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High attrition rates have plagued the retail industry for years, For many retailers, these high turnover rates have become just a part of doing business, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Today’s employers have the ability, through applications, interviews and pre-employment assessments, to learn more about their prospective candidates than ever before.

Learn how to calculate your true cost of attrition with our interactive worksheet.

Gathering candidate data, however, is not enough. Employers must know what traits to look for when selecting new hires. Here’s a look at seven essential traits every new retail hire should have.

1. Communication

Good communication, especially verbal communication, skills are a vital part of customer services. You want employees who can engage well with the customers, who can answer customer questions effectively and who can use persuasive communication to boost sales.

2. Problem-Solving Skills

The ability to problem-solve effectively is a skill often overlooked in the retail industry, yet solving problems is something your employees are forced to do every day, on the job. Problem-solving requires the ability to observe problems and analyze solutions. While on the job, you want employees who can identify customer problems and provide viable solutions, while still offering efficient services.


3. Confidence

Confidence is another skill often overlooked in retail. It is crucial, however, that your retail employees have a high-level of confidence, especially when dealing with customers. You want your employees to give an impression of authority when dealing with your customers, especially when negotiating a deal or trying to solve a problem.

4. Ambition

Retail stores can be very hectic at times. During these times, store managers do not have time to keep track of every employee and make sure that everyone is doing their job. It is crucial to the efficiency of your store that you hire employees with ambition, employees that are self-motivators and that you can count on to get the job done without constant supervision.

5. Adaptability

Retail workers can go from ringing out customers to handling returns to stocking shelves all within just minutes. It is important to have employees who can adapt to these constant shifts throughout the workday and properly manage the stress that comes with it.

6. Integrity

A recent study revealed that US retailers lose almost $50 billion dollars a year due to shoplifters. With this amount being so high, retailers can’t afford to worry about employee theft too. Hiring employees identified with high levels of integrity can help prevent further loss for the company.

7. Sales vs. Service

The ability to balance making a sale and providing valuable service is a much sought after trait in retail. This is a delicate balance that not all candidates understand or know how to master it. It requires employees to communicate well with the customer without being so pushy that it drives the customer away.

Hiring the right employees for your team right from the start cannot only improve attrition rates, but it can increase productivity, improve customer service and most importantly boost sales. The good news is that personality test and other pre-hire assessment can provide employers with the hiring intelligence they need to make sound hiring decisions. Contact Furst Person today to find out how pre-hire assessments can help you develop a hiring process that makes sure you hire the right retail team.