and see how they handle it. Were they rude, or not handle a difficult customer correctly? Did they try and up-sell the customer with items that could be helpful to them, like a Bluetooth headset or cover for their phone? It’s an ideal method to find out what kind of training each employee may need, be it in technology or in dealing with customers.

If you really want to know how well your staff measures up, try a mystery shopper.

Outsourcing Labor and Staffing – In-Store Sales People Aren’t Always Enough

Retail employee outsourcing labor and staffing sounds ominous, but it’s a great way to cut costs without downsizing, or to try something new, or take on a project without the risk of a new hire that you may or may not need later. Outsourcing will keep your current in-store sales people doing the core job that makes your business run, while bringing in outsourced staffing that can handle specific technology companies and brands.

Outsourcing Labor and Staffing - In-Store Sales People Aren't Always EnoughOutsourcing launches of new products can be a smart solution for your mobile phone business. But how can you find staffing that is versed enough in new technology to handle it? Using a temp service may not give you the expertly trained people you need to handle the project. So what to do? Find a company that has trained, efficient people who can do the job for you: a company like Retail Business Development. RBD can give you customized solutions that you need. Doing so will mean you are in a better place than you were when you started. You have trained people doing the new stuff, and your equally trained in-store sales people doing the job you need to continue to keep the business afloat.

Retail, telecommunications, mall speciality retail outsourcingAn outsourcing labor and staffing company like RBD can provide solutions that mean you can do many things, like expand into new markets; launch new product ventures; try out new retail concepts; improve your market; launch new programs and come up with flexible solutions that are a perfect fit for your business.

Need help with business planning, finding a new location for a new store, designing and opening that new location, training staff or marketing? Outsourcing labor and staffing will do those tasks and more.

Retail employee outsourcing is a good solution for your retail cell phone business. Give them a try today.

What is Your Retail Staffing Plan?

What is Your Retail Staffing Plan?Do you have a retail staffing plan? As a business owner you plan. You plan for sales. You plan store stock and merchandising. You plan your store design. You even plan you store hours and location. One of your biggest expenses as a business owner is employment costs, so why wouldn’t you plan your retail staffing?

There are a few things that you need to consider when planning your staffing needs. First, you need to know the ebb and flow of your business. When are busy times? When are slow ones? Are certain days of the week busier than others? This information will tell you how many people you need in your store at any given time. Now you can plan for the number of people you need to hire or retain in order to adequately staff your store.

Now think about the seasons. Some times of year are much busier than others. Depending on where you are located you may get a lot of summer business. For almost any business the months leading up to the Christmas holidays are very busy. January and February tend to be less busy. Plan out your year for retail staff like you would stock on hand. Know when you need more help, and less. Keep in mind times when you may need to get things like inventory done, or sales training. Then plan accordingly.

Retail, telecommunications, mall speciality retail outsourcingWith that data in hand, you can set up a plan to hire full time, part time and temporary staff. The last kind, temporary staffing can be procured with the help of a retail outsourcing company who can provide you with fully trained staff. That will save you time and training costs, and keep your store up and running, even at the last minute.

Planning your retail staffing needs is just smart business. Don’t leave it to chance, plan and save.

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Retail Staffing – Employment for Your Retail Store

Retail Staffing – Employment for Your Retail StoreEmployment needs for your retail store can be summed up in a few words. Not easy!

Retail staffing is a little complicated these days. Just look at the news. This week had more dismal information about the employment, or rather unemployment statistics. Almost 500,000 Americans dropped off the unemployment rolls and only 88,000 jobs were created. With those kinds of numbers you would think it would be easy to do retail staffing for your retail store, but look at all sides of the employment issue.

When someone “drops off the rolls” it means that their unemployment benefits have run out and they haven’t found new employment. Unemployment benefits run for about 2 years and that causes a big gap in their work history. That longer time period then compounds the problem when employers look at a work gap of longer than 6 months and are less apt to hire.

Another snag in the search for quality employees is the fact that companies who have downsized have kept their best employees while letting go the less than stellar. In some situations companies have closed and all employees are in the wind, so it’s not a hard and fast rule. It is, however, a good generality and it means that while doing your retail staffing, many of your candidates aren’t the best of the best.

Retail, telecommunications, mall speciality retail outsourcingSo what can you do to enhance employment at your retail store?

Make your store a great place to work. Making your store be the place people want to work means starting with your current retail staff. Ask them what they think the plusses and minuses are in working there. Take their answers to heart and make some changes.

Be realistic about things like:

  • Can you afford to pay a bit better?
  • Can you offer a better vacation and benefits package?
  • Can you do things that make working for you fun?

Word will get out that your store is the place to be, and that will draw the best and brightest to you. Now your retail staffing will be easier! Employment at your retail store solved.

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Should You Hire Sales People with Experience or Train Them in House?

You have a slot or two to fill in your staff and have some applications or resumes. Several are sales people with experience, others not so experienced. After a few interviews you find that some are a good fit for your business in their personality.

Should You Hire Sales People with Experience or Train Them in House?In a perfect world, the most experienced candidate would have the best personality and fit for your store. Sometimes that’s just not the case. The problem is experience expects pay to mirror their experience, and may not be the right fit for your store. It seems that the inexperienced may be that right fit financially, but they don’t know how to sell and will need training either in house or otherwise. What to do?

As in any business, retailers need to hire the employees that best fit their business. That might mean hiring inexperienced staff and training them. All employees should continually be trained, so it’s not like you wouldn’t be doing so anyway. Training in house also means that there is less lost time from the sales floor. There are great systems that can train your employees in real time, as they sell.

One, Retail Business Development, has a system that tracks, trains and assists. RBD’s Assistant and Campus tracks the sales process and suggests help when it is needed. Campus delivers the training; it coaches them through and allows you to know where more training is needed for later. It’s like having a sales coach shadow them through the entire process, getting them unstuck when they get stuck.

This is all done as they interact with and sell to your customers. No time lost on the sales floor. So that inexperienced employee quickly comes up to speed. It even helps the experienced employees improve and hone their craft. Sales increase, down time decreases. Either way, it’s a win/win for your store.


 

Retailing Cloud Based Retail Solutions
Cloud Based Retail Solutions
RBD Retail 3.0 Solutions are a set of enterprise, cloud-based solutions for the mobile workforce that delivers powerful ERP, CRM, HRM, eLearning and Reporting modules to sales associates in the field, executives, management and back-office personnel. Find out more about our Retailing 3.0 business solutions

How to Leverage Millennials’ Social Networks to Increase Retail Sales

Let’s look at how to leverage millennials using social networks in your work place to help increase your retail sales.

How to Leverage Millennials Social Network to Increase Retail SalesLook around at your workforce and ask yourself how many of them have smart phones and/or tablets in their hands RIGHT NOW. In many businesses, the answer to that question is all of them. There isn’t a smart phone or tablet that doesn’t come preloaded with Facebook, Twitter and a texting app. They have 24/7 access. Your millennial employees don’t remember ever being without access to their social network, you know they are using it at the office during business hours, so why not use their social network use to your advantage and increase your retail sales?

By next year a third of the workforce will be millennials: individuals born approximately between 1979 and 1999, they are out of college, college age or heading there soon, and are looking to get their start in the business world. By 2020, they will be half of it.

Two thirds of millennial workers say that the opportunity for personal development was the most influential factor in their choice of a career. But millennials are a challenging group to employ. The have been raised being, in the minds of some, coddled. They were largely not required to do chores and were asked to contribute their opinion to the family dynamic, instead of doing something “just because.” They also have been raised surrounded by technology and are well educated in using it to get answers. As an employee, they will question and challenge you, as they did at home.

This can be used to your advantage. Millennials are used to constantly being connected to their social network. They will ask you “why aren’t you updating your Facebook page, your Twitter feed, your Pinterest boards, etc. more regularly? Why aren’t you publishing sales flyers in a format that is smart phone-friendly? Why aren’t you doing promotions with Foursquare?” Honestly, these are good questions and things you should be doing. So, why not leverage their networks and use their knowledge to keep your brand front of mind to all of their contacts online?

Set some ground rules about content, frequency and so forth, as some millennials don’t have a good grasp yet on appropriateness. Make them understand business versus personal, and you will have a great extended network to market your business.


 

Retailing Cloud Based Retail Solutions
Cloud Based Retail Solutions
RBD Retail 3.0 Solutions are a set of enterprise, cloud-based solutions for the mobile workforce that delivers powerful ERP, CRM, HRM, eLearning and Reporting modules to sales associates in the field, executives, management and back-office personnel. Find out more about our Retailing 3.0 business solutions

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How to Find and Engage Young Workers

Finding good young workers should be an easy thing to do, given the state of employment these days, but engaging young workers can be challenging.

How to Find and Engage Young Workers“Millennials” or individuals born approximately between 1979 and 1999, are out of college, college age or heading there soon, and are looking to get their start in the business world. Many of these young workers haven’t worked before. Others had after school jobs, but like many other young people, can be a bit hard to engage.

A recent survey of Millennials by Robert Half and employment Web site, Yahoo HotJobs, examined common myths about these individuals, it was discovered that, while they are very willing to work and make a positive mark on the business world, they need a different and proactive approach toward managing them. It also showed that Millennials have a good idea about what they want from employers. They also are not afraid to move on if those expectations aren’t met.

Your best bet to engage young workers is to show them the path to growth and offer new challenges. Their expectation is that they should spend no more than one to two years “paying their dues” in entry-level jobs. So from day one they should be offered diverse and challenging assignments that will stretch their skills, build their confidence and make them feel valued. Using the more seasoned employees in a mentoring type situation is also a good idea, along with offering training programs and professional development events to engage young workers.

Keep in mind that many Millennials grew up on technology from e-mail to computers to cell phones and they expect instant communication. Providing clear and accessible communication channels will be helpful. They expect frequent communication with their supervisors, and open-door policies. Give frequent, even daily feedback on their performance. However, don’t micromanage them.

Provide them with challenging work, and the chance for advancement, and they will be the great workers you expect.


 

Retailing Cloud Based Retail Solutions
Cloud Based Retail Solutions
RBD Retail 3.0 Solutions are a set of enterprise, cloud-based solutions for the mobile workforce that delivers powerful ERP, CRM, HRM, eLearning and Reporting modules to sales associates in the field, executives, management and back-office personnel. Find out more about our Retailing 3.0 business solutions

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  • How to engage young workers