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5 Tips to Improve Post-Covid Retail Hiring

Date Published: June 29, 2021 | Last Updated:September 15, 2023 | By Jeramy
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As the pandemic appears to wind down (for now, at least) and the economy gets back to its bustling self, retail businesses are in a post-Covid retail hiring frenzy.

A frenzy that’s only exacerbated by the fact that one in three Americans do not want a job that requires them to be onsite full time, according to a new study. And more than a quarter of U.S. workers plan to change careers once the pandemic subsides, the study says.

This intense competition for hourly workers could spell trouble for the retail industry, which already has a higher turnover rate than other high-employment industries.

With many retailers targeting September as a date for full reopening, just in time for the holidays, keeping stores adequately staffed will be challenging.

Five tips to help improve post-Covid retail hiring

Treat workers like they’re essential

The pandemic proved that hourly workers as essential, so it’s important to treat them as such. And the best place to start is the application process. It’s said that a company’s application process mirrors its overall employee experience. If your hiring and onboarding process is lacking, turnover is sure to remain an issue.

The solution is to create an easy and intuitive application process that’s also mobile-friendly. Start by making sure hiring managers have the right tools and training and remove unnecessary barriers, such as requiring cover letters, conducting too many interviews, and requiring redundant data.

Build automation into your hiring

Technology has changed nearly every aspect of our lives, and the hiring and onboarding process is no different. Automation is the key to hiring at scale.

With the right technology in place, companies can automate aspects of hiring to help streamline the process. Automation can help:

  • Quickly identify the most qualified candidates
  • Free recruiters up to actually recruit
  • Add consistency and quality to the hiring process
  • Eliminate data-entry errors
  • Engage talent faster
  • And much more

Focus on your employer brand

This is a job seeker’s market. Having a strong employer brand helps with both recruitment and retention. According to one study, a strong employer brand decreases turnover by 28% and helps attract passive candidates who may not otherwise be in the job market.

A recent survey by Glassdoor found that more than two-thirds of applicants choose an employer based on its brand reputation and whether it responded to comments and reviews.

Being a highly sought-after brand also reduces the amount of recruiting needed to get candidates in the door.

Consider contract workers

Hiring a full-time employee without ever meeting them face-to-face can be nerve-wracking. Consider, instead, using a staffing agency that has already thoroughly vetted the employee. Staffing agencies typically conduct their own employment screening to ensure you get the best fit for the job.

Update your interview process

Nearly half of newly hired employees will fail within the first 18 months, according to a study from Leadership IQ. These failures are almost always linked to the interview process.

From a pool of 5,000 people managers, 82% said interviewers were “too focused on other issues, too pressed for time, or lacked the confidence in their interviewing abilities” to spot red flags.

Instead of focusing on the competence of the employee, the focus should be on personality. Job skills can be acquired, but personalities cannot, says Leadership IQ CEO Mark Murphy.

While focusing on an applicant’s ability to do a specific job, many employers tend to overlook:

  • Coachability
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Temperament
  • Motivation

And, finally, it’s important to ensure the interview process is a two-way street. The employee should have equal ability to interview you as an employer.

To learn more about how to improve post-Covid retail hiring and streamline your onboarding processes, speak with an Accurate Background employment screening specialist today.

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