By Sophia Elise

Among the many challenges the COVID-19 era has brought to the retail space, recruitment is one that businesses will need to focus on more moving forward. Finding the right people to fill open jobs is never easy, but now — with so much about the workforce and our day-to-day lives having changed — there are new considerations. With this in mind, we’ve put together a few ideas for how to reassess and improve upon recruitment strategies given the new normal.

Put the Word Out

Putting the word out that you’re hiring is always part of the process. Now, however, it’s more important than ever to make absolutely sure that you’re reaching potential job candidates. This is for two reasons. First, as Business News Daily pointed out, many qualified candidates who were looking for jobs before the pandemic might simply assume that most companies aren’t hiring at this point. Second, you probably won’t be getting the same foot traffic you do during ordinary times, meaning it’s less likely that interested candidates will walk into your store asking for applications, or even see hiring notices on windows.

Simply put, the candidates aren’t likely to gravitate toward you on their own the way they may typically do. Your own outreach — through social media, local notices, and word-of-mouth circulation from your existing employees — will be more crucial than ever.

Look for Part-Time Workers

If there’s anything that Covid-19 is changing permanently about how some companies do business, it may be the balance between full- and part-time employees. Our blog post titled ‘47% of Hiring Managers Plan to Use More Freelancers Because of COVID-19’ covered this idea specifically. Essentially, it pointed out that more managers are seeking freelancers, and that some companies that have been forced to eliminate employees may opt for part-time employees as they look to build back up.

The term “freelancer” specifically tends to apply to online work and remote opportunities. However, don’t mistake this as a trend that doesn’t apply to the retail world. In running through some considerations for people who have lost work during COVID-19, Marcus noted that some might ultimately “explore temporary job opportunities.” Such opportunities are increasingly viewed as being more available in some areas than full-time jobs, which means there is likely a pool of potential part-time retail workers for you to hire from. Prioritizing this candidate market may be the best way for you to find the candidates you need to keep your business up and running.

Be Honest About Your Outlook

Right now, most companies are struggling in one way or another. And if that means you aren’t able to offer a prospective employee what you might have offered six months ago, you probably aren’t alone. What’s important is to be honest about what you can offer, and what your outlook might be moving forward. Accurately describing the job you’re offering (in terms of hours, pay, expectations, growth opportunity and so on) will help you to find candidates that understand the situation and want the work.

Prepare for Virtual Assessments

If you’re hiring for a retail post — particularly at a physical store location — you will naturally be expecting the candidate to show up and work in person. Even so, the interview process in the time of Covid-19 is one that’s increasingly taking place online. According to Tech Republic, in fact, 86% of companies are now conducting their job interviews via video conference.

This can be a perfectly reasonable and effective way to handle interviewing new candidates. But it does mean you’ll have to prepare a little bit differently. Part of your late-stage recruitment strategy needs to involve presenting a professional front during interviews, even if you have to do so via video conference. That means dressing for the occasion, guiding the conversation, and speaking entirely on behalf of the business, even without the business setting. With this approach, applicants will see that you have your act together despite the general difficulties of the present time.

Don’t Expect an Easier Process

Lastly, don’t expect an easier process just because of the job market. There may be a temptation among some business owners to believe that there are enough people out there looking for work right now that it will be easy to find candidates. If anything though, the larger pool of candidates may just make things more complicated. Right now, it’s more important than ever to take a careful, comprehensive approach to recruitment and hiring, so that you can set your business up with the best people to help take it forward.

If you’re looking for more industry tips and tricks for recruiting your retail team, reach out to AllWork at info@allworknow.com

Reassessing Your Retail Recruitment Strategies

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