We all know customer service is at the heart of the retail industry, so it comes as no surprise the success of your retail business is intrinsically linked to the ability and drive of your human capital.
Key tips for recruiting for success
The importance of recruiting the right talent in the right role at the right time cannot be understated. The decisions you make in recruitment are paramount to establishing a solid workforce that will get your business across the line in the competitive world of retail.
Before circulating job advertisements it is important to reflect on the key aspects of the position and the type of candidate you are seeking to attract. You must carefully consider the wording of job advertisements and be specific with what you want and need from the candidate.
Avoid being too specific. Not only will this limit the pool of applicants and potential talent, the language used may leave you exposed to a federal or state discrimination claim. Stay clear of gender-specific terms and other terms not related to the inherent requirements of the role.
After receiving expressions of interests from eager candidates, interviews are your next key step in ensuring you make the right choice for your business. Interviews will provide you the chance to grasp whether or not the candidate is the right fit for the organisational culture and the role.
The structure of the interview process is essential for ensuring you see the ability and potential each candidate holds before making a strategic hiring decision. Employers must determine from the outset whether to do an initial group interview before singling out candidates for second rounds, or whether to have a trial period. Decisions such as these are important in allowing you to tailor the recruitment process to fit your business and get the most out of your candidates before engaging them.
Again employers must be careful in the language used and questions asked during interviews. Employers may not ask questions relating to a candidates personal background or characteristics such as age or marital status. To avoid discrimination claims, questions in interviews must be unambiguous and relevant to the inherent requirements of the job.
Unpaid work trials
If you are going to ask candidates to trial for a role, you need to ensure that this is clearly communicated in writing and that you pay this prospective employee for the time spent undertaking the trial. It is also important to note the minimum shift engagement period under the relevant Award.
Making an offer of employment
Once you have decided which candidates are the best fit, the next stage is the offer of employment. Employers must be wary not to rush this process and leave your business potentially stuck in unsuitable employment arrangements.
Before offering a successful applicant a role it is important you have carefully considered and determined what the terms of engagement will be. Consider whether you need a permanent staff member, whether the engagement is for a fixed period of time, or whether you need flexibility with a casual engagement.
Where you engage casuals, it is extremely important to reiterate the nature of casual employment, stating they are hired on a casual basis, have no guaranteed hours of work and that each shift is a separate engagement. Given the influx of Christmas casuals into the retail industry at this time, it is extremely important employers are transparent with the nature of the casual’s employment. It can even be stated in the contract that they are employed as a ‘Christmas Casual’ for the season and that there is no guarantee of their employment continuing at the end of the period.
After you offer the role to an employee and they accept it, ensure that you have the new employee provide you with the signed employment agreement before they commence work. Best practice is for the employee to be rostered once the signed contract is received, however you can get them to bring it on their first day of work. It is also important that you provide the employee with access to the relevant policies and procedures that will apply to their employment, and that you request them to read and acknowledge these before they commence. They should have a clear idea of who they can contact should they have any questions.
Inducting your new recruit
When training and inducting new employees it is important to consider the different needs each employee may have. There is no ‘blanket approach’ to inducting employees, and given the retail industry is largely made up of young new recruits, it is important that they be inducted in a way that ‘speaks their language’. Make sure employees are clear on what the expectations are, encourage them to ask questions and, where possible, pair them up with a buddy to ensure they are comfortable and fitting in as best as possible to your business.
Take away points
Take the time to ensure your recruitment and on boarding processes are fluid and well thought out as this will safeguard your business from getting it wrong. The importance of establishing and maintaining good relationships with your employees is paramount to retaining top talent. Focusing on your staff and the ways in which you engage new employees reduces your risk of losing money on unnecessary recruitment costs and ensures you build a strong workforce to skyrocket the success of your business!
For more information regarding retail recruitment please contact the ARA Employment Relations Team on 1300 368 041