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Need employees? Who doesn’t these days? With a tight labor market, competition for good employees is just as fierce as competition for loyal customers. To fill the open positions at your store, you have to go beyond the traditional “help wanted” system. Keep reading for some fresh ideas on convenience store employee recruitment.

Step Up Your Referral Incentives

If you don’t offer an incentive for employees who refer people for open positions, start one. If you do offer one, but it’s not producing results, re-think it. The most common incentive is cash for an employee who refers someone who is hired and then stays for over three months or so. That can be effective tool in employee recruitment, but it usually gets stale fairly quickly. Consider non-cash incentives, such as a preferred schedule or a comp day. Employees aren’t the only source for employment referrals. Give your business card to vendors, customers, and people in other industries who provide you with good service. You never know who might be looking for a job or know someone who is.

Catch the Boomerangs

With turnover so high in the convenience store industry, you probably have a long list of previous employees who left your store to pursue other opportunities. Use this list as an employee recruitment tool. Keep in touch with employees who left on good terms and who you’d like to have back on your team. They may have found that grass isn’t greener wherever they went and would appreciate working for someone who appreciates them enough to think about them for open positions.

Develop an Internship Program

A job in the convenience store industry has a lot to offer to students. Reach out to high schools, community colleges, and universities in your area to find out how you can offer paid internships where students earn a wage and get credit for their time at your store. If you recruit through internships, make sure your interns have opportunities to learn about various aspects of your business, such as merchandising, supply chain, loss prevention, and logistics.

Toot Your Own Horn

What do you offer that other employers don’t? Effective employee recruitment is about selling yourself. Offering higher pay isn’t the only way to attract new employees. What can be equally appealing are things like a positive work environment, a robust employee training program, career opportunities, flexibility for family, or even the simple feeling of being part of a team.

Get Involved Where Your Employees Live

A little community service goes a long way. Many business owners and managers tend to focus their community service in their immediate area, but it could help your employee recruitment efforts to fill needs where your employees live, not just where your customers live. Survey your current employees about needs in their neighborhoods, churches, and schools. Fill the need as best you can and spread the word about employment opportunities while you’re at it.

Follow Up Your Employee Recruitment with Effective Training

Once you have new employees on board, set them up for success with comprehensive orientation training. Check out our Early Success Convenience Store Training Program for details.