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5 Ways to Tackle High Staff Turnover in Retail Recruiting

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We all know that staff turnover is one of the biggest pain points in the context of retail recruiting. This pressure is compounded by seasonal hiring, as well as the complexity of shifts. Some Store Managers are required to double their workforce at peak times of the year.

The right technology can have a powerful impact for Store Managers faced with hiring challenges, as we discussed in a previous blog. Taking advantage of mobile, social recruiting and smart automation, a specific retail recruiting solution empowers them to source talent more efficiently all year-round, which lessens the pressure of high staff turnover.

But is there anything else that they can do in order to combat the turnover issue? Though it’s an intrinsic problem for the sector, below we examine 5 powerful ways that you can curb the rate at which individuals leave your organization.

Behavioral Assessments

Facilitating speedy applications is important for ensuring that your application process isn’t a blocker when it comes to attracting talent. With this in mind, many Store Managers are limiting the number of steps candidates have to take to apply. So it might sound contradictory to suggest the addition of behavioral assessments to the process. Surely expecting candidates to provide more answers is counterproductive?

We’re not talking about a lengthy questionnaire, but rather a couple of very simple questions. For example, you could ask them to how they’d solve a specific, customer-related problem.  They can provide insight into the character of applicants, helping you to identify those that would be the best cultural fit. Furthermore, these types of assessments can also help you to filter out the least interested candidates. If they can’t even be bothered to respond to some simple questions, they’re unlikely to stick around for long in the role!

Using a platform such as Avature, you can weight question responses according to a predefined criteria. Rather than having to manually analyze the data, the technology can automatically translate answers into a score. You can then use it to compare and prioritize different candidates, supporting your retail recruiting strategy.

Video Interviews

Have you considered video? It can offer you a much more effective way to identify the attributes you’re looking for in candidates and it doesn’t have to be as complicated or off putting as you may first consider.

Some individuals might find it an uncomfortable process that puts them off the application. But many of today’s digital natives probably won’t be phased by recording themselves. This is especially the case if you make it as simple as possible using technology such as HireVue, an Avature partner. In fact, adopting an engaging and modern approach might attract them further. You could ask candidates to submit a two minute video on what they love about your brand or how they’d try to sell you a certain item.

The increased effort of having to complete a video interview is a great way to automatically whittle out candidates that aren’t truly invested in their application. By extension, they’re probably less likely to stick around for a long time. Improving the ability of Store Managers to identify the strongest, most motivated candidates, video interviews are likely to help reduce retail turnover.

Video interviews offer Store Managers a flexible way to review candidates in their own time. And if the process works well for your organisation, video interviews could even replace the need to meet face-to-face. This would give Store Managers much more time back in their day to focus on other pressing business needs.


Referral programs are famously efficient for sourcing reliable candidates that would fit well in your organisation. If a top-performing employee is invested enough to recommend a friend to work for you, chances are that their referral will be a candidate that shares their values. As a result, this type of program can really bolster your retail recruiting strategy. The key to success is making it as easy as possible, ideally enabling employees to do it in store.

For example, by setting up an auto-reply messaging service, employees can text a keyword such as “Refer” to a shortcode. Then they’ll receive a reply with a link to your referral portal where they can submit their friend’s details. You can find out more about Avature Refer here.

Providing Original Benefits

Similarly to referrals, offering your employees benefits they truly value is a great way to increase loyalty and reduce turnover. Focus on something that fits well with your company culture. For example, if you’re a fitness or wellness brand, you could offer employees access to nap pods, free treatments, as well as yoga and fitness classes.

Creativity is key here, especially when limited by budget or company rules. But it’s worth it to reduce the impact turnover has on your retail recruiting model. Being able to offer employees something that they value is a great way to engage them. It can also increase their loyalty towards you as an employer, helping to reduce turnover.

Creating Talent Pipelines

Though the tips mentioned before should help you tackle turnover head-on, talent pools can help you to reduce the impact it has on your business when people leave. They are also particularly effective if you face seasonal hiring pressures. Having hot candidates at your fingertips reduces the time to fill open positions, which can have a direct effect on revenue and customer experience.

The key to success is investing in technology that enables Store Managers to keep interested candidates engaged in an efficient way. Email campaigns with company news and localized job alerts can help spark their interest. The idea of building and managing these campaigns might be daunting at first, especially for busy Store Managers. But innovative tools can be used to automate the process.

It’s a tough market out there, and there’s no doubt that Store Managers will continue to be under pressure when it comes to retail recruiting. But by introducing some of the techniques mentioned above, you can minimize the impact that turnover has on your business.

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