Hardware Retailing

APR 2011

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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starting the interview if they might work out," says Mazzone. He hired one employee on the spot because he could tell right away the person belonged in his store. Unfortunately, it's not a scientific process; it's more of a gut feeling. Mazzone is looking for a bubbly, outgoing personality. If he can get that, he says, the rest can be taught. LOOK FOR MOTIVATION Give the applicant the opportunity to show some initiative. After an interview, Dye generally doesn't call the applicant even if he thinks he may want to hire them. Rather he waits for them to call him and follow-up. If they do, he says it shows motivation and he'll take the next step in considering them for the job. OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS Present a typical, perhaps stress- ful, situation in the store and ask the interviewee what he would do. If the person has held a retail job before, ask them questions like "did you ever disagree with a cus- tomer?" Nelson says it's important for customers to feel comfortable as soon as they walk in the store, so he tries to determine if the applicant can do that. "The personality is the most important thing I hire for," he says. "Do they have a willingness to serve others? Are they giving of themselves? If they seem to be self- centered, they're probably not going to work out." Know-it-all personali- ties are not likely to work out either, adds Dye, as that attitude generally turns off customers. TRIAL PERIOD Many retailers use a trial period to decide if they want to keep an employee. Be clear on the length of the trial period—typically three to six weeks—and maintain ongo- ing communication throughout including an evaluation at the end to determine whether or not the employee should stay on the job. www.nrha.org "QSJM t )BSEXBSF Retailing 57 NEED MORE INFORMATION If you'd like a complete guide to attracting and hiring employees, see NRHA's Human Resource Handbook. It's available online free to NRHA members on www.nrha.org. It includes downloadable, customizable forms that you can use for all stages of the hiring process.

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