ResourceseBookRetail recruitment best practice guideUnderstanding personality is the key yes really

Understanding personality is the key – yes, really

This guide relies heavily on personality science, because that is the main mechanism by which we assess and vet top retail worker talent. So let’s start there – later, you’ll see how this section relates to the job interview questions provided.

Some hiring software providers would have you believe that the secret to finding good workers lies in skill games and assessments. Firstly, that’s certainly not the whole story. Second, there’s an easier way to predict role fit (and therefore, on-the-job success): Personality.

Conscientiousness is a good example. If you’re high in the personality trait conscientiousness, you’re a hard worker with good attention to detail. Conscientiousness is also one of the best predictors of job performance we have. Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? Of course it does! Funny, then, that almost nobody tests for conscientiousness when vetting candidates for a job.

We don’t often test for cognitive ability, either. Nor for agreeableness (a dimension of personality that speaks to your level of politeness and friendliness). But these traits, when combined, enable us to match people to the roles best suited for them. And, as we all know, if you’re a right fit for the job you’re in, you are much less likely to quit your job. There’s your churn problem solved!

Personality is critical because it minimizes guesswork, and saves you time

You’ve got hundreds (or potentially thousands) of candidates to vet, interview, and respond to. That’s too much work for a team of recruiters, let alone a single hiring manager. So, at some point, gut feel has to take over. You need warm bodies in stores, after all.

As a result, you’re more likely make a call on a candidate’s suitability based solely on the formatting of their resume, or how they present in an interview. This poses a host of problems: People lie, and humans have biases. Not to mention the fact that, when we hire based on inklings and instincts, diversity goes right out the window.

So, let’s examine three of the most common retail worker roles, and dive into the skills, personality traits, and competencies required to succeed in those positions.


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