Your Guide to Recruiting In The Retail Industry


Recruiting in any industry can be difficult, but if the past few years have shown us anything, it’s that doing so in the retail sector is perhaps one of the biggest challenges.  Doing it completely alone is even worse, honestly, since there are ways that we can ease the process along the way.  Unfortunately, a lot of people seem to view these methods as inaccessible.

The truth of the matter, though, is that they don’t need to be intimidating.  Once you learn more about some of the external methods of recruiting for your positions, you’ll see that it’s really not that complicated.  The trick is to find a method that works for you and to stick with it.  Today, we’ll be covering some of these options!

Staffing Agencies

The first option that we’ll get into today are staffing agencies.  You can find an example of one here,, though naturally there are plenty of them out there.  What are they, though, and how are they useful?

As you can probably guess based on the name alone, they’re a type of third-party company that assists businesses in their recruitment efforts.  Now, a lot of people have become familiar with them because of the “temp” agencies that gained popularity in the past few decades.  However, that is not how all of them work.

Sure, there are still some that operate as “temp” agencies, allowing companies to hire out employees on a seasonal or otherwise temporary basis.  That said, for most businesses that are looking for staffing solutions, this probably won’t be the route that they take.  Long-term employees tend to be more valuable anyhow, as they only need to go through training once.

With staffing agencies more oriented towards those long-term employment solutions, they will work with you to create a distinctive action plan.  It’ll be different depending on what sort of goals you have, of course – so, before consulting with one of these agencies, consider what your aim is.  What type of employees are you looking for, and what type of work environment do you want to cultivate?

How it Works

When you’ve settled on an agency to work with, then you can discuss some of the details with them.  This will probably include things like what sorts of qualities you would like them to prioritize in terms of examining the applications that they receive.  Essentially, they’ll be the ones in charge of advertising the position as well as looking over any applicants to see how they line up with your wants.

The goal is to help you find employees that will integrate seamlessly with your current staff and help to improve the overall productivity in your organization.  Once you get the details sorted out, then they’ll be able to take the reigns from there.  Naturally, you’ll always get the final say on any hires.

Help Wanted Websites

When hiring for retail, another option is to go for an external website.  Just remember that this will typically require a bit more work on your end, and you will have to sort through the applications on your own.  Not a deal breaker, certainly, but it is worth bearing in mind.

Typically, these sites are used to list one or two positions at a time, though they could be utilized for rolling employment as well.  The idea is that companies post listings for their open positions.  The process is fairly simple, and each organization gets to decide some custom elements to the application if they want.

Interestingly, many of the staffing agencies that were mentioned above will also utilize these websites, but because of the additional connections and networking opportunities that they have, there’s a different process for them.  So, it’ll be up to you to decide what method you would prefer.  You can read about the differences in this article, if you’d like to get some additional perspectives.

What Route Should We Take, though?

Now that we’ve covered some of the options, it’s fair if you’re wondering what route you should take.  Admittedly, it’s somewhat of a tricky quandary.  As with most things in the business world, though, there are pros and cons to each method.

This makes it hard to choose.  Realistically, though, you can go with both if you really want to.  It will all depend on your budget and how much you’re willing to splurge on your recruitment efforts.  In the retail world, sometimes we have constraints set by corporate that we can’t necessarily work around.

As far as “best bang for your buck” goes, it’s probably going to go to the staffing agencies.  They bring a lot to the table, after all.  Networking alone means that they could end up filling those positions for you much faster than just listing on a website could.  While this won’t always be the case, it’s hard to ignore this fact.

If you’re still not sold or are wondering whether any of this is worth it in the first place, think about this for a moment: have you seen the news lately?  It’s hardly a secret that many businesses are struggling to fill their positions these days.  In the retail sector, it’s often even worse.

This means that recruitment efforts will need to be doubled and perhaps even tripled to successfully find employees that we’re happy with in terms of overall performance and general attitude in the workspace.  Not everyone will be a right fit, after all.

Pouring through dozens, and maybe even hundreds of applications isn’t easy, though.  After a while, all of them can start to blur together.  That’s why having more eyes to help spread the work out amongst can really be beneficial.  You won’t miss out on an amazing applicant because of tired-brain syndrome, or something like that!

Don’t worry if you’re still uncertain.  You can always have a consultation with a staffing agency before you bite the bullet and commit to working with them.  You can also make a posting online for the position before you work with them, and compare the results!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here