5 Tips to Recruit a Retail Manager

  5 tips for recruiting a retail manager After a long year in which many retailers have suffered and had to lay off staff, there finally seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel, with signs of recovery already being felt in the industry. If you’re a retailer experiencing an upswing, you…

 

5 tips for recruiting a retail manager

After a long year in which many retailers have suffered and had to lay off staff, there finally seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel, with signs of recovery already being felt in the industry. If you’re a retailer experiencing an upswing, you may be in a position of having to hire a retail manager as things get busier.
 
However, post-Covid things have changed in the retail game and you’ll want to make sure whoever you hire has the chops to really do the job.
 
Here are our top tips for getting the right person.
 

1. Do they have a sales mindset?

 
Ideally, you’ll want a retail manager who has experience in running a store and manage a team – and who also thinks in terms of KPIs and tracking everything in-store sales to staff productivity.
 
Your ideal retail manager will also be incredibly detail-oriented. They’ll memorise product info, be able to juggle a lot of different tasks, and also have a solid instinct for store layout and how to improve yours in order to influence customers’ purchasing decisions. 
 
They may also have ideas or solutions for improving customer retention and customer satisfaction, or know how to compare the success of your online store (if you have one) with your bricks and mortar store. A retail manager with some digital marketing experience in e-commerce (and social media, email marketing and SEO) could be instrumental to your business growth.
 

2. Are their ‘soft’ skills up to scratch?

 
Finding out how candidates tick can give you insights into whether they’ll excel in your retail manager position – and it’s a good idea to ask them for examples of past performance or give them a few scenarios to find out how they would handle them.
 
For example, if they’ll have a large team of staff to manage, you want to make sure they have the soft skills to cope. Are they a good people person? How do they deal with tricky personalities or challenging customers? Are they good at delegating and giving staff ownership of various tasks? Do they treat staff well and offer constructive criticism? Are they solutions-oriented rather than playing the blame game when things go wrong?
 

3. Have they used several retail management systems?

 
Retail management software (RMS) has never been more important in a post-pandemic world. It enables employees to know the latest health and safety information, and how it might impact their interactions with customers. It also enables staff to gather feedback about customers, and employee satisfaction.
 
Your RMS keeps the store organised, making it easy for you to quickly direct customers to specific products and to track inventory. It may help with administering rewards or loyalty programs. You may have an integrated management system that brings all the systems into a simple framework, and you want to make sure your retail manager is technical enough to hit the ground running with it. 
 

4. Are they familiar with Covid protocols?

 
It’s a fact that retail has changed a lot since the pandemic and you want to ensure your retail manager is all across Covid-19 safety plans, registering businesses as Covid Safe, setting up QR codes and helping customers check in manually.
 
You want to also find out what they would do in the event that there was a Covid case, or if the store needed to shut down. Do they have ideas and solutions for moving things completely online in case of a shutdown and the need to keep trading somehow? Can they coordinate kerbside pick-ups, no-contact deliveries and all the other options you may have to consider in order to survive? 

5. How do they act in an unfamiliar interview environment?

 
While it’s traditional to confine interviews to the office, for a second interview you might take a candidate down to the sales floor and see how they interact with existing staff and even customers. Are they polite? Naturally engaging? Do they smile?
 
Conducting group interviews, panel interviews or even role play situations can also help you see how people interact with others in typical sales-type encounters, and can be a valuable way of determining if that candidate would be a good fit for your organisation.