Companies across nearly every industry face constant pressure as profit margins shrink while customers demand more. Even retail giants like Walmart and Macy’s are feeling the pinch as they close stores by the hundreds due to vanishing profits. While e-commerce is a major factor in this trend, it is questionable whether drones will deliver anything and everything. The reality is that brick-and-mortar stores will always exist. Humans will always crave the personal experience of hearing their name and receiving quality attention from exceptional employees. The companies that survive now and into the future are the ones that innovate and help to attract the best talent to keep customers coming back for that exceptional customer service experience.

While products and services can be modified and made cheaper, the employee that ultimately sells that product or service to the customer remains an integral piece to maintaining and growing your bottom line. Companies today understand that they cannot just hire a cashier that stands around when there are no customers in line. To stay competitive, that unproductive time must be redirected towards another function or task in order to maintain that great customer service experience. Call centers need their front-line staff to offer technical and customer support, but to also identify upselling opportunities in one interaction. Essentially, all companies have embraced the would-you-like-fries-with-that philosophy understanding that the bottom line can grow significantly if a front-line employee is willing to do more than just what is asked in their job description. In today’s market, the quality of your front-line employees is more important than they have ever been.

In most retail settings the store manager is responsible for nearly the entire talent acquisition cycle. The traditional thought is that each store is a team unit and the store manager knows best what the right fit will be for their specific location. However, the reality is that managers typically do not have the time to include behavioural assessments and standardized interview templates into their recruitment process. Corners get cut due to the demands of managing a store leading to hasty hires, which over time results in a poor customer experience and diminishing revenues.

Evolve your Recruiting Techniques

Spend Time on your job postings

So the ultimate question becomes “How do we hire the best quality front-line employees with more than just the basic skills?” The answer is to innovate your recruitment practices beyond posting on a job board and praying for a few good candidates. Most companies are already posting essentially the same jobs on the same job boards. Like good job candidates, companies have to find a way to stand out from the crowd, which means really understanding what your job description is asking for and spending more time in crafting the best job postings that appeal to the top candidates. You have to evolve the language and style of the posting itself to align with the times and speak to candidates in their language. Taking the time to craft the best job posting ultimately tells candidates that you are serious about hiring the best, which in turn fills your inbox with the best resumes. And the best resumes result in candidates that understand the demands of today’s workplace and can offer more than just the basic skills.

Behavioural Assessments

Adding behavioural assessments are gaining tremendous importance towards identifying the right personalities in candidates that can offer more than one function. Once reserved for higher positions, behavioural assessments help to assemble a team of front-line employees that share the right attitude that ultimately creates a consistent and exceptional experience for the customer. While it is time-consuming, using behavioural assessments shows job seekers that you are serious about hiring the best, and also creates job appeal in working in a strong team with similar individuals. This, in turn, improves employee retention and reduces recruiting costs.

Embrace Technology Trends

Technology is never a cheap answer, but ignoring the benefits of technology is even more costly. Those companies that do not already have Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) in place are already well behind the times and are finding that implementing such systems now is an immense capital investment. And as job seekers today have already directed their attention away from traditional job websites, companies are forced to evolve and allocate huge capital just to catch up with the popularity of social media to make contact with the best candidates.

The biggest and best employers like Walmart understand the importance of using social media channels to seek out the best employees for their front-line. In Canada alone, Walmart’s official Facebook profile has over 1 million followers (and an even higher number of “likes”) that can translate into potential candidates that already embrace the culture and vision of the company. 3% of the Canadian population may not sound like an impressive number of followers, but when compared with the fact that retail positions account for only 1.9 million employees across Canada (StatsCan 2011 Employment by industrial sector), the gravity of the potential for hiring from Facebook alone suggests immense value. As a result, those 1 million Facebook followers become an army of job advertisement when positions and job fairs are posted on Walmart’s Facebook page.

Find a Plug-and-Play Solution

If you have read everything above and are overwhelmed with the potential dollars you might need to spend to upgrade your recruitment strategy to today’s standards, seek a Recruitment Outsourcing solutions provider that already is well versed in some or all of today’s recruitment trends. Capital investment in upgrading your recruitment strategy can eventually lead to great ROI but is not always financially feasible when your front-line is already down to a skeleton crew. Contact Mindfield and discover how we can upgrade some or all of your recruitment strategy while staying within your budget.

About Mindfield

Mindfield is a Recruitment Outsourcing solutions provider that partners with companies to create powerful hourly workforces. Our solutions combine a recruitment team, simple to use technology and a data-driven hiring strategy that promises to improve the quality of your hourly workforce. This approach focuses on tying business outcomes such as sales performance, tenure, and engagement to the selection, hiring and measurement of quality candidates.


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