Redefining Talent Acquisition in Retail: The Power of Skills-Based Hiring

May 18, 2023By Jeremy Brown
Jeremy Brown

We’ve all heard the saying, "Hire for attitude, train for skill." But what if we told you there's a new mantra shaping the retail industry's talent acquisition landscape - "Hire for Skill, Nurture the Attitude."

In an era where retailers compete fiercely for talent, the time has come to rethink traditional hiring strategies. The key? Skills-based hiring.

Skills-based hiring focuses on the ability to do the job rather than a candidate's traditional qualifications. This progressive method gives the retail industry a competitive edge in the war for talent.

Consider the case of Apple. Their retail employees, known as "Specialists," are selected based on their ability to deliver an exceptional customer experience rather than past retail or tech experience. By focusing on skills such as problem-solving, communication, and empathy, Apple has set a new standard in retail customer service. More about this can be found here.

To illustrate the power of skills-based hiring, let's walk through a story. Meet Sarah, a former barista at a local coffee shop. Though she had no formal retail experience, she possessed invaluable skills - an exceptional ability to connect with customers, keen attention to detail, and a knack for upselling. A traditional hiring process might have overlooked Sarah. However, a fashion retailer that employed skills-based hiring recognized her potential. Today, Sarah is their top-performing sales associate, proving that skills trump experience.

The retail industry is at a pivotal moment. The global pandemic has accelerated the need for change. With an increased emphasis on online shopping, the demand for digital and customer service skills has surged. Skills-based hiring can help retailers secure the talent they need to thrive in this new reality.

So, let's embrace this shift. Let's value skills as the new currency in hiring. Let's give the baristas, the homemakers, and the career changers a chance to shine.

Are you ready to redefine your hiring strategy? What skills will you prioritize in your next hire? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

#recruiting #skillsbasedhiring #retail #hiring