To thrive in today’s evolving retail landscape, businesses need to meet shoppers’ high expectations. That means offering exceptional customer service and an in-store experience that will keep people coming back.
Changes in the retail industry raise the bar for recruitment. After all, improving the customer experience is impossible without the right retail sales staff.
Where is retail recruitment headed?
Great customer experience is a must
When people choose to shop at your retail store, they expect to meet professionals and get premium service. US consumers are willing to spend 17% more to do business with companies that deliver excellent customer service—and retailers need to have the best frontline employees to make that happen.
Retail store roles are becoming more advisory and consultative, meaning soft skills are more important than ever. Happy customers want to support the retail brands they love, but a bad in-store experience can put people off your brand for good. In fact, 51% of people will never do business with a company after one bad experience, while 93% of customers are likely to make repeat purchases at companies with great customer service.
Retailers are using in-store technology
More and more retailers are equipping their sales staff with mobile devices to elevate customer service and ensure a seamless experience across online and offline channels. Forward-thinking retailers don’t use the latest technology just for the sake of it, but to meet customers’ needs and allow them to buy however they want.
Mobile apps allow your staff to help customers find products and place orders, and see real-time store inventory, customers’ order history, preferences, wish lists, and more. Retailers are also experimenting with self-service payment apps that ease the pain of long check-out lines.
When your staff have the data they need at their fingertips, they can better connect with shoppers and bridge the gap between online and offline shopping experiences.
Recruitment is a two-way street
While you’re assessing candidates, remember that they’re are also assessing you. Since job seekers today have more control over the recruitment process, building a positive candidate experience is crucial to ensure your ideal candidates choose you over your competitors.
Weak communication with candidates will cause them to lose interest in your company and likely accept another offer. But sharing your company culture and introducing members of your team, for example, can help you build more personal connections with candidates.
Your frontline staff are the faces of your retail brand. Rather than hiring people who look the best on paper, you want to hire those who fit your company culture, understand your values, and believe in your goals.
Things are speeding up
It’s not easy to find long-term, committed employees for retail roles. And it’s especially tough to hire during high seasons like Christmas and summer. Because you’re competing with other retailers for the same employees, you risk missing out on your ideal candidates if you take too long to make hiring decisions. Candidates might accept another job offer in under 24 hours, so you have to go after the ones you want immediately.
To make faster hiring decisions, recruiters need instant access to candidate information anytime and anywhere—not just at a desktop computer in the store. That’s why mobile and cloud-based recruiting software is a must for recruiters to stay agile.
What are the benefits of video interviewing?
Get a complete picture of candidates
Since soft skills are more important than experience for most retail roles, CVs are becoming obsolete. Years of experience and education won’t tell you if a candidate can handle your hectic store environment, keep customers happy, and help boost sales. Instead, you want to see how a candidate presents themselves to get a sense of how they’d behave with customers.
Pre-recorded video interviews allow you to quickly gauge a person’s attitude, personality, motivation, and energy level—which simply isn’t possible with CVs or phone interviews. Unlike with CVs, you can see a candidate’s language, communication, and interpersonal skills through a video interview.
Whether a candidate is willing to do a video interview also says something about their attitude. Are they willing to try new things? Are they motivated enough for the role? Are they comfortable using technology?
Give candidates a better chance to present themselves
It doesn’t make sense to rule out a retail candidate for a spelling mistake on their CV.
Video interviews allow candidates to present themselves in another way than written form, and showcase their personality and skills. You can give more chances to people who aren’t so strong with written communication, but who could be the right fit for your company.
While some recruiters think video interviews might drive candidates away, 83% of candidates reported being satisfied with video interviews as a method, according to our 2019 Candidate Survey.
Form personal connections with candidates
Many retail HR teams struggle with high staff turnover rates and interview no-shows. Especially for entry-level retail jobs, younger candidates who might be part-time students don’t always take their job search seriously or see retail as a viable career path.
Candidates will behave better when you provide a better candidate experience. Hiring teams can take a personal approach by showing their faces and communicating their company culture through videos. By ensuring candidates feel valued, you’ll improve your employer brand and attract the right people to your company. Compared to traditional recruitment methods, using video interviews will also help your business stand out to job seekers.
Review more candidates in less time
Store managers often get bombarded with dozens or even hundreds of nearly identical CVs and don’t know what to look for. You might end up inviting five people at random to in-person interviews because you have no way to weed out unfit candidates and find the diamonds in the rough.
Video interviews allow you to see more candidates during the early stage of the hiring process and avoid wasting time on unsuccessful face-to-face interviews. You can review video replies when it’s most convenient for you—whether that’s in your store or on your couch at home—and only meet stand-out candidates in person.
Increase hiring transparency
When a store manager screens candidates through CVs and phone interviews, the HR team has no idea what was discussed or why one person was invited to a face-to-face interview over others. But with video interviews, the HR team can watch candidates’ video replies on their own time, challenge a store manager’s decision, and discuss everything together.
Hiring managers and recruiters tend to look for different qualities in candidates: Hiring managers look for people who can handle the hectic store environment and who they’d enjoy working with, while recruiters tend to focus more on cultural fit. By involving both sides in hiring decisions, you reduce bias and ensure a fair recruitment process.
Take an agile approach
Video interviews allow recruiters to save time during the screening phase and make faster decisions. You avoid the hassle of scheduling phone calls and interviews, and can instead focus on assessing candidates by reviewing video responses as they come in, on your own time.
You want to hire only when you find the right candidate for a role, not choose someone at random because you’re desperate to fill a position. An agile recruitment process is key to getting right-fit candidates on your retail team who can grow within your company.
For expert insights on how to successfully incorporate video interviews in your retail recruitment process, watch our webinar How to recruit better retail employees with video interviews.