It has been a very strange year or so (feels like forever!) and new challenges seem to hit every month. So, just as things start to feel a bit more normal, recruitment becomes a problem for us and many more retailers. It feels strange because only a few months ago we were inundated with CVs and job applications… the same is not true today!
For a long time, if we needed staff, a simple job poster in the window and some application forms would have sufficed. As a city centre retailer we get a lot of footfall, however over the last few years we have found that we were not reaching the right calibre of recruits.
So, I thought it would be a good time to share how we use tech to help us recruit. We started using an online service called “Indeed.” I’m sure many of you will have heard of them or even used them. The key thing is this is not a costly service, in fact you can use it for free. This service enables you to review CVs online and create short lists. “Indeed” even highlights promising candidates who have applied for your job based on criteria you choose. The service then enables you to schedule interviews with the people you want to interview. We are currently holding telephone interviews due to Covid, but this is something we will continue to do as it saves so much time. You can interview over the phone from home, if they don’t answer it’s far less of a waste of my time! If they interview well, we invite them to do a one-day work trial at a store. Making sure they work an early or late shift is the first basic test! A Team Leader will then fill in an assessment form on their work performance.
We do make a payment to everyone doing a work trial of £50.00 as it would be unfair to expect them to do it for free. One shift is normally enough for us to decide on a prospective staff member. If all goes well by the end of the trial shift, we will offer them a job at the same time as clearly explaining the working hours. Make sure you check if they have any restrictions! I have had full-time staff tell me on the second day they can only work two shifts a week!
What if it does not work out? Firstly, make sure you have proper contracts in place and signed. For example, you should know that in the first 24 months you can give notice (normally a week) without following full disciplinary procedure. However, they must not come under a protected category, please always take legal advice! You are not Alan Sugar on “The Apprentice”, be professional at all times.
Does this guarantee pain-free recruitment? Nope, but it does save you time and reduces problems. We are also struggling to find the right staff. Every day is different in retail! Good luck!