Talent Acquisition – A Business Owner’s Guide

by Katie Sawyer, 9 minutes read
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Talent Acquisition – A Business Owner’s Guide

What is talent acquisition?

Talent acquisition is defined as the process of searching for and vetting candidates with the mission of bringing them into your organization. It is typically handled by the HR department of your company and they are responsible for handling each step of the talent acquisition process, from the initial finding of the employees to their assessment up until they’re eventually brought on.

What role does talent acquisition play in retail business?

You can be the most hard-working, efficient business owner on the planet, sooner or later you’re going to need the help of other people in order to scale and grow your business to where you want it to be. Talent acquisition is especially important in retail workplaces and the hourly workforce, where there are notoriously known for having a high turnover rate.

Talent Acquisition - A Business Owner's Guide

Must every retail business have to come to terms with having a high turnover rate?

Not at all! Despite all the bad PR revolving around talent acquisition and retention rates in the retail industry, there are a handful of examples that show that running a retail business with a low turnover rate isn’t impossible. That said, keep in mind that running a retail business with a low turnover rate is no easy feat. The nature of the business makes it predisposed to a higher turnover and it will take a lot of hard work to make your business stand out from the crowd. To help you out with this, continue reading to get filled in on how to tackle talent acquisition so you don’t have to worry about running a business filled with flaky employees.

Why are retail employees so predisposed to leaving positions, and what talent acquisition strategies can help with this?

When you look at the nature of retail businesses, you’ll see that they often request employees to work irregular hours, pay them low wages, as well as doing a number of other things that cause them to quit. To make sure you aren’t doing anything that may cause your employees to leave unexpectedly, read the list below to get filled in on what retail businesses do that cause their employees to leave.

1. Low hourly wage

It’s to be expected that retail positions offer lower wages than other positions, but just because it’s expected doesn’t mean your company has to live up to the stereotype.

Consider offering a wage that is a bit more than the industry standard, even a dollar or two more, can make a considerable difference in the standard of employee your businesses talent acquisition strategies are able to attract. Not only that, but offering a higher wage will make your employees think twice before leaving your company for one of your competitors. If you’re unable to offer a higher hourly wage, don’t feel like all hope is lost, you can make up for it by going above & beyond in other areas for your employees.

2. Inefficient scheduling procedures

Talent Acquisition - A Business Owner's Guide

Is your business still using pen & paper or excel to build out the schedules for your employees? If so, then you may want to consider an upgrade. I’m sure you’re already aware, but if you’re not, these type of scheduling practices are very hurtful to your business due to how difficult they make it for your employees as well as your managers.

Think about it, your manager must spend hours each week creating and sending out schedules using these inconsistent platforms. Excel wasn’t built in mind for the creation of schedules and pen & paper will just make it difficult for your employees to receive their schedules. Not only that, but you’re just making life harder for your employees. They must either physically call the business each week when you post schedules or have to come in person just to know when they’re working each week. Not only that, but if something comes up and they’re unable to work a particular shift, they must go through the painstaking process of having to find someone to cover their shift or swap shifts with someone.

To make the whole process a lot easier on yourself as well as your managers and employees, take a look at the features that come with the use of a platform like Deputy. Deputy makes it easy for your managers to make schedules quick & easy so they can get back to focusing on how to make your business more profitable. Not only that, but your employees will enjoy the convenience that is afforded to them through the platform. Employees will be able to: receive schedules right when they’re posted, swap shifts with one another with ease and without the interference from managers, and message each other as well as managers so there is no lack of transparency. Many retailers are still stuck in the old ways, so adopting a more modern system will go a long way in convincing your employees to stay because the Deputy system is designed to make their lives easier. To learn more and to even get the chance to try out the Deputy system for yourself, click on the button below to start your very own free trial and to see the difference in how employees react to your systems.


3. High competition in the retail job market

Talent Acquisition - A Business Owner's Guide

Look around, there are businesses everywhere, and they all need employees in order to run properly. This just goes to show how many options your team of employees have when they reach the point where they’re debating taking up a new position. Even now, when you ask a retail employee (or really any employee) why they’re leaving, they’re likely to tell you it’s because they’ve found a new position. If the employee is just tired of the company and just wants to pursue a new career path, then there’s not really much you can do about it. But you can vastly decrease how often it happens by doing things like periodically speaking with the employee to touch base on how they’re feeling, if there is anything work-related that’s bothering them, what areas of the business need changes, etc. While there will always be stiff competition for retail employers regarding quality employees, being a caring boss will put you well ahead of your competitors.

4. Bad onboarding process

Talent Acquisition - A Business Owner's Guide

You and your managers are busy trying to ensure the success of a business, we understand. But that is no excuse for a subpar onboarding process that leaves your employees lost on a number of important topics regarding the business. This is also an awful first experience with your business, a bad onboarding process makes your new hire think that you’re most likely going to be insufficient in other areas down the line. Also, just throwing new employees into the thick of things makes it hard for them to get to know co-workers as well as familiarizing themselves with company procedures. These issues can eventually blow up to the point where they reconsider their position and end up looking for a new job.

To make sure this never happens to your company, make sure you build an onboarding process that is set in stone and that your new hires complete each & every step before moving on with the process.

5. Lack of transparency & communication

While a lack of communication can be overlooked in other areas of life, someone’s career is definitely not one of those areas. Make sure you have an ‘open door’ policy at your workplace and that you’re keeping your employees in the loop regarding everything important going on with your job. This means letting them know of the good things going on with your company like you’re growing by so much that you need referrals for new employees, as well as letting them know of the bad things like your business will have to shut down and they will have to look for new jobs. It’s also advised that you have a system in place for them to easily message you regarding something going on that can impede them from making their shifts. Not only that, but it also gives them an avenue of discussing any confidential information that they may not feel comfortable discussing in person like workplace bullying, sexual harassment, etc.

If you don’t have any systems in place that support an efficient workplace communication system for your business, then click on the button below to begin your free trial of Deputy. Deputy’s collaboration tools give you the option of sending private messages as well as posting bulletin board like posts that your entire team can see.


Talent acquisition strategies for hiring great retail employees

Talent Acquisition - A Business Owner's Guide

Now that you’re aware of what causes so many retail employees to leave their positions behind, let’s go over some talent acquisition tips to help you ensure that you bring in the best of the best for your business.

Talent acquisition strategy #1: Don’t hire on impulse

You’re in the middle of the busy season and you just had an employee quit unexpectedly. Because of this, you are desperate to find a replacement and rush through your group of applications to find the first suitable candidate you can to take on the position. This is a recipe for disaster. Although you may be in dire need for an employee as soon as possible, that doesn’t mean you should throw caution to the wind and ignore your standard recruitment practices. Effective talent acquisition takes time and you shouldn’t make the mistake of bringing someone in for the sake of bringing someone in. That said, not all talent acquisition cycles need to take a month to be completed, just make sure to keep the same standard of quality for all of your candidates. No matter how much you’re in need of their assistance.

Talent acquisition strategy #2: Offer flexible schedules

Talent Acquisition - A Business Owner's Guide

A large portion of retail employees are students, people working multiple jobs, people with children, etc. so offering flexible schedules will go a long way in acquiring the cream of the crop in terms of retail employees. Some tips for offering flexible schedules include:

  • Giving the option of working day or night shifts
  • Giving the option of lessening the number of hours they work each week (this option is great for students heading into finals week)
  • Giving them the ability to swap shifts with one another

When implemented correctly, you’ll find that a proper flexible schedule option will go a long way with your employees and will be a reason why many choose to stay with your company.

**_**Talent acquisition strategy #3:_ Offer plenty of advancement opportunities

People like growth, so a company that offers plenty of advancement opportunities is immediately going to stand out from the pack. During the initial interview process, make sure to highlight plenty of examples of where employees in the past have grown in their positions to take on more leadership roles. Not only that, but make sure to also promote your opportunities for advancement in your job ads.

**_**Talent acquisition strategy #4:_ Have good managers

Talent Acquisition - A Business Owner's Guide

People talk, so it only makes sense that employees will also talk. And with software tools like Glassdoor out there, when employees talk, thousands if not millions of people are able to listen. So if you have a team of managers that are mean, lazy, and makes life harder than it has to be for your team of employees, then you can be sure that people will hear about it and your employer brand will take a considerable hit. So before you give that promotion, make sure that the employee has demonstrated that they’re capable of being a leader that leads by example instead of leading by ordering people around.


Talent acquisition is tough, but that doesn’t give you an excuse to have subpar talent acquisition strategies for your business. Put in a half-hearted effort and you’ll be rewarded with half-hearted results. So do yourself and your business a favor and pay close attention to the points made above.

And if you’re having trouble with building your employee schedules or fixing a lack of transparency within your business, click on the button below to start your free trial of Deputy.