Recruiting for retail sales skills
2 minutes | Posted 13 February, 2020

Hiring for retail sales skills may be one of the many challenges you face as a retail employer. Talented salespeople take your business to the next level, but finding the best salespeople for the role can feel like a never-ending pursuit. The right tools and processes, however, will make finding those ideal candidates quicker and easier. Here are the best strategies to hire for retail sales skills.

Make your recruitment advertisement stand out

Many recruitment advertisements in retail look the same, except for the brand name. You recognise these. They usually look something like this:

“[Retail business name] is seeking motivated salespeople to work for us in a fast-paced, challenging work environment. The ideal candidate will have strong interpersonal skills and work as part of a team. You will be expected to: 

Generic task description 1

Generic task description 2…”

Going to market is expensive and you don’t want to waste time wading through irrelevant applications.

Make yours stand out!

Don’t copy and paste your job description. Instead, use it to bring your advertisement to life and inject the personality of your brand. Refer to the primary duties in the role, and tweak and refine the copy to attract the best retail salespeople. Talk about the benefits you offer, what’s in it for them. Use attractive brand imagery and embed videos if you can.

Check out our article: “How do you handle high turnover in retail?” 

Use behavioural testing for retail sales skills

There’s no hiding the fact that salespeople need sales personalities. This might seem obvious, but you may be surprised by the number of employers who don’t use tools to quantify and assess these vital attributes to ensure they make the right choice.

While, of course, some skills can be taught, others are innate. Likability and enthusiasm, while attractive in a candidate, doesn’t necessarily translate to strong sales skills.

Behavioural testing is a great way to identify candidates with retail sales skills. Some tools, such as the McQuaig Word Survey behavioural tool our Shortlisting Specialists use at Employment Offices, even provide you with a complete sales profile of your top candidates.

Use the right screening and interview questions

Use screening questions in your recruitment advertisement and probe deeper during secondary interviews. This gives candidates the chance to demonstrate their skills, experience and personality.

Check out our article: “Hiring to retain: Bust the myths of retail careers through employer branding.” 

You may ask a direct question about their previous sales experience, or a behavioural question with the attributes your business needs in its salespeople, such as grit, persistence, great listening skills or customer focus.

For example, “Describe a time in a previous role where you demonstrated [XYZ].”

While it may seem like a never-ending priority to find great retail sales skills and the right salespeople for your roles, the right tools and processes will ensure you make the best hires.

Do you need a recruitment campaign to attract the best candidates to your vacancy? Schedule a discussion with our Recruitment Advertising Specialists here, call us on 1300 366 573 or email