Rethinking the Retail Hiring Process- Blog

Retail hiring is broken.  

We don’t have to accept it. 

It’s no secret retail companies across the country are struggling to hire right now. There are few exceptions in 2022. And the effects are as clear as the bottom line. 77% of retail executives said employee shortages would hamper growth this year.  

Big box and food retailers are desperate for in-store help. Warehousing and transportation have blown past their pre-pandemic numbers and continue to hire in record numbers every month. Manufacturers are hiring more and more too. Employers are regularly working with a handful of staffing agencies at a time to try and keep up. Boy, do we know it. We’re busier than we’ve ever been. 

The variables and challenges are well known and many: the talent shortage that’s not going anywhere anytime soon, the chronically high turnover rate, the lingering effects of the covid economy, the shifting priorities of workers, inflation. But there’s one really big factor still in our control – the hiring process.  

Let’s face it, hiring is broken. Not for lack of trying. But in the industry-wide rush to fill positions as fast as possible, candidate quality often suffers. There’s a certain acceptance of this tradeoff in retail; business goals and revenue initiatives need to be met. Are we stuck in this cycle? SASR doesn’t think so. We’re building our reputation on it. It’s also why we’re putting together a new eBook using our own data. We’ll be sharing our E-Book Rethinking The Hiring Process with you soon. 

It’s Time We Start Thinking About It as One Experience 

We need to stop talking about the candidate experience (CX), recruiter experience (RX), and employer experience (EX) in the hiring process as separate things. They have symbiotic and inextricable relationships. No one knows this better than staffing agencies that are in the retail trenches every day. We see it proven time and time again that if your ultimate goal is providing real value to employers you have to take a big picture approach to hiring. You have to think consultatively.  


With openings everywhere, candidates hold the cards right now. They’re on their phone applying to ten or twenty jobs at once. It’s very easy for candidates to compare agencies today. In a typical job hunt they’ll be talking to a handful or more of them. They want the hiring process to be simple, fast, and to have continuity.  

How easy is your application process? Is your tech and messaging making the right first impression? Are you reaching out with the human touch at the right time? Once you do, what percentage of the time are recruiters completing interviews? Are the recruiters that interview a candidate also onboarding them? 

A lot goes into providing a great CX that employers never see. Yes, pay is often king, and getting to them first definitely matters, but you have to have recruiters that are all in on prioritizing the CX.  


Recruiters are smack dab in the middle of the hiring process. They’re the ones turning those website ‘Apply Now’ clicks into accepted candidates. And more critically, in the age of ghosting, turning them into workers that show up. They also have a lot to say about finding FTE workers that are more valuable to employers than ever.  

Employers working with staffing agencies care about results. Whether it’s hiring hundreds at a time, 90-day contract assignments, one-off shift coverage, or even travel teams for special projects, they aren’t looking under the hood to see how it gets done. The results tell them which agencies have recruiters who’ve been highly trained, that possess the critical knowledge of local markets, and the savviness to find the right candidates for what they need.  

But the RX is the lifeblood of the hiring process. When you have great recruiters, and let us brag on ours here for a second, you trust them. You don’t bog them down with multiple layers of hiring managers; you let them hire candidates themselves. You trust their relationship skills to take a candidate all the way through onboarding. You trust they’re going to provide a CX the employer may not see, but will definitively benefit from.  


Retail companies are relying on staffing agencies to find talent at unprecedented rates today. It’s a privileged position we sit in to provide game-changing experiences throughout the hiring process in very challenging times. It’s the CX and RX we work so hard to build and evolve that determine the EX. It’s a pervasive, perpetual cycle that can’t be addressed in bubbles.  

Year over year SASR has reshaped its workforce to be what employers need right now – reliability. In four short years we have exponentially increased the number of candidates in our workforce putting in 20, 30, and 40 hours a week. We put a lot of focus on finding candidates that show up, prove themselves and stay.  

We’ve transformed SASR by transforming our hiring model. A big piece of what we do and pride ourselves on is the ability to be consultative, to think along with you and provide strategic value at every turn. The hiring process can’t be something companies spend a whole lot of time stressing about today. They literally can’t afford to. When you bring a challenge to the table we’ll show you exactly how our existing talent base and recruiting reach overlay your business needs. It’ll be obvious from the jump that for us the CX, RX, and EX are one X.  

Stay Tuned for Our New eBook  

We’re putting the finishing touches on a new eBook that dives deep into our own hiring data from the first half of 2022. You’ll get a look at information like how many postings, clicks, and applications we turn into interviews and hires, the number of positions we fill in each sector, a breakdown of our workforce by the number of hours they average, our ratio of new hires to rehires, even some mini case studies highlighting our approach to everything from high-volume hiring to ensuring those four hour shifts are filled. Rethinking The Hiring Process will be on our site or in your inbox soon!