Have you started your pre-Christmas jobs recruitment drive yet? If the huge spike in positions advertised on employment website Indeed are anything to go by, a heck of a lot of you certainly have!
Despite the Australian Bureau of Statistic’s figures showing a lacklustre June, job postings are tracking well and competition is beginning to heat up already, which is a good sign for the months ahead.
We know our industry has been one of the most-affected by digital disruption, but I can’t help thinking that amidst all this change, there are certain qualities in terrific front-line staff you should be on the lookout for, that are just as relevant now as they were 100 years ago!
What do retailers need for great front-line staff?
- Dependability and reliability
- A love for people
- Patience and positivity
- An eye for detail
- A ‘get in and get it done’ attitude
Our employees are the heart and soul of our businesses – without them, we don’t have customers. But if things go really poorly, we can lose much more than just sales, including the very reputation our businesses are built on.
So, what do they need from us?
Our investment in our staff is just as important as our investment in the consumer experience, our omni-channel marketing, or in our speed and fulfilment processes – it cannot be overlooked.
No matter how bright these stars shine, it’s up to us to empower them to perform their best in a harmonious and supportive environment, where the relationship is built on trust, respect and reciprocity, and where there is a strong focus on professional and personal development.
It’s no surprise then, that those shining stars are searching for similar qualities in their potential employers! Reliability, honesty, patience, positivity, proactivity – it makes sense that to attract these traits in our staff, we must exhibit them first ourselves.
What’s one thing we can do right now to empower staff ahead of the Christmas rush?
It isn’t just online consumers who are after a seamless experience that is convenient, easy to navigate, consumer-centric and fast – apply this to your instore customers as well.
Consumers are just as empowered by their own tech while they’re in your store as they are out of it, so your staff need to be tech-empowered too, to keep up and to give consumers what they want at a moment’s notice.
If you haven’t already done so, you could start with something as simple as putting mobile devices in the hands of your employees, so they can utilise your consumer data, access real-time inventory and process transactions from anywhere in the store (no matter how crazy the front counter is!).
Consumers do not have the time, nor the patience, to wait for information and they certainly won’t appreciate having to line up in a queue while your staff stand around waiting for a register. It is unproductive and a waste of valuable resources.
Giving staff the tools to help your customers with anything and everything they need, right there on the spot, empowers them to do a better job, have more consumer-facing time, and reduce the clog at the front counter.
With just two and a half months to go, a little bit of time and effort spent on making sure your payroll systems, inventory management, and your tech and innovation are up to scratch, will go a long way when it comes to helping your new staff flourish in a bumper Christmas retail season!