Top 5 Retail Job Skills Needed for Managers and Staff

by Chris Parker on 1 September 2021

When it comes to hiring retail managers and staff, it can be hard to know exactly what you need to prioritise in candidates. This is especially true as technology continues to change the way retail employees do their jobs. McKinsey estimates that by 2022, nearly half of all retail employees will need to be significantly upskilled to be able to perform their jobs effectively because of increased automation.

Even with the increased use of automation, the retail industry is one of the largest employers in the UK. With the increased use of technology and the labour crunch that many industries are experiencing, it is more important than ever to know what skills to work in retail you need to prioritise for your retail manager and associate positions. With eSkill’s Talent Assessment Platform, you can use skills tests such as the Retail Sales Test to identify these five key skills needed for retail.

1) Communication Skills

One of the most important skills for retail employees is the ability to communicate clearly and effectively, both with customers and with co-workers. Communication failures hurt efficiency and can also create misunderstandings that can impact customer satisfaction.

Two tests in the eSkill Test Library that you can use to evaluate communication skills are the Retail Customer Service and the Sales Clerk Skills test. You can also create a custom test by choosing questions from a variety of existing tests and adding your own questions to precisely focus the assessment on your specific job requirements.

2) Basic Computer Skills

While it is unlikely that you will need to test retail manager candidates’ ability to troubleshoot automatic cashier programs, it is important that they have basic computer skills. By including a Retail Math Excel Test in your hiring process, you can ensure that your new hires have the required computer proficiency.

You can use eSkill Author to create custom computer skills tests and create a simulation test. Simulations present candidates with realistic scenarios so you can evaluate how they would perform in job-related situations using computer programs. You can also have potential hires demonstrate their abilities with other applications such as MS Word, PowerPoint, and Outlook.

3) Sales Skills

As you might expect, a candidate’s sales knowledge and ability is an indispensable skill for those who serve in the retail sector. Both associates and managers need to understand how to communicate with customers as well as persuade them to make purchases in a way that encourages them to return to the store again.

Sales skills involve both hard and soft skills. While persuasion and communications are soft skills, sales also requires good business sense, which is a hard skill. Luckily, with eSkill, you can easily assess both attributes using pre-prepared or custom tests.

4) Maths Skills

Basic math skills are important for both associates and managers, but it takes more than just being able to count dollars and cents to give the customer the right change. For managers especially, candidates need to be adept with numbers to create sales reports and inventory forecasts.

The specific skills that employees take are up to you because needs can vary widely from company to company. Some businesses prefer to have managers handle everything, while others choose to have associates perform some of the accounting with manager oversight. In either case, eSkill’s Retail Sales Skills Test and other retail assessments provide the insight they need to hire the right candidates.

5) Customer Service Skills

Retail employees need impeccable customer service skills because they are the first, and often the only, point of contact between the company and the customer. If retail employees cannot deal effectively with customers, they can harm, or even ruin the reputation of your business.

As with the other skills, customer service ability can also be tested using eSkill’s platform. You can use simulations to present candidates with hypothetical situations and evaluate how they react and respond. You can also use their answers to gauge their customer service skills. This is especially effective when using video questions because you can easily observe a candidate’s ability to “interact” with a customer. 

Learn how Retail Sales and Retail Math Excel Tests can give you more insight into potential hires. Request a demo today.

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