Retail is a team sport–you’ll only ever be as good as the people you work with. That’s why you need to make your recruiting and hiring practice a secret weapon.

We started taking the hiring of our people very seriously and it’s been a game-changer for Email Broadcast. Here are some vital time-saving tips to ease the hiring process.

Don’t look at resumes . Seriously, reading resumes is a complete waste of time. We tell our recruits that we won’t look at their resume until they fill out our google form (which we send as an autoreply). Don’t even let resumes hit your email inbox—forward them automatically to a hiring folder instead.

Use a google form to screen people . In our case, answers to this questionnaire are automatically added to a spreadsheet, which makes it easy to compare candidates and quickly view their answers to critical questions. Hint: if you’re looking for maximum effort, skip the person who gives one-word answers (I have to say, men, in general, are very guilty of this). These are the questions we ask:

  • Do you want full- or part-time work?
  • Do you agree to the pay scale?
  • What interests you about the role?
  • What is your availability now and for the next year?
  • How is your home office set up?
  • How fast do you type? (We direct them to a test.)

Look at someone’s resume and cover letter only AFTER the person has passed your screen. If a candidate’s initial answers are great and the resume gets us more excited, we’ll schedule the first interview.

Interviews should all be the same. We ask the same questions of each candidate and each question has a purpose. We’re trying to see if a person fits with the scorecard and our culture. You’ll get really good at these interviews–I can smell bullshit a mile away.

Take your time. We have three interviews with each candidate (for a part-time role!), and then we get our candidates to set up the reference calls. Yeah, imagine not having to chase down references—it’s golden. How? Buy the book and find out.

Tell your team that you’re hiring. We’ve been guilty of forgetting this step but now we always remind our team that we’ll pay them $300 if their recruit hangs on for 90 days so there’s something in it for them. Since they know the standards, they only recruit people they know might be a good fit. Win, win.

Be nice and get back to your applicants. Applying for a job takes time and effort—never hearing back from a company stinks. If you can get back to people, even if it’s bad news with some sincerity, they’ll appreciate it (and you’ll have that many more ambassadors of your business running around).

Want to learn more about best hiring practices? Read about why you should ONLY hire “A” players