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Once again about the hiring strategy: how to correctly select candidates for the position of seller and find among them "their" person
24.07.2018 3557

Once again about the hiring strategy: how to correctly select candidates for the position of seller and find among them "their" person

The success of an enterprise depends on the professionalism of its employees. For companies where most of the personnel are sales managers, this statement is doubly relevant. Where to find the "ideal" seller or make him find you - the "best" employer? And what needs to be changed in your hiring strategy so that finding the right people leads to the desired result? These questions are answered by the SR expert, the head of the Russian branch of Beitraining, business trainer Anya Pabst.
Anya Pabst Anya Pabst - Head of the Russian branch of BEITRAINING. Master of Sociology and Slavic Studies. Education "HR Manager", is a specialist in the field of crisis communication. He has experience working with people in study groups of various profiles both in Germany and abroad. Over the years, Anya Pabst has trained over 150 trainers. For more than 7 years her professional activity has been associated with work in the CIS countries - Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. BEITRAINING is an international franchise company and a certified strategic partner of the German and Austrian Franchising Union on the topic of “Professional Development”. He specializes in training and professional development in the field of management, trade, customer service and personal growth.

Every fifth company in Russia has real problems finding suitable specialists for vacant positions. Therefore, the task is to increase the attractiveness of the enterprise as an employer and to develop a competent hiring strategy. A common mistake among entrepreneurs, including those working in the shoe segment, is that they are hired from time to time only when they have an urgent need for employees and need to "plug a hole", taking someone to replace the retired employee .

“The main problem in the hiring process is that it is not permanent,” says Anya Pabst, head of the Russian branch of the BEITRAINING training company. - This is very similar to how the asphalt is patched in Russia: with the onset of spring, holes on the road surface are covered with short-lived patches instead of overhauling the road, which must be done regularly, without waiting for spring. A hiring specialist should do this regularly, systematically. ”

If you turn to European standards, in their hiring is spelled out as a “constant follow-up process”. The skill to find the right people requires development and training, in itself it does not arise and is lost if it is not put into practice and improved.

The hiring process can be compared to the selling process. The employer needs to decide whether something suitable for him is suitable for him (in this case, “something” means people, employees with their professional, human qualities). Finding the right person to meet one or another professional and personal criteria requires time and effort, sometimes quite serious, so you should be patient and remember the Pareto principle (80 / 20 rule). It reads as follows: 80% of the results are achieved with 20% of the costs.


Age requirement: younger than 30 or older than 40?

You have to be prepared for the fact that out of twenty candidates, only one is perfect for you. Unfortunately, for this you will have to talk with all the candidates, but you can make your life easier at the stage of selecting a resume. The simplest qualification that can be taken as an example is age. Are you looking for a young employee from 20 to 30 years old or someone over forty? The answer to this question does not depend on personal preferences, but on the assortment of your store and other factors.

Often, the target group for which the product is designed seems somewhat blurry, especially for multi-brand stores. Therefore, here, when selecting sales staff, it is important to take into account the psychological aspects that affect the communication of a particular person, his style and manner of communication, and decision-making, including about purchases. So, young buyers are more likely to heed the advice of their peers, but people aged are reluctant to accept the advice of young sellers. The question of the age of the candidates can be easily solved at the stage of selecting a resume (the employer must decide in advance for himself who he needs and whom he is looking for), after which you can proceed to the most laborious and responsible stage - interviewing.

Who are we looking for: an experienced salesperson or a newbie with potential?

Another question that you need to decide in advance (before the interview), you (or your employee who is involved in the selection of candidates and hiring) should ask yourself. It sounds like this: do I need a person with potential, but without work experience, or am I looking for a professional seller who has already worked in another shoe network? The answer to this question depends on your capabilities. On the one hand, a novice will be able to quickly accept your work style, the principle of doing business, especially communication with clients. But the investment on the part of the employer in such an employee must be substantial.

A seller who has already worked in another shoe store does not need to be taught everything from scratch. He already has the necessary skills and experience, but the standards may be different, and retraining is often more difficult than learning from scratch. Therefore, the question of hiring a beginner or a professional, there is no definite answer. It all depends on the employer's approach and the strategy of escorting a new employee by a senior seller.

The recruitment strategy for a new or existing retail outlet in a chain or individual store, in a shopping center or on a busy shopping street does not differ significantly. Upon opening, the owner has the opportunity to create a team from scratch, without the existing unofficial hierarchy and work habits. This allows you to try out new marketing strategies or methods to attract customers. On the other hand, the new team needs more time to grind and consolidate the skill of working together.


The ability to communicate with strangers and work in a team are the main qualities of an ideal seller

First of all, the candidate for sellers must find pleasure in communicating with people and be able to quickly determine the product that meets the actual needs of a specific buyer, and also not lose sight of the ultimate goal - the sale, while not exerting pressure on the client. A person who has a pleasant impression of communicating with the seller is more likely to recommend the store to his relatives, acquaintances, colleagues, and will return for a repeat purchase himself than the one who left with the purchase, which he was actually forced to.

Thus, the alpha and omega of a successful candidate is the ability to communicate with strangers: to be able to listen and talk about exactly what the buyer needs in order to make a final decision. If the seller is afraid of people and prefers to "hide" at the cash desk or in the warehouse - he is not the seller, but the so-called "accountant", and will prove himself only in calm and quiet paper work. You cannot be successful in what you do through power. A good seller is an excellent psychologist, a lot has been said and written about this, but, nevertheless, it should be emphasized once again that the ability to feel another person is a recipe for success in the field of sales.

The next requirement that the ideal candidate for ideal sellers must meet is the ability to work in a team. He should easily accept the standards and norms of the enterprise, where he will come as a new member of the team. Willingness to listen to other people's opinions and work on yourself are qualities that you are entitled to demand from your employees.


Interview a case, not abstract topics

Questions at the interview should be asked in such a way as to find out from the candidate whether he is suitable for you on the above points. These may be situation questions of the type “Suppose a buyer is rude to you, what will you do first?” Or “If your colleague is sick and ask to replace him, what will you do?”; test questions that need to be answered with imagination and creativity.

As part of a single strategy

From the perspective of the end consumer, the most convenient is the absence of differences in the calculation of goods, prices and services. Trading and franchise networks build their work on this principle, relying on brand recognition and habit. From this point of view, when opening a new franchise store, candidates who already have experience in this network will adapt much faster at a new place of work than newcomers working under a different brand.

Unfortunately, full compliance of employees within the network is difficult to achieve. The situation is easier with flagship stores, where inspections are more frequent, and the parent company directs the entire process. Naturally, in them more attention is paid to the selection of personnel with an emphasis on his training, customer focus and compliance with corporate system standards.

The selection of personnel for a high-price segment store will not differ much from the search for candidates for a low-price point of sale in terms of tactics. The differences will be in the specific requirements for candidates and relate to their work experience and additional skills - for example, the candidate's ability to speak a foreign language, external data. The more expensive the goods in the store, the higher the retailer’s investment in attracting customers and the expectations of the customers themselves. Consequently, the costs of finding, training and working with staff are also greater.

Portrait of a successful seller

What makes a person fit for a salesperson position? First of all, his main quality is determination, focus on results, and his main goal is to achieve results. He used to evaluate people by their achievements, focused exclusively on practice, does not like failures and in a stressful situation becomes demanding and impatient. Such people are successful at the conclusion of transactions, are able to achieve high results under pressure from management or circumstances, are able to profitably submit themselves and goods. However, problems for the bosses can be caused by their orientation to career growth, inattention to details, obstinacy.

On the other hand, the seller is a service-oriented person, friendly and able to work in a team, easily building relationships with customers and highly motivated. He wants to be liked by people, to a certain extent depends on their assessment, does not like conflicts and makes decisions based on the opinions of others. However, such a person may be unable to complete the task under pressure and will retreat if the task seems too complicated, he may lose his focus on the result, because he does not like to make decisions. Such a person needs social recognition, popularity, some freedom of action and people with whom he can pour out his soul.

An ideal seller must combine the qualities of the two personality types described above.

There is an opinion that people go into trade because of hopelessness - not finding a job in their specialty, looking for part-time jobs for a short time, and in any case do not expect to work in the store for more than a year or two years. Such "temporary workers" are unlikely to be successful sellers, unless they suddenly discover new abilities within themselves, discover potential and love for the sales process.

Vendor Position - Career Springboard

In fact, a successful seller is a person who loves his job, is service oriented and treats people well. An interesting observation: most of the top managers came to their companies from trade and the financial sector. Employees of production and technical departments, designers rarely get to the upper steps of the career ladder. The position of the seller is the starting point for a successful career, and people who can achieve real success quickly understand this. When choosing a candidate for this position, it is necessary to focus on the requirements described above, developing into a single strategy, regardless of whether you need a quick seller for a small outlet or an ideal employee in a boutique representing the most luxurious world brands.


This article was published in the 136 issue of the print version of the magazine.

The success of an enterprise depends on the professionalism of its employees. For companies where most of the personnel are sales managers, this statement is doubly relevant. Where to find the "ideal" seller ...
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