It’s no secret that attrition rates in the retail industry are significantly higher than those in almost every other industry. It’s a struggle that retailers have been working to overcome for years. With the average cost of hiring now reporting at more than $4,000 per hire, it is becoming increasingly difficult for retailers to maintain these high turnover rates and still remain profitable.

Despite these facts, many of today’s retailers solely rely on standard hiring practices, such as interviews, to vet candidates. While these hiring practices still have a valuable place in the hiring process, the sole use of them limits the employer’s abilities to make informed hiring decisions.

Interviews Don’t Tell the Whole Story

There are several issues with the interview process that can lead to poor hiring decisions when not weighed against other hiring data.

Bias in the Interview Process

A recent study revealed that more than a quarter of the interviewers surveyed stated that they made their decision hiring decision in less than five minutes. That’s barely enough to ask the candidate one or two questions. Additional research shows that the interviewer’s personal bias can lead to inaccurate candidate assessments.


Candidate Fabrication

Another problem employers face is that candidates tend to the tell the interviewer what they want to hear rather than tell the truth. According to a recent study, 81 percent of all applicants admitted to lying during their interview.

It can be nearly impossible to tell differentiate between fact and embellishments, which could lead to poor hiring decisions.

Looking for the Wrong Skills

When it comes to retail hiring many interviewers are simply looking for the wrong skills. Employers can falsely believe that an outgoing and friendly personality equates to an ideal retail hire. This, however, is not necessarily true.

Certainly, retailers want employers that work well with the customers, but other skills, such as ambition, stress management, multi-tasking and problem-solving are equally important. Unfortunately, these traits cannot be detected with just a simple job application and an interview.

What to Look for in a Retail Candidateretail-ideal-traits

The best way for retailers to fix the retention problem is to hire the “right” candidates right from the start. If what is perceived as a bubbly personality during the interview process can’t differentiate high from low performers, what other attributes should employers look for in a retail candidate?

  • High Level of Confidence
  • Friendly Personality
  • Good Communication Skills
  • Ambition / Self-Motivation
  • Reliability
  • Problem-Solving Skills
  • Multitasking Capabilities

How to Evaluate Candidate Traits Effectively

Understanding the traits to look for in a candidate is just the first step. Employers also must develop a comprehensive talent assessment strategy that allows them to accurately assess each candidate. The recruitment process should include a variety of hiring techniques, including:

Structured Interviews

A well-structured interview process can shed light on certain character traits, such as confidence and oral communication. It’s important to use a systematic approach that allows employers to evaluate each candidate equally.

Personality Assessment

Personality assessments are extremely accurate at evaluating specific behavioral tendencies, such as ambition, self-motivation and reliability. This type of pre-hire assessment can help employers predict future performance and determine if the candidate is a good “fit” for their company.

PSMT Assessment

The Problem-Solving, Multitasking (PSMT) pre-hire test provides an excellent assessment of how a well a candidate is likely to perform problem-solving tasks on the job, as well as the candidate’s ability to multitask.

Past Experience

Past retail experience can be a positive or a negative attribute depending on how well the candidate performed on the job. Always check references to determine the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses.

Improving the company’s attrition rates must start by improving the quality-of-hire and sound hiring decision only can be made when the right candidate data is assessed. Learn more about how a comprehensive pre-hire assessment strategy can help retail companies identify top talent candidates by contacting Furst Person today.