Hire great people. That is the first of five principles of hiring delineated by Jack Mitchell during the 2008 Retail Summit sponsored by the Center for Retailing Studies of the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University.
Mitchell, CEO and chairman of Mitchells — an upscale clothing and accessories store in Connecticut – suggested looking for employees who demonstrate genuine passion.
Four more hiring tips from Mitchell:
- Trust and empower employees. Involve them in your business, and they will repay you by developing personal pride in your operation.
- Pay your employees well. And praise them when they do good work.
- Make it more than a job. Talk to employees about a career with your store. That way, they understand that you want them there for the long haul.
- Trust your employees rather than policing them. “Check in with them, rather than checking up on them.”
As for your customers, Mitchell suggests hugging them — not literally, but by reaching out to them, recognizing their needs and figuring out how you can meet those needs.
If you don’t have hiring principles at your stores, it might be worth spending a few minutes writing some down. Or, if you like Mitchell’s, borrow his.