How to Attract the Best Talent to Your Retail Store

By Steve Di Orio
Posted in Store Management
On June 12, 2015

Many retail establishments have a hard time recruiting great talent for their store. With so many young adults flocking to retail careers for a “job just to earn some extra money” or “for the great discounts” it is hard to find individuals that actually take their role seriously and are willing to work hard to make your store a real success. Because of the often limited funds that many retail stores have to pay employees, it is hard to attract top talent.


One way to attract great talent to your store is to help them see it as a great way to begin or build their career.


Give employees opportunities to follow their interests. Allow them to shadow management, learn more about taking inventory, have them be part of creating a floor set, etc. Instead of endless hours of folding T-shirts or putting back stock out on store shelves, find out what aspects of your store they are interested in. If you run a clothing store focus on finding people that are fashion-driven. Let them help create an interesting retail display or dress a mannequin. These are tasks that speak more to their interests and will entice them to work for your store, even if the pay isn’t the best.


Different employees will be attracted to your store for different reasons.


Provide room to grow. Driven employees often begin their job with plans to move up. They may sign on as a sales associate but aspire to become a store manager or move to a corporate office. If your top employees are left feeling like there is nowhere to move up in the company, they may seek a new job elsewhere. People don’t like feeling stagnant, and opportunities for growth are important. If space is limited and bringing on a new manager isn’t an option, try and find other ways to boost their role. Such as being in charge of new hires or managing the cash registers. Show that you have noticed their efforts and trust them to take on more.


A simple thank you can go a long way.


Show appreciation. Nothing kills morale faster than a lack of gratitude. If your team showed up at 6 a.m. to rearrange the store without complaint, thank them by bringing for donuts or coffee for everyone. And don’t forget to say thank you. Whether it is for something major like a huge sale or something smaller like cleaning up the bathroom or another task no one wants to do, always acknowledge the team’s hard work.


Rewarding employees for hard work will give them more incentive in the future.


If corporate isn’t willing to give bonuses, see if you can find a way to do so yourself. Running contests is a great way to get employees to step up their game, but it needs to be worth it for them. Maybe the top sales associate of the month gets a $10 Starbucks gift card, or an employee that goes above and beyond gets taken out to lunch. Sometimes you can’t offer a raise, but an out of pocket donation on your part to get employees to try their hardest can reward you in the end. Whether it means more sales because clients are pleased with the customer service or you get a nice bonus from corporate, $10 here and there can go a long way.


Attracting top talent to a lower paying job can be difficult, but if you put a nice spin on it and show them the great incentives that you work hard to supply, it could change their outlook. Discuss the areas of the business they are interested in, come up with ways together to help them better explore and grow their career and let them know that hard work is rewarded at your store.

Steve Di Orio

Steve Di Orio


Steve has been with Handy Store Fixtures for over 15 years. After becoming the Marketing Manager in 2006, he was named Director of Marketing. Steven earned his MBA from Montclair State University with a specialization in Digital Marketing in 2019. When not at work, he loves to travel, play golf, exercise, and talk all things search engine marketing and retail display tips.