Retail News & insights

A Recruitment Strategy is a blueprint used to inform decision making about how available roles are presented to market and outline the actions at each stage of the recruitment process. When aligned to the overall business or strategy it becomes a powerful framework. There are a number of considerations in defining a recruitment strategy that will vary for each business context.

Prepare Recruitment Advertising

Guidelines for designing recruitment advertising are:

  • Include information about the organisation:

Who they are, what they do, why they exist. Candidates need to understand the business culture and image. Also include the employee value proposition and the non-financial ‘benefits’ employees enjoy.

  • Clearly define the position:

Specify the duties of the role.

  • Define desired qualifications:

Analyse the job in terms of essential and nice to have technical and performance skills and communicate accordingly.

  • List the key responsibilities and likely challenges:

Which tasks will the candidate be required to do day to day. Share the challenges and opportunities to grow personally and professionally.

  • Explain the Application Process:

Inform potential applicants of the process, what is required and how it should be submitted.

Once advertising content is prepared the question of design may arise. The look and feel of advertisements for recruitment is an important consideration in attracting the most desirable candidates. For those new to recruitment it can be helpful to consider the following:

  • Position is important:

Place advertisements where the desired audience is, not necessarily just in the business section.

  • On-line positioning:

Be open-minded and broad in the job classification category for on-line advertising so as not to deselect candidates accidentally through the search function.

  • Position on the page will help you get seen:

In print researchers agree is seen slightly more often than an advertisement on the left.

  • Graphics should be clean and easy to read:

Differentiate your ad but prioritise attractiveness and reading ease.

  • Call to action:

Include information about applying right now via the preferred method.

dreamstime_xl_37376111.jpgPromote Internal Vacancies

Many retailers prioritise internal recruitment wherever possible. The protocol for managing internal recruitment is generally defined by the recruitment strategy where one exists and ideally reflects the attention to detail of that given to external recruitment initiatives.

Pursue External Recruitment Options

It is common for retailers to engage external recruitment partners to support them in the attraction and recruitment of ideal candidates.

Recruitment agents are a service that can be used to:

  1. Conduct any or part of the recruitment and selection process
  2. Acquire casual staff for short-term employment or urgent temporary staffing requirements
  3. Acquire a pool of candidates for fixed-term and ongoing vacancies
  4. Acquire specialist expertise in the form of consultants

Consider and Compare Candidates

It has been established that all applications should be acknowledged for their time and effort on applying. Prompt acknowledgment is good practice and presents a positive image of the business.

The experience of candidates (both successful and unsuccessful) at each stage of the recruitment process will impact on their view of the business both from the perspective of a potential employee, and as a customer.

When short-listing applicants:

  • Base decisions first on essential or core criteria then on desirable or ‘nice to have’ criteria
  • Avoid making assumptions about qualifications or experience, an applicant’s ability to cope with a particular situation and the potential reaction of current employees or customers
  • Intend to find the best person for the job not just one that is good enough
  • Use a consistent method to evaluate each applicant
  • Document the decisions made and reasons for them

One-on-one interviews

This is the traditional interview in which candidates are met in person one on one. Each candidate is given a structured but unique interview. Both the candidate and employer usually walk away from this interview with a sense of whether or not the fit is right.

Panel interviews

A panel interview is conducted by a number of people as a group. The benefit of this method is that it allows the interviewers to evaluate the candidate's responses to the same questions, at the same time. It also reduces the potential for personal bias to influence the final selection decision if only one person conducted the interviews.

Screening interview

Screening interviews are used to qualify a candidate before he or she meets with a hiring authority for possible selection. These interviews are usually quick, efficient and low-cost strategies that result in a shortlist of qualified candidates.

Behavioural interviews

Behavioural interviews are often considered the best tool to identify candidates who have the behavioural traits and characteristics that the business has selected as necessary for success in a particular job.

Behavioural interviewing is based on the premise that past behaviour is a predictor of future behaviour.  Behavioural interviewers take the following approach:

  • They ask for specific examples of how the candidate behaved in past situations, rephrasing if the candidate attempts to generalise
  • They conduct very structured interviews with a set of consistent questions used with each candidate

Telephone screening

The telephone interview is the most common way to perform an initial screening interview. It is a cost and time efficient method of screening for large-scale recruitment and helps gain a general sense of each candidate to determine whether it is worth pursuing a face-to-face interview.

Preliminary interviews

Preliminary Interviews are often conducted in groups and are used to eliminate those candidates who do not meet the minimum eligibility criteria. Amongst other things the group context allows interviewers to observe candidate leadership potential and style in a context that is difficult to replicate in an individual interview.

Skills testing

Retailers are increasingly using aptitude and psychometric testing to help evaluate applicant's existing skill levels, aptitude and underlying behavioural characteristics likely to impact the way in which they work.

Secondary interviews

The second interview is generally where the hiring decision takes place. At this stage the number of candidates is a select few, all of whom have the potential to be recruited into the role. In this interview the main intention is to test candidates for cultural fit.

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