No doubt there are many things working together to make it very hard for our retail and hospitality sector to come back after COVID-19. How do you convince people to join your team? And most importantly how do you get them to stay? We’ve been working in this industry for a long time and here are a few suggestions I’d like you to consider.
Make it easy for people to know that you’re hiring.
I would suggest that you have multiple channels that help communicate this: put a sign in your window, place an ad on Craigslist, and potentially even consider putting an ad through another channel like the Boulder Chamber, University of Colorado’s job board (Handshake), Indeed.com, or the Downtown Boulder Partnership. It won’t be enough to only do one of those things. Also, let your customers, friends and family know that you’re hiring. Sometimes they can be a big help in spreading the word.
Make it easy for people to apply for your job.
Asking them to have a resume, when they may not even have access to a computer, could take more labor than it’s worth for them. Have them fill out an easy application and then get to know them through an interview. I wouldn’t assume that the effort to apply reflects their willingness to work. The harder you make it for them to apply the less likely they are to make the effort because it can be too big of a barrier. We write dozens of resumes every month, and it is an overwhelming process for most people. Given that they have so many choices right now for jobs the easier you make it the better.
Be clear on what it is that makes you a great employer.
Oftentimes I think we forget as leaders to really think about what makes us amazing. Take some time this week to understand what makes you a great employer, your organization a fun place to work and what differentiates you from other stores or shops. This ultimately becomes your values and being clear on it can help you in many ways. One way is this can be a key differentiator during the interview so make sure you bring up during an interview what makes you better. You want to hire, manage, and fire against these values.
Lastly, there are new rules about job postings. You are now required to post the salary on the job advertisements. I suggest that you post a range like “this position pays between $12.32/hour and $14/hour.”
Remember, you are competing with McDonald’s and Walmart – organizations with much deeper pockets and a wider support system. And it’s still Walmart and McDonald’s. You are going to be a much better employer for a lot of these folks who are unemployed. Not everyone wants to work in these large institutions. Make it a goal to be a better employer than them!