Retail Recruiting Strategies: How to Attract and Hire the Best Employees


A happy employee raises the chances of a happy customer.

A happy employee also raises the chances of a happy, returning customer. Those shops that have well-mannered and friendly staff are the ones you’ll remember and go back to. So the best staff can make a huge difference to your business.

But how do you find the perfect employee?

It’s important from the outset to describe exactly what you’re looking for in your candidates. You should, aside from describing the skills and experience needed, be thorough in listing the personality characteristics you’re looking for. Not only to help you find an employee who ticks all the boxes for you, but so that they don’t feel like they aren’t up to the task and then leave after a few months – leaving you back at the beginning of your staff-search, having wasted valuable time and money on training.

So, be sure to compose concise and clear job briefs, including the following:

  • The responsibilities employees will have
  • Physical requirements which employees may need to have to fulfil their duties
  • The personality/ies that will best fit into your company ethos and culture
  • A description of the typical day-to-day activities of people who are doing the same or similar roles
  • Separate experience requirements into “need-to-have” and “nice-to-have”

But listing your requirements on a job brief is, of course, the easy part!

With the high street being saturated with job opportunities, it is vital to sell your job to prospective employees and clearly demonstrate why they should aspire to work for your business.

The most successful job briefs will simultaneously portray your ideal applicant, and how you’re the company that they want to work for.

It all starts with your current employees

So treat them right!

This is so, so important – not just for maximising staff performance, but also for maximising staff retention and, vitally, future staff acquisition.

Here’s why:

You treat your current staff well and they’re going to want to return the favour: they’ll have a smile on their face and be genuinely enthused by the store and the workplace. But as well as serving customers, your staff are your biggest recruitment advert – either good or bad. Most of the time applicants will come into your store and meet the staff before they’re directed to management for the application/interview process. If your staff are unfriendly and look bored, it’s not going to fill the candidate with excitement for your brand.

In today’s social media age, staff also have the ability to leave reviews for previous employers on websites like Glassdoor, where they can list the pros and cons of working for you. If you have disillusioned staff your review will not help your recruitment efforts. However, you’ll have previous staff members singing your praises if they loved working for you, and this will only help you in attracting prospective candidates.

Make sure your online presence is helping your recruitment efforts

Having a dedicated careers page, showing your job listings on your site and on your social media accounts will not only show to prospective employees that your company is up-to-date and not stuck in the dark ages, but it is permanent and free, recruitment advertising – it’s an absolute must!


Showcase your brand’s personality on social media site. Prospective staff can better understand the company culture and will love to see pictures of staff enjoying themselves working, or company events, team building, fundraising etc.

Make the most of the interview

Obviously, the bulk of your interview will be questioning the candidate and asking them to demonstrate their worth. But another important thing you can do is invite them to walk around the shop floor to see how they get on with other managers and employees. Watch how they interact with department managers and employees. Observe how they engage with any customers in the store, how confident their body language is, and ask them their thoughts on the shop floor.

Don’t hire them on the spot!

Even if they seem like the perfect candidate – their CV ticks all the boxes and they’re even better in person. You probably want to hire them before they’ve even got out of their seat. Just wait.

Call them the following afternoon. But first, call their references if you haven’t already, see other candidates and gain feedback from other staff who met them. Look them up on social media!

Don’t leave anything to chance. An employee that is hired properly will be friendly, work hard and be loyal to your brand.

It is vital to incorporate as much of the above as possible into your recruitment process, as your staff are such a huge part of how your customers view your brand – so a successful recruitment policy can work wonders for your business.