When it comes to the best hourly employees, it can seem like you’re always short-staffed. A top performer shows signs they’re about to quit or you, unfortunately, have to fire someone, and yet again you’re on the lookout. If you’ve had bad experiences before with employees or simply want to make sure you hire the best and brightest this time around, we’re going to help you out with the top traits to look for in your next employees.
They range from great interpersonal skills to presentation to communication, and they are all crucial for helping your business run smoothly.
Your hourly employees will be interacting with customers day in and day out, so their inter-personal skills need to top notch. This can be determined both in the interview and when you speak with their references to see how well they’ve done in the past. Are they good at making small talk and recommending add-on products to customers? These two factors will have a big impact on their ability to foster customer loyalty and contribute to sales goals. Excellent customer service keeps customers coming back and gets your business out there via that coveted (and free!) word of mouth marketing.
If you have a uniform or some sort of recommended dress code, you’ll need to make sure all of your employees adhere to it. Setting up guidelines for appropriate attire will give your employees a framework to work around to make sure they can fit in, while sometimes even adding a bit of their personal style into the mix. Your employees are representatives of your business and how they present themselves directly reflects back on you. Everyone accidentally forgets their uniform once in a blue moon, but making sure that they understand the importance you put on personation is the first step to making sure your business always puts its best foot forward.
Attention to Detail
No matter what role a potential employee is applying for, possibly the most important trait for in your next employees is attention to detail. This takes on many forms, say if they are a line cook, retail associate, or gardener, but what holds true is that they must care about the little things. In the past, I worked at a shoe boutique and one of the most important parts of the sales process was making sure the two shoes in the pair were the same size. It took about three seconds to check this during each sale, but it saved hours of headaches in terms of having to order more from the brand when we had a mismatch and missing out on two sales when customers wore the mismatched pair, realized the problem, and come back disgruntled. These instances could have been avoided with a bit more attention to detail. Whether it’s the ability to follow protocol or the ability to turn a negative customer interaction around with just a few words, a trait you should look for in your next employees is extreme care when it comes to the little things.
Communication is the cornerstone of any successful business. It is important between employees and customers, among employees, with managers, and on up to the owners of the business. Good communication is early and often in order to nip problems in the bud before they can grow and have a major impact on your business. On the other hand, when employees see ways to improve your business and vocalize them, that can also show you who could be a great manager one day and who really understands how your business works.
Scheduling is a major part of any manager or business owner’s job. Afterall, how can your business run without your employees? After you take the time to make your schedule and check it twice, the responsibility falls on your employees to follow their schedule to keep your business running smoothly. How you communicate your schedules and whether or not you provide reminders will make or break your workflow. Old school scheduling done with pencil and paper is error-prone. If your employees are trying to decipher cryptic handwriting or sending around a picture of an outdated schedule you typed out before you had to make changes, missed shifts and confusion are nearly unavoidable. The only way to help employees get to their correct shifts on time is to follow modern scheduling best practices.
Your best performing employees are known for their consistency. They show up every day and do a great job no matter what. That consistency builds your brand over time, not to mention trust. Your best managers get to where they are because they consistently exceeded expectations day in and day out. A great team is one you can count on to run your business when the line is out the door and to stay busy when there’s only been one customer in the last hour.
While these are just a few ideas of traits to look for in your next employees, there are many more you could add to the list that are specific to your industry. Use these as a starting point and feel free to add any others that have helped you hire great employees in the comment section.