Retail stores come in all shapes and sizes, but there is one thing that many of them have in common: they employ cashiers. Sure, bigger players in the grocery spaces have started implementing self-checkout; but for most small to medium retailers, the role of the cashier continues to be a vital one.
But with labor shortages plaguing the retail industry, many stores are finding it difficult to recruit cashiers who’ll stick around.
In this post, we’ll share practical tips to help you hire more cashiers amidst the labor shortage. Take a look at our pointers below!
1. Set yourself up for cashier hiring success by establishing a strong work culture
First things first. To attract top-notch talent, you need to be an employer that people would love to work for. It’s essential to establish a strong work culture that makes employees feel valued. We’ve covered this quite a bit in our previous articles, but here are some quick pointers:
Compensation and benefits. With inflation on the rise, setting competitive pay is crucial. You need to be able to invest in your workforce to thrive in today’s market. Janet Wright, the founder of Floorplay Socks, credits the success of her business to team members who provide the best customer service. She says that great pay and benefits were instrumental in encouraging her team.
“I have employees who have been with me for years now. So I think that says that [Floorplay Socks] has to be a good place to work,” says Janet.
“None of my staff have ever made minimum wage. I’ve never paid anyone minimum wage. Plus once they get to 20 hours a week, they have full benefits, dental, prescription, eyeglasses — I pay 100% for them. Christmas, everyone gets a bonus. If stores do well, my staff do well.”
Aside from compensation, you can set yourself apart by offering additional perks such as:
- Product discounts
- Free merch
- Flexible work hours
- Food and drink
- Learning opportunities
Need more ideas? Check out our post: 27+ Retail Staff Incentive Ideas to Encourage Your Team and Improve Employee Retention.
Useful tools. Provide your team with tools that make their life easier so they can focus on serving your customers. In the case of hiring cashiers, having an easy to use point of sale system is a must.
Equipping them with a robust POS solution (like Vend by Lightspeed) means they can ring up sales faster and keep shoppers happy. Having intuitive retail tools also means they don’t have to stress about technology, which keeps their day-to-days running smoothly.
Recognition and team building. Sincere compliments and words of encouragement don’t cost a thing, so be liberal with praising your team members whenever they do something great. Team recognition is a great form of positive reinforcement that prods employees to bring their best selves to work.
These components — compensation, recognition, and technology — are essential ingredients to your success as an employer. When you get these things right, you’ll attract more high-performing employees who are more likely to stick around and sing your business’ praises.
2. Create clear and compelling job listings
Already have a strong work culture and employer reputation? Excellent. Now, let’s talk about your actual job listing. Listings will vary depending on the role and company, but generally, they consist of 3 main components: the job description, qualifications, and benefits + company details.
Here’s how to optimize each of these things on your listing.
This section should provide a 1-2 sentence overview of what the job is, and include a list of day-to-day responsibilities. For the role of a cashier, the responsibilities could include:
- Greeting customers at the point of sale
- Ringing up sales
- Processing returns
- Reconcile payments and transactions
- Providing customer service
- Answering shoppers’ questions
Here’s a good example of a cashier job description from Ria Financial. Notice that it’s written in easy-to-understand language and has bullet points so applicants can quickly scan the listing.
This section talks about what you’re looking for in a candidate. Here, you can list the qualifications that are required, as well as those that are “nice to have.” If applicable, spell out the certifications or degrees necessary for the job, as well as years and type of experience. Feel free to add ideal traits that would be beneficial to the job.
For cashiers, it’s not uncommon to look for someone who’s a “people person” or one who’s patient and outgoing.
Check out this example from O’Reilly Auto Parts. In addition to listing the job’s age and technical requirements, the company also emphasizes that it values traits like dedication, enthusiasm, honesty, etc.
Rather a cookie-cutter section, the team at O’Reilly took the time to communicate its values in the job description, thereby increasing the likelihood that the store will attract the right candidates.
Benefits and company details
The benefits + about section gives you the opportunity to communicate what makes your company unique and why people should apply. Write an engaging company description in a style and voice that are in line with your brand. Identify the unique attributes for your stores and how you add value to the lives of your customers and employees.
It’s also a good idea to highlight any perks or benefits that aren’t offered in other workplaces.
Sprouts does all of this in its job description. It has a bullet list of the job benefits that the role offers, including enticing perks such as a 15% employee discount, paid parental leave for mothers and fathers, life insurance, and disability coverage.
The listing also has a brief paragraph outlining what makes Sprouts different from other stores.
3. Spread the word
Next up is getting your listing and job opening out there. Try to cover as many recruitment channels as possible. This includes both traditional and non-traditional ways of spreading the word.
Consider the following.
Having a hiring poster in your store. Put it up your window and consider having it on your checkout counter where everyone can see it.
Job listing websites. Put your listings online. The following sites are popular among recruiters and candidates:
Ask for employee referrals. Your current team members can be a great source of referrals, so encourage them to share your job openings to their network. The goods news is, if you’ve established yourself as a great place to work (see point #1 above) then your team should be happy to oblige.
That said, it wouldn’t hurt to provide a bonus for every successful referral.
Spread the word on social media. Create a post to share on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Chances are, the people who follow you are fans of your store. So putting your job openings in front of them can help attract like-minded candidates.
Check out this example from Stumps Family Market.
Send a “we’re hiring” email to your list. Do the same thing for your email list. Whip up a message saying that you’re hiring cashiers at your store and send it to your subscribers.
Have a look at this example from Levi’s, which even includes quotes from existing team members.
4. Filter your applicants
Once your listings are out there, you can start going through the applications that come in. There is a balance that you need to establish at this stage of hiring a cashier. On one hand, you want to make it easy for the right candidates to apply, but the processes can’t be too frictionless to the point where you’re attracting spammy applications.
Here are some ideas to help you filter your applications:
- Ask specific questions in your job listing or request candidates to send their application email with a certain subject line.
- Use resume filtering apps
- Conduct phone or video interviews before having candidates come in person
Taking these steps above will make it easier for you to narrow down your applications to a handful of interviews.
5. Establish an efficient interview process
The next step on how to hire a cashier is to interview a select group of candidates. The interview process will help you get a feel of each candidate and whether or not they’ll be a good fit.
Interview questions are critical at this stage, so have a think about what questions to ask. Generally speaking, you’ll want to include questions that:
Tell you if they’re qualified for the position. To determine if someone is actually up for the job, you can ask questions like:
- Tell us about your previous work experience? What was it like working at _______?
- How do you feel about handling money?
- Tell us about a difficult customer or retail situation that you’ve had to deal with. What was it like?
Give an indication of whether they’re a good cultural fit. Someone may be technically qualified for the position, but if a candidate doesn’t share your company values, then they’re not the right person for the job. The following questions may help you determine if someone is a good cultural fit.
- What does good customer service mean to you?
- Can you tell us about a time when you demonstrated [INSERT COMPANY VALUE HERE]?
It may also help to interview candidates on the sales floor or have your current employees speak to them. This will give you a preview of what they’re like and how they interact with your team and customers.
Hiring a cashier can be a challenge in today’s labor market but it’s completely doable. A strong company culture coupled with smart and efficient recruitment strategies will make the process of finding and hiring a cashier relatively easier.
About Francesca Nicasio
Francesca Nicasio is Vend's Retail Expert and Content Strategist. She writes about trends, tips, and other cool things that enable retailers to increase sales, serve customers better, and be more awesome overall. She's also the author of Retail Survival of the Fittest, a free eBook to help retailers future-proof their stores. Connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Google+.