Hardware Retailing

MAR 2017

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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HARDWARE RETAILING | March 2017 82 W hen you look throughout your store, one asset is clearly more important than all the others: your employees. Without them, it doesn't matter how great the building looks, how well the store is merchandised or how much you have invested in technology. Your employees are the lifeblood of your organization, and without them, you're doomed. The difference between a good or great busy Saturday can all come down to the workers you have in the store. Usually, finding people is not a problem. Now, finding good people? Well, that's another story. If you happen to find some great employees, retaining them is something that can keep even the best retailers awake at night. If your people truly are your most important asset, how do you not only find the right ones, but make sure they stay for the long term, remain engaged and help move the organization forward? Whether you operate a hardware store, home center, lumberyard or similar type of company, and no matter if you like to hire high school students, retirees or former contractors looking for a change, there are three big ideas related to employee recruitment and retention you should embrace and could benefit from. Stop Hiring, Start Recruiting If you have ever posted a help-wanted ad in a newspaper, you know what to expect—lots of poorly written and incomplete applications. My most recent favorite? On an application, where a potential employee was asked to answer the question "Why would you make a great employee?", in all sincerity, the candidate wrote, "I know employees don't give 100 percent at work. But, when I'm here, I'll give you 40 percent, and you get all 40 percent." If that makes you laugh and cry at the same time, you can see the issue with placing a help-wanted ad when you're looking for quality employees. Instead of approaching the process as simply hiring, consider finding potential candidates by recruiting. In order to do this, you need to have a list of qualities you want in your employees. You need to know what is important to your store and find people who care about the same things. You can train your staff on product knowledge and proper processes, but you can't teach work ethic and personality. When you see the qualities that make a great employee who's a good fit for what your store needs, take action. If it's the waitress at breakfast, leave her your card and tell her you're always looking for great people like her to join your team. Personnel Expert Perspective: Retail is... By Dustin Kaehr, dk@dustinkaehr.com

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