Hiring Profitable Employees
The candidates are lined up at the door and waiting patiently for you to consider them. Now what? Hopefully, you're ready with needed forms and a process. You're ready to accept their applications, determine which to interview further, verify their credentials, make a decision, and, as appropriate, make a job offer.
Like other retailing tasks, the employment process is relatively well developed. However, you should also seek assistance and advice from your state's department of employment and other professionals. Deal with facts. Minimize opinions. Treat candidates as you wish to be treated. Keep good records. Know your state's employment laws.
Stationery and office supply stores have employment application forms that conform to generic regulations. Make sure that they apply to your state's employment laws before using them. Alternately, your state's employment website may have sample forms and guidelines for using them. Employment services and counselors may provide the forms and even do the interviewing depending on what you hire them to do.
Should I require or accept candidates’ resumes?
Yes. However, you should ask all candidates to also thoroughly complete your standardized application form. It will make your candidate comparison and decisions much easier. If candidates have resumes, attach them to the applications.
Not all candidates will get an interview. It is up to you whether you decide to notify candidates who don't get an interview. Many small retailers carefully tell applicants that they will be called within a specified period if selected for an interview.
Make sure you know and understand your state's fair employment practices. There are questions you cannot and should not ask of applicants, especially regarding age, race, religion, political affiliation, and other personal information. Know what they are and be considerate of applicants’ personal information.
Decision to Hire
Many retailers say that they either have too many qualified candidates or not enough. Even if your store is desperate for help, don't make the mistake of hiring the wrong employee(s). In fact, if the business is struggling because of the lack of help, the last thing you want is more problems. Make other adjustments in your operations if needed, but don't make the costly mistake of hiring an injurious employee.
Sometimes you will get too many qualified applicants for the positions you have. Your decision is then much easier, but still not easy. Select the best candidate and offer her the job before notifying the other good candidates. By handling it that way, you'll assure yourself of having backup candidates if your first choice has found another job already. What about the others? Tell them of your decision and ask them if they would like to be considered for future openings. Then keep their applications and call them first if you need more or replacement help.
The job offer can actually be a fun event as you bring good news to the candidate and present the terms. Plan the offer in advance, making sure that the new hire understands the job, the pay and benefits package, and what is expected. If you have used a written job description in the hiring process, present the new employee with a copy. Indicate that job performance reviews will be based on this document and subsequent changes. Resolve any problems or conflicts now before employment officially begins.
Many experienced retailers refer to the hiring offer as the day the honeymoon ends. Some employees never seem to match up to the way they represented themselves as during the hiring process. Make sure that your store's hiring process draws out any candidate issues and answers all concerns before the official hire. Be honest and fair. You may not always be treated reciprocally, but you will sleep better at night.
Your state employment laws may require a signature or other documentation when an applicant accepts the job. In most states you will have to provide notification of any new hire, along with their Social Security number and other data.