Retail Recruiting: Sourcing Your Shoppers

You may not know it yet, but the people entering your stores, purchasing your products, and returning time and time again, may be the perfect candidates for your jobs. These people are your customers, and many retailers sometimes forget that their customers can be a valuable recruiting source. In fact, they may even be your best candidates because they are users of your products and services, which means they can best represent them to other customers, like themselves.

Here are 3 tips on how to jumpstart a successful customer recruitment campaign:

Tip #1: Use Your Resources

You have the resources to communicate with your customers, so why not use them for recruiting too! These resources are your emails, your company’s social media accounts, and even your store receipts. I would approach emails with caution because you don’t want to annoy your customers with tons of recruitment emails. Instead, send an email every quarter highlighting all of the great perks of working at your company (i.e. employee discounts, work environment, and events). Keep in mind that a lot of your customers are passive candidates and may already have a job; however, it may take just one email from their favorite retailer to persuade them to apply.

A lot of retailers are now using social media to connect and engage with their customers. It’s their way of sending and receiving instant feedback about their products and services. It is also a great outlet to let customers know that they are hiring. Use your company’s Facebook Page to post out current openings, or create a Facebook Page dedicated to your careers. With a Facebook Career Page, you can post helpful articles and tips on resumes, cover letters, and interviews, as well as your jobs.

Lastly, use your store receipts for more than, well, a receipt. posted a great article on how Wells Fargo used their ATM receipts as a recruitment source. On the bottom, it said, “With you when you want a career opportunity that’s right for you”, along with a link to their career site. Genius, I know!

Tip #2: Provide a stellar candidate experience

Although customers can be your best candidates, they are still your customers. It is highly unlikely that you will hire every person who applies, ensure a positive candidate experience so they will remain loyal customers. Make the application process as simple as possible. Nothing puts an applicant in a worse mood than filling out a long and tedious application. Let your candidates apply with their social profiles from LinkedIn or Facebook. This way, they can skip the manual data entry and have all of their information auto-populate in your forms. Also, open the channels of communication and build a relationship with your applicants. It could be simple things like sending an email to confirm their application or thanking them for applying to your job opening that can have a big impact on their candidate experience.

Tip #3: Automate your tasks

All of these tips can be implemented, but if you want to receive maximum ROI on these campaigns, you need to automate your tasks with a recruitment technology. Instead of manually posting jobs to your Facebook Page, use a technology to post your jobs during set times and frequencies – set it and forget it! In addition, if your customers aren’t looking to apply to your jobs, allow them to pass your jobs along with one click job sharing to their social networks. Don’t forget to enhance your candidates’ experience with branded career sites that allow them to easily search and apply to jobs. Lastly, send automatic, mass-personalized emails to notify applicants that their resume has been received.

Put these tips to the test and you’ll be one happy and successful recruiter!

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