SmartRecruiters Blog

How to Staff a Retail Store in a Month

Recruiting your team for a retail environment can be a never-ending activity, particularly if you are staffing a large store or are looking for staff with particular skills, such as optometry or in-depth sports knowledge. If this is the case, you will need to be on the constant lookout for the right people to join your team, but if you are just starting out with a new store and need to recruit a team in a short period of time, where do you start?

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Start with the long term organizational structure. Decide on how you want to run your team with, such as part-time to full-time ratio, and skill range required. Part-time staff will give you flexibility, and full-time staff will give you consistency.

Then, make tactical recruitment decisions. Look at what tools are available for you to use to get the recruitment done quickly and efficiently:

  1. The store window. Often overlooked, but in areas of high foot flow, a missed opportunity. Word of mouth is a powerful thing, so put the details of what you require and who to contact on a neat sign in your front window.
  2. Get searching. You will find great staff in other stores, and when you do, simply say to the sales assistant how much you appreciated their service and should they be thinking of a change, to give you a call, then give them your card.
  3. Post online. Job boards are a given, but don’t forget to say you are looking to hire on your own social channels as well as on the store’s social channels, such as its Facebook page. Remember, word of mouth is very powerful.
  4. Your own network. Don’t be afraid to let your own network of friends and business connections know that you are recruiting (in person and through social media).
  5. Get creative. It’s very easy to make a short video with your smartphone and put it on YouTube, so get creative and talk about what you are looking for, what the position involves and more about the company. You can hyperlink to this from your social channels and job board listing. Work on standing out.

Hiring Platform for Retail

Most Importantly, don’t settle for second-best, even if you are feeling desperate ­– you will undoubtedly regret it down the line. There are many tools to determine someone’s fit into your organization, but only use these if you are going to listen and adhere to the results they give you as they do come with a cost. I have recruited on my gut in the past, with my motto of “if in doubt, leave them out” serving me well. Think about offering your other team members extra hours to cover a short-term staffing issue rather than employing someone out of desperation.

Finally, consider starting new employees’ training before the store opens. If you are staffing a new store, you don’t want to open with an inexperienced team that could let you down, so consider which other store you might send your team to to gain some valuable experience.

Recruiting for retail is an ongoing process, and in my experience as a store manager and regional manager, you are only as good as your team, so invest in the best, and train, train, train the rest!


Linda ColesLinda Coles is a Speaker, Trainer and Content Creator. She is the Author of “Start with Hello,” founder of The Say Hello Project. Photo Credit flickr4jazz.

SmartRecruiters is the hiring platform for retail with everything you need to source talent, manage candidates, and make the right hires, with retail clients such as Refinery29KarmaLoop, and Marc Jacobs.

Linda Coles

Linda Coles is a Speaker, Trainer and Content Creator. She is the Author of “Start with Hello,” founder of The Say Hello Project.