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Retailers shouldn’t discount people (their importance, that is)

Retailers discount the importance of having only nice and helpful people working for them about as often as they discount prices on their products.

Most of the time, and especially during the busy season, retailers are so strapped for help that most anyone with the right availability will do. According to studies, employees determine 90 percent of a company’s profitability, so cutting back on the number of sub-par employees you hire is the discount to be making.

Sale prices don’t spur customer loyalty as much as fantastic service experiences do. Being known for stellar customer service and having a staff that makes customers feel welcome is sure to get more people into your stores and will get them spending, telling their friends and colleagues about you, and coming back again.

Snagajob’s job posting service comes standard with filter questions and behavioral assessments that identify who among your applicants is expected to be nice and helpful. Right after candidates apply online through Snagajob, you’ll know who you should pursue and who you should avoid, which is important considering:

  • In companies identified as best-in-class, 87 percent of employees were rated “meets” or “exceeds” expectations in their last performance review;
  • Each high-performing employee can drive an additional $16,000 in annual sales; and
  • Employees who are assessed for cognitive ability, skill and knowledge of the position prior to employment are 51 percent less likely to make mistakes leading to shrinkage.

But this is not a post about the importance of assessments.

As important as assessments are, it’s just as important to have a hiring system like Snagajob’s that allows you to hire better people faster and get them trained, scheduled and in front of customers as soon as possible. That’s because:

  • When you have caring, helpful employees and you’ve build a stellar reputation for service, working for your store has a certain prestige associated with it, making your positions more desirable. Great people want to work for you because you hire only great people. Around and around it will go. For that kind of cyclical motion to spin great people into your business, it’s going to take a hiring system like Snagajob’s that gives you the ability to hire the most desirable applicants quickly, and, in effect, create pent-up demand. Learn more
  • When you’re able to get your nice, helpful new hires up to speed faster, you can expect less turnover. If you leave them wondering what they’re supposed to be doing or if they feel like they’re stuck in a rut, they’re going to start looking for a new job. Help your new employees achieve their best by offering, posting and tracking certifications through the hiring system, and they’ll be encouraged to move up the ladder and supported while they do so. The more effectively you’re able to train, the less the threat that other retailers will hire great people away from you. Learn more
  • When you’re able to communicate with your employees by text or email – or any way that’s most convenient for you and your staff – scheduling becomes a lot less of a thorny problem. Should unexpected scheduling issues arise, a resolution process will get the schedule on track and your employees freed up to handle what life has thrown at them. For you it means no more running around fighting scheduling fires. And because desirable candidates often have numerous retail jobs to choose from, if you’re known for scheduling flexibility, you’ll be the employer of choice. Learn more

When you start to cut back on the number of sub-par employees you hire, slashing prices to bring people into your store is a tactic that begins to feel very old school. As does discounting the importance of having only nice and helpful people working for you.

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Ashley Lohman is a content producer at Snagajob. When she’s not compelling employers to use Snagajob to mine for talent, Ashley can be found adventuring with her husband and three boys, taking care of all their pets, and serving year round on the board of a kick-butt local youth football association. In her spare time…wait, she doesn’t have any.

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