Why You Can't Find Great Retail Candidates

April 19th, 2018

Ross Coyle


It’s no secret that the retail industry is fast paced and the competition for talent is high. Every company wants great candidates, but finding talent and keeping it in your funnel is easier in theory than practice. There are two common problems with retail hiring processes, and one solution for both.

Your Process Is Too Slow

  1. Hiring managers have to interview and keep the store running. Hiring managers have to split their attention between the sales floor and interviewing during business hours. This can drastically slow down the hiring process waiting for calendars to sync and managing interview volume.
  2. Candidates are accepting the first offer they get. Your slow hiring process is working against you to find the best candidates before your competitors. If it takes 5 days to review an application, 3 days to schedule a phone screen, 4 days to set up an interview, 3 more days to make a decision, and 1 day to send an offer, it’s likely that great candidate took a competitor’s offer instead.

Candidates are Dropping Out of the Process

  1. Candidates aren’t making it through your application and assessments. A study by Appcast found that applications asking 50 or more questions experienced a 50% applicant drop off, compared to when an application asked fewer than 25.
  2. Applications and assessments are too long. If your application process requires candidates to re-input information that’s in their uploaded resume, or spend 60-90 minutes on an assessment test, they’ll look for a different employer.

Hire the Best Talent First with Video Interviewing

Screen Faster, More Accurately, and Manage High Volume

Video interviewing frees hiring managers to do their job of leading and managing the store. Instead of interviewing candidates on-site when their attention has to be elsewhere, they can review interviews at their convenience. They can reinvest the time saved on interviewing into leading, managing, and running the store’s operations. Video interviews allowed Urban Outfitters to not only find better fit candidates, but hiring managers were able to assess 90% of their candidates after business hours.

OnDemand video interviews assist screening with standardized questions for every applicant. A standardized method provides better insight into skills than a resume or cover letter can — neither demonstrate critical job competencies or how an employee will interact with customers, co-workers, and managers. More importantly, they allow applicants to show their personalities and skills in a more candid context than a multiple choice test.

Video interviewing can dramatically expedite the hiring process. Recruiters or hiring managers can view dozens of candidates quickly instead of scheduling and performing a 20 to 30 minute phone screen with each. Skipping to important questions — such as a job simulations or behavioral questions — significantly reduces screening time. To illustrate, Under Armour cut their hiring time by 35% and staffed an entire retail location in two days.

Create a Great Candidate Experience

Video interviews also lead to better candidate experiences, which keeps candidates in your hiring funnel. Out of 1.5 million candidates surveyed after a HireVue OnDemand interview, 80% said they enjoyed the experience and felt they had the opportunity to differentiate themselves from other applicants. Many hourly employees have a hard time taking time off to interview - with video interviews they can interview when and where it's convenient for them.

Not only does a positive experience improve how candidates view your employer brand, it raises the chances that candidates will refer people in their network. Candidates satisfied with their application experience were 38% more likely to accept a job offer and 82% of those with a great experience said they would refer others.