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Andrea Hill

Want to Find Good Employees? Here’s How

It means marketing for talent the same way you market for customers.

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I WONDER IF PEOPLE in the future will look back on our time and say, “There was the Great Pandemic, followed by the Great Labor Shortage.” The search for high quality employees has always been critical to the success of a business, but the stakes are higher than ever. Younger workers are leaving the workforce — or choosing not to enter it — in favor of self-employment options that simply weren’t available a decade ago.

At the same time, retail businesses must differentiate themselves, and the best way to do that is through customer experience. Quality employees who are passionate about your products and brand are the key to creating experiences that bring customers back.

And so, we find ourselves marketing for talent with the same urgency as we market for customers.

We start by considering what we have to sell (in this case, the opportunity to work at our place of business) and who this product will be most appealing to. That’s our target employee.

Next, consider the target employee’s customer journey. How do they come to the decision about what kind of work they want to do? Is it possible to catch their attention during the consideration phase? Can you help someone who is interested in a job that has a strong social component, or making things, or doing supply chain work, discover that your jewelry store can offer that?

Once you land on the target employee’s radar, how do you build enough trust for them to consider working for you? If they visit your store as a customer, what will they think of the atmosphere and culture? When they visit your website, what can they learn about your core values and business ethics? If they ask around, what will others say about their experience (or the experience of someone they know) working for your company?

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Today’s employees want to work for a company that shares their values. They want work that provides a sense of purpose and that offers the potential for personal and professional growth. They recognize that their day-to-day experience is greatly affected by work relationships, so they want those relationships to be positive and healthy.

Once you’ve impressed them enough to apply, do you use the interview process not only to check all the very important boxes on your own skills-training-and-character checklist, but also to further impress the candidate with the reasons and benefits for joining your team? It’s not enough to sell to them … you have to be able to close the deal.

When marketing for customers, we are all aware that the process is constant. If we let up on marketing for even a moment, the prospect pool dries up quickly. It’s time to think about hiring in the same way. What are you doing to cultivate a pool of candidates to work in your company, so the next time you have an opening, all you need to do is pick up the phone and ask if they’re still interested?

Andrea Hill is owner of Hill Management Group, with three brands serving the jewelry industry. Learn more at hill-management.com.

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Celebrate Your Retirement with Wilkerson

For nearly three decades, Suzanne and Tom Arnold ran a successful business at Facets Fine Jewelry in Arlington, Va. But the time came when the Arnolds wanted to do some of the things you put off while you’ve got a business to run. “We decided it was time to retire,” says Suzanne, who claims the couple knew how to open a store, how to run a store but “didn’t know how to close a store.” So, they hired Wilkerson to do it for them. When she called, Suzanne says Wilkerson offered every option for the sale she could have hoped for. Better still, “the sale exceeded our financial goals like crazy,” she says. And customers came, not only to take advantage of the going-out-of-business buys and mark-downs, but to wish a bon voyage to the beloved proprietors of a neighborhood institution. “People were celebrating our retirement, and that was so special,” says says.

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