Retail recruitment can be challenging, as you’ll often be assessing large numbers of candidates with varied backgrounds and skills. Retail salesperson is the most common job role in the United States, but there can be huge variation between candidates who appear to have a similar job history. Assessing candidates thoroughly enough without spending too much time is a big issue.
By organizing group interviews, you’ll be able to assess multiple candidates in a short amount of time, observe how potential recruits interact as part of a team, and won’t have to worry about intimidating candidates with overly formal interviews. This will give you the best possible chance of recruiting candidates with the right skill set and attitude.
Interview Many Candidates at Once
By conducting group interviews, you’ll be able to assess a higher volume of candidates than if you carried out individual assessments. You could split your assessments into three parts:
- An observed group activity
- An individual skills test
- A short one-on-one interview
The short interview will allow you to learn more about the background of each individual and may highlight points that weren’t clear during the group activities. It also gives candidates a chance to ask any questions they have about the role.
See How Candidates Perform on a Team
Working in retail is all about teamwork and social interaction. Candidates who can’t work well on a team or communicate effectively with others won’t help your business. By organizing group activities, you’ll be able to discreetly observe how potential new recruits interact.
Be wary of candidates who stay quiet and don’t get involved, as well as those who are too eager to take charge. The ideal team member will communicate in a confident and respectful way, with the focus on completing the task at hand. Simple problem-solving activities or shop floor role plays are ideal for observation.
Gauge Level of Interest in Industry Trends
Industry knowledge is not always critical for certain retail positions, especially entry level ones, however, gauging a prospective candidate’s interest in your industry can be. Group interviews can lead to more casual conversations about the day to day of their future role; you may find out that some candidates are aware of particular trends within the industry. You may also pick up on certain areas of the business that the prospect would be more effective in than others. The group conversation can be the perfect platform to gain this sort of insight through.
Reduce Stress for Candidates
Many retail candidates may be early in their careers and might not be confident during interviews. Allowing candidates to show what they do best during relaxed, informal group activities reduces the pressure and means you won’t miss out on a perfect candidate because of nerves. Getting to know other applicants can also be helpful in creating bonds between new team members, meaning they’ll feel more at ease when they start work.
Organizing group interviews is an excellent way to thoroughly evaluate retail job applicants without spending too much time or money.
Be Mindful of Turnover Rates
Despite being a challenge in virtually every industry, high employee turnover rates are extremely prominent within the retail industry. Gain a sense of the various reasons why these candidates are applying for their role. If you learn that the job is to solely fill a short, transitional time in their life, weigh out if the time and resources allocated to training them will be worth it for your organizations in the long run.
Additionally, individuals that positively contribute to the group conversation are more likely to do so when engaging customers — resulting in a better customer experience.