Prior to a store’s grand opening, a small to mid-sized business owner newbie must recruit, hire, and train ideal workers. Investing time and energy in research and preparation about everything from where to find the best staffers to preparing relevant interview questions can help gather information on the training process.
Business owners need to keep in mind that employees’ knowledge and attitude are critical to the company’s success. Employees that have been properly recruited and trained, understand the value of excellent customer service and a pleasant demeanor. Taking care of customers with a smile goes a long way toward attracting them back as repeat shoppers.
“Unmotivated employees with minimal sales experience, who do little as possible without a smile, on the other hand, can be a significant turnoff for customers. If a customer has a negative, unhelpful experience, they may leave your shop empty-handed, never return, tell their friends and family about what happened and maybe even post bad reviews online,” said Elie Y. Katz, President and CEO of National Retail Solutions (NRS).
The first step in hiring workers is to do your research by sourcing and placing ads in print and online.
“If you want to attract excellent, capable candidates, you’ll need to go a step beyond just a ‘Help Wanted’ sign on the door, and place ads on hiring-focused sites such as Recruiter.com, LinkedIn, Indeed, and ZipRecruiter. When posting help-wanted ads, it’s best practice to diversify your efforts for the broadest reach. Newspapers, supermarket bulletin boards, online, local schools/universities, houses of worship and/or email newsletters are just a few places you can post to attract employees,” Katz said. “High school guidance counselors and college recruitment fairs can prove fruitful. Whichever way you decide to post for new team members, make sure to provide a precise, comprehensive description of job responsibilities and experience requirements. Look for personable, talented team players who can multitask while working in a store. This is particularly important for small businesses where there are less employees and they are each in charge of multiple aspects of the business.”
Once you’ve received job applications – and you may receive many – you’ll want to sort through them and interview the most acceptable candidates. During the interview, be very clear about your objectives for the applicant and ask important questions for them to detail their qualifications and experience which are vital for the role. This interaction ensures that you and the potential employee are on the same page and that there are no misunderstandings later.
Additionally, you must consider how you’d like to hire your employees. Perhaps you feel comfortable offering employment on a three-month trial basis so that both you and the employee can see if you are a suitable fit for one another. Employees can also be employed “at will,” which means they can leave or you can fire them for lack of performance or even other factors. If the job offers perks, be sure the details are clear and in writing for new employees.
“Once you employ your new hire and everything appears to be in order, all that’s left now is to train your new recruit to perform to their highest ability. If you have the opportunity to train new employees before your Grand Opening, launching your new business will be a bit less stressful. Be patient,” Katz said. “Some new employees may adjust to the job more quickly than others. Everyone has something to learn and will do it at their own pace.”
If you have staff that are more experienced than your newer recruits, ensure that staff members assist one another. Consider having each less experienced employee assigned a mentor who is well-versed in the operations of your business. Let your new employees know that you want them to succeed and remind them often that they are valuable members of the team. This way, the employees will feel empowered, work to their full potential, and strive to succeed for the greater welfare of ‘the business family’. Reward your employees for their hard work with gift vouchers or other creative ideas to convey to them that you appreciate their efforts on behalf of the business.
Work morale can go a long way in launching a new venture and turbo-boosting its growth. Organize team-building activities, and maybe hold events in which your employees and their families can socialize outside of work. This may include outdoor activities such as a BBQ, day at the park, or sporting event.
“Take time to train your team and encourage each new employee to ask questions and share ideas. Educate each new recruit on how to use the point of sale system to ring up sales and manage inventory, stock the shelves, keep the store clean, interact with customers and help ensure that the business is running smoothly,” Katz said. “Online training manuals and videos can be great informational tools that can save you time. Putting in your maximum effort in both recruitment and training processes will result in a wonderful team in which you can have confidence – reducing your stress and sleepless nights – while increasing revenue.”