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Struggling Hiring Retail Workers? Use Skills Tests

COVID-19 disrupted the economy in a big way back in March of 2020. Now that the economy is starting to get back on track, one of the biggest problems is the squeeze on the labor market, especially in the retail industry. One study shows that 42% of small businesses are unable to fill open positions because of a lack of qualified candidates—or in some cases, a lack of any candidates at all!

For retailers, this smaller pool of candidates is making it difficult to get back to business as usual. Rather than hiring anyone available, it is still important to recognize the importance of making quality hires at all levels of your business. But how do you identify the best candidates, especially in a tight labor market?

One solution that more retail companies are implementing is skills testing. With assessments like retail sales tests, businesses can ensure that applicants possess the required skills to be successful. For example, members of the European Union employ an EPSO test to filter out the most suitable applicant for a specific position. So, while the pool of available candidates may not be as deep as you would like, you can still make sure that you are considering the best potential candidates for all your positions.

Skills Tests Assess a Candidate’s Hard Skills

No matter what position you are hiring for, there are some skills that every employee needs. eSkill offers a wide range of tests that you can use to thoroughly assess candidates’ abilities. Organized by job and by subject, eSkill’s library of more than 800 pre-prepared tests provides you with a wealth of options. Assessments like the Retail Math Excel Test and the Retail Cashier Skills Test measure candidates’ abilities in these specific areas. eSkill also offers you the ability to create your own customized assessments by selecting questions from various tests and adding your own questions.

Integrating skills testing into your company’s hiring process can save you time and money because you will not have to sort through every single resume that comes across your desk. As applicants complete their assessments, you can see their scores in the Talent Assessment Platform and determine which candidates are the strongest at a glance.

By analyzing the results, you can identify strength areas and knowledge gaps for each applicant and may find candidates who should be considered even though their test scores are not as high as you would like. For example, if an applicant has good scores on Retail Sales and Retail Math Excel Tests, but is not as strong in inventory management, you can decide to shortlist the candidate knowing that you will need to provide training in that area.

Retail Sales Tests Help to Identify Soft Skills

Perhaps even more important than hard skills are soft skills, especially when it comes to retail sales. Retail sales tests do not simply look at the math behind a sale. Instead, they investigate a person’s interpersonal skills, which can go a long way toward ensuring the right JobFit.

Soft skills are difficult to measure, but eSkill makes it easy regardless of what kinds of questions you need to ask potential hires. By including open-ended questions that require written or video responses you can enable an entire hiring team to score candidates’ answers on a scale from 1 to 10 stars. This helps you get a sense of whether every member of the team agrees and provides the opportunity to discuss any significant discrepancies.

Finding Candidates for Advancement

Questions from Retail Sales and Retail Math Excel Tests can be used with questions from other tests such as Logistics Manager and Retail Manager to identify employees who have the potential to advance beyond an entry-level position, which is not uncommon in the retail industry. According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), 62% of managers started as sales associates, cashiers, or delivery persons and were promoted from within the company, and about 60% of retail workers have been promoted at some point during their tenure.

You can also use assessment results from the hiring process as a benchmark to guide an employee’s development, especially if they show potential for future leadership positions. Identifying skills and knowledge gaps is important because it can show you which workers can benefit from management training. These workers are more likely to remain with your company as you invest in them, but as they advance through the company, their success can serve as a model for future training and employee development and can ultimately help you decrease turnover.

Interested in Integrating Retail Sales Tests Retail Math Excel Tests into Your Hiring Strategy?

Learn how Retail Sales and Retail Math Excel Tests can provide you with the insight you need to build a strong team. Request a demo today.

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