Imagine you’re a store manager.
You wake up every morning with your mind already running through your daily to-do list: order new inventory, handle customer requests, and schedule upcoming shifts, to name only a few. This doesn’t even touch upon the ongoing responsibilities like nurturing staff development, communicating with corporate colleagues, and ensuring stellar sales.
Retailers are busy. They barely have the time to find adequate seasonal hires, let alone recruit the perfect just-in-time employees. But hiring well is critical to a store’s success, particularly in a retail chain, franchise, or cooperative when the marketing and merchandise are similar across locations. What truly sets a store apart? The people who work in it.
How the Retail Climate Impacts Hiring
In the past, having a successful retail store was all about landing a great location. However, online and mobile commerce have shifted that dynamic.
In today’s increasingly digital world, roughly eight-in-ten Americans are now online shoppers. That compares to 22 percent at the turn of the century. With this significant increase in online shopping, the most distinctive factor in attracting shoppers to a brick-and-mortar location is excellent customer service. And while high quality customer service depends on a variety of digital-age tools, it ultimately comes down to having the right talent working for you.
So now imagine that you have an improved workforce that can sell more products to the same customers, under the same circumstances. Identifying those individuals – those reliable, high-performing employees – becomes an organization’s best retail tool.
Where Technology Steps In
With the proper system in place, store managers can attract candidates who understand the dynamics of the retail business and know how to reach customers. But these employees aren’t always easy to find and keep.
We recently worked alongside our retail customers to identify their biggest hiring headaches: dealing with high turnover, identifying the right candidates in a short amount of time, and having enough staff to meet seasonal demands. Store managers also indicated their top three needs for recruiting software:
- Mobile optimization
- User-friendly interfaces
- Talent pooling capabilities
These retail leaders explained that they were in need of a mobile solution that could allow them to review applicants and complete all recruiting activities from their smartphone. They also told us that they wanted a straightforward solution to take the stress out of last-minute hiring.
Taking into consideration all of these requests, we created Avature In-Store for Retail Recruiting. The solution enables managers to review the status of all jobs and applicants, as well as create new jobs and fill seasonal positions. Managers can screen and compare all current candidates based on key criteria, such as behavioral assessment scores and relevant job experience. Managers are also able to schedule interviews, manage offers, and prepare new employees for their first day.
In order to ease the application process for digital-first candidates, we developed features that allow job seekers to apply either online or in-store. Prospects can submit their profiles through the company’s branded and mobile-optimized career site, and while browsing the site, they can look up the store location nearest to them using our Google Maps capabilities. Walk-in candidates can apply from their own phones via text message or from the Fast Apply App. The latter allows candidates to submit their applications through the store’s mobile device.
We also built functionalities that maintain talent pools. These features allow managers to send former employees and past applicants branded email campaigns, as well as reminders for seasonal positions. By staying in touch with former seasonal employees, managers can save the money that is typically spent on using job boards and training new hires. And, as these individuals have been previously vetted, managers have one less item to check off their to-do lists.
When organizations roll out new software like Avature In-Store, forward-thinking HR leaders measure their success using real-time insight and reporting metrics. However, this becomes an enormous task when companies use a smattering of recruiting systems rather than one fully integrated platform. A single platform enables all stakeholders to combine their data, learn from it, and leverage it in order to improve hiring outcomes.
In a retail chain, franchise, or cooperative, store managers are not only able to record data for their own uses, but also report information to the corporate level. Using the same system allows for a centralized, holistic view of talent acquisition across all retail locations. When fully implemented, a single platform provides an organization with comprehensive intelligence of all of its HR activities – all so that store managers can hire and retain the best talent.