What Characteristics To Look For When Hiring For A Retail Position

September 15, 2012

Hiring for a retail position can be a demanding task. People that do not have experience in retail sales often feel that they can do the job and that can result in a deluge of resumes to sort through. In order for your retail store to thrive, you need to make sure that you are hiring the right kind of people. One of the ways to judge if someone is right for your retail job is to see if he/ she has the characteristics of a good retail employee.

 1. Experience It is up to you how much experience you want your candidates to have, but a GREAT employee would have some kind sales or customer service experience. And sales experience does not necessarily mean only retail sales, since there are a wide variety of sales fields that could be a good training ground for a successful retail employee. Some of those include business to business sales, outbound phone sales, and other customer-facing service roles.

2. Professional A retail sales person needs to remain professional at all times. If an angry customer is raining down insults on your retail sales professionals, they need to maintain their composure. You can determine if a candidate has this characteristic two ways. The first is by looking at their experience working directly with customers in the past. Someone with a customer service background knows how to remain calm when faced with angry customers.

The second way to determine professionalism is during the interview. You’ll get a feel for how the person will work with customers through their interaction with you. Gauging this in a potential employee is often a gut feeling, but your first impression is often right on.

3. Honest A retail sales person that misrepresents your product just to get the sale could give your store bad reputation. This trait also affects your interaction with the employee as well. You’re not always going to be at the store, so you want to make sure you have employees you can trust while you’re not there.

This is another quality that is hard to see from a person’s experience, so it can also come down to your gut feeling. Another way to find honest, trustworthy employees is to ask your current employees for referrals. This can actually be one of the best ways to find great new employees.

4. Reliable Retail sales staff work a wide variety of hours. There needs to be coverage for every hour that the store is open, so that can mean a different schedule every week.

You can start judging for reliability right from the start by seeing what time the person shows up for the interview. If they show up late, then reliability is probably going to be an issue. People that show up on time, or maybe even early, for their interview understand the value of being reliable.

5. Personable Your retail sales person should be pleasant, greet everyone with a smile and try to bring levity to a situation. He needs to be someone that people feel comfortable talking to, and that gives an air of confidence that will make what he says believable to customers.

This will all come out in the interview. If you find the candidate at ease during the interview, then you have the makings of a personable retail employee.

It can be difficult to find a potential employee with all of these characteristics, but they’re out there. Having great employees is a great asset for any store, so don’t rush out to hire the first people through your door!

To your abundant success,

Leon Skaliotis – Founder, Retail Fundamentals.

Leon Skaliotis is an accomplished retail consulting specialist in Melbourne, Australia, who  successfully coaches Melbourne retail owners on how to create highly profitable businesses by attracting shoppers and converting them into loyal fans. His fast working principles from his exclusive programmes, My Retail Success and The Outside In Method come with a 100%  Satisfaction Guarantee and enable Melbourne retailers to:



  • Attract and Keep more Customers
  • Substantially increase their Profit
  • Increase the Value of each business
  • Free up more of their  Time

To receive your complimentary copy of “Retail Secrets Every Owner Should Know” click: www.retailfundamentals.com.au

You can contact Leon Skaliotis direct on (+61) 0425 83 3344  or email: leon@retailfundamentals.com.au


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