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Who to hire for your store and where to find them

Congratulations on opening your very own physical store! Whether it is your very first store or whether it is your 20th store, it is a big step and there are many things to think about. One being, the hiring of staff for your new store.

Perhaps, you have no clue as to where to begin looking and what to look out for in the potential candidates.We hope this article will give you some pointers to help guide you into finding the perfect person for the job.

Job Description

Before you do anything, write-up a detailed job-description of the type of person you require for the job. Stipulate the specific characteristics and job experience you are looking for in the candidate. When faced with two excellent candidates but not sure which one to choose, we recommend going back to your job description to see which of the two candidates better fit your job description.

Some things you might want to include are:

  • Must have finished matric

  • Should be fluent in English

  • Having at least 2 years’ retail experience could benefit new retailers. It helps if it is someone who does not need detailed training in this area.

  • Characteristics: People person, neat, a person who comes across well (someone you would be proud to represent your business), someone who is good at sales, someone pro-active that does not need to be micro-managed, someone trustworthy (calling references is advised).

Where to begin looking

You can do one of two things: Hire a recruitment agency to find suitable candidates for the job or do the work yourself by appealing to your networks. It's completely up to you and what your budget allows.

Recruitment Agency:

If you are able to afford it, it’s a great option as it saves you on time and effort as they do all the shortlisting, advertising and the setting up of final interviews. Generally, fees are 10-15% of the annual salary of the person you are employing. You only have to pay that amount once you select a person and appoint them. There is usually a 3 month guarantee from agency – they will help to find a new candidate free of charge if the appointed one leaves within the first 3 months.

Own Network:

If your budget is tight, you can begin looking for a candidate by appealing to your own networks via Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. This can work well if done correctly. Take note, that in order to attract the very best shop assistant, your ad on social media needs to be drafted in such a way that it attracts talent. In other words, your ad needs to look appealing and it must be easy for candidates to make contact with you. It needs to stipulate the kind of person you are looking for, and the experience required. Another way of finding your own shop assistant is to approach shop assistants in the same area and ask if they have any recommendations of people looking for a job.


Once you have found a few promising candidates, the next step is to interview them. Draft up questions you think are relevant to the job and ask them to answer them as best as they can. Situational/scenario type questions are especially helpful.

Here are some questions you can ask:

  • Tell us about yourself? (Write down first impressions)

  • What do you know about our company? (Did they make the effort to find out more about the company? If not, why?)

  • Why do you want this job?

  • If a customer makes a complaint, how would you handle it?

  • What would you do when a customer walks into the store?

  • How would you respond if you notice someone stealing in the store?

Take time to reflect on the interview afterwards, then make your decision. Be ready to consider your second option in case your first option doesn't work out.

We hope this article was helpful to you and that you find the perfect person for your store. If you have any other tips – please share them by commenting below. Let’s become a community that enable each other to succeed.

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