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Using online recruitment solutions to appoint better performing employees

Retailers must ensure that using online recruitment solutions helps them appoint the most suitable employees as well as avoiding offending rejected applicants. By Glynn Davis


Using online recruitment solutions to appoint better performing employees

Ahead of taking part in a panel discussion at the 6th Retail Bulletin HR Summit in London on October 8th, Sean Howard, managing director of international at Talent Q, suggested some large retailers that receive thousands of applicants each year have tended to give more attention to limiting offence rather than finding the top candidates.

“Some retailers have 50,000 to 100,000 applicants per year so there is a huge impact on sales if all the rejected people hold a grudge and then don’t visit the retailer. Retailers don’t want to offend so to avoid this they’ve not been so much focused on the people they want to recruit. We want them to achieve both,” says Howard.

To achieve this he says it is essential to work closely with retailers to create a questionnaire that most effectively sifts through the candidates to deliver a list of high quality people to put forward for interview.

This involves finding the profiles of what good people look like and drawing up profiles of their competencies: “We use a bit of science and not just gut feel. With B&Q we have spent time learning the culture and we’ve designed the online assessments to highlight the retailer’s brand.”

If done effectively the online assessment should look relevant to the individual applicant and give them some insight into the job as well providing feedback for those who are rejected – and in some cases the retailers might also give them some money-off vouchers to attract them into the stores.

The assessment will also deliver a much improved hit rate on candidates that are put forward for interview, according to Howard, who says online recruitment has dramatically reduced the number of people line managers need to interview. Whereas they previously saw five or six people for every appointment, now they can appoint one from every two interviews they undertake.

And these new employees have proven to be of a high standard: “We did a major audit with a big retailer after moving to online [assessments] and the key thing was better quality staff where there was better performance from them. After three and six months these people have been rated much more highly.”

Part of the problem with the traditional recruitment methods is that the line managers can often get it wrong because their interviews are less likely to be focused on finding out the vital competencies of candidates.

One of the biggest developments in the online assessments has been to not just seek out people who can deliver customer service but who can also sell-up on the shop floor. “Most retailers do not recruit selling people and so when they expect their people to sell then the results are poor,” he says.

By having role-playing questions in the assessments (using text, videos, and photos) and asking applicants what they would do next in certain scenarios then the most suitable employees can be found.

Join Sean, other top speakers and your peers for a great day of learning, debate and networking at Retail Bulletin's 6th Retail HR Summit, 8th October in London. Click here for further details. 

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