Editorial

17 Jan 2022

Retail Employee Job Description: Done The Right Way

Kelsey Kaczynski

Writing the perfect job description can seem like a daunting task. If you need to hire a fantastic new employee to provide excellent customer service for your retail store, then this article is for you.

What is a job description?

job description or "JD" is a written document that describes the primary responsibilities, general tasks, and other necessary duties carried out by a particular position. Your JD is the most vital part of the recruitment process.

A job description also shares details about the company, its mission, culture, benefits, salary and sets the expectations for the role. It needs to provide enough detail so job seekers can decide whether or not they are qualified for the position and get them interested in applying.

Writing a captivating job description is essential to attract the best candidates. This is your opportunity to market your company and the vacant position to your future hire and stand out from the millions of other job postings on the internet.

Want to easily track your applicants throughout the recruitment process? flair's recruiting feature can help you keep your candidates' data organized.

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What should be in a job description?

A great retail sales associate job description walks the line of being detailed enough to fully describe the position yet lean enough that it's still an easy read. If it's too wordy and long, candidates could skip it altogether. But if it's not detailed enough, you risk facing an abundance of unqualified applicants.

If you choose to write with a bit of originality to showcase the unique vibe of your company, that's great - but if you go too far, you risk losing more serious applicants.

Job Title

Get the right people interested by choosing a specific, targeted job title. It's common for job seekers to search for jobs based on exact keywords.

Put yourself in the shoes of your applicants. For best results, avoid internal company jargon and go for a more standardized job title. For example, the job title Junior Retail Operations Manager is a better choice for a job title than simply Manager.

Job Purpose

Begin with a strong hook. If the job title got their attention, then this is your chance to keep them reading. Include an overview of the role. Mention its level of seniority and the level of responsibility it demands. Explain how this role impacts the rest of the company. Answer the question: Why does this job matter?

This can also be a fantastic opportunity to mention the company's mission. But remember that applicants are probably scrolling through many JD's before landing on yours. After reading so many company missions and job purposes, everything starts to blend together. Keep it concise and informative. It's okay to summarize.

Responsibilities and Duties

Outline the job duties of the position using bullet points.

  • What tasks need to be performed?
  • Why, how, where, and when do the tasks need to be performed?
  • What decisions have to be made in this role?
  • Identify areas of direct and indirect responsibility
  • What are the financial responsibilities?
  • Indicate if there is any supervisory responsibility

Must-Have Qualifications

Think about what your ideal candidate would be like. Do they have strong interpersonal skills, a positive attitude, and enjoy working on a team? Now is the time to create a wish list.

If you need candidates with a pre-existing level of job knowledge (such as education, previous work experience, special skills, or abilities), this is the time to say that. If you are looking for someone with years of experience, use an exact number.

Focus on the minimum requirements you require for someone to succeed in this position. If you want to see their CV or a cover letter, ask for it here. If you want to list nice-to-have qualifications, you can create an additional section following this one and do so there. When you're ready to conduct interviews, you can download flair's guide here (insert link).

Working Conditions

Where is the job? You can improve your job application's ranking in the search results by including its location. What are the working conditions? Describe the working environment and any physical requirements for the role (such as lifting heavy boxes or standing up for long periods of time).

Another critical thing to mention is the working hours required for this position. Include whether or not the candidates would be working the night shift, weekends, always be on-call, and whether the job is full or part-time.

Explain how you would like your candidates to apply, through email, clicking another link, etc. You can also include your company's equal opportunity disclaimer here.

Benefits and Perks

This is an optional section, but including these may help set your job description apart.

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What type of retail jobs are there?

Retail sales representatives (aka sales associates) typically work on a team. They are greeters who walk around the store, fulfilling customers' needs. They lead customers to the right products, answer questions, sell products, reach sales goals, and maintain the store's organized appearance.

Store Managers' tasks vary depending on your company's needs. They can manage the employee working hours, research sales trends, budgets, and step in to help assist customers when needed. They often have an assistant.

Cashiers are different from retail sales workers. While both employees can operate a register and interact with customers, cashiers have a stationary role behind the sales counter focused on completing financial transactions.

Customer Service Representatives answer the phone calls and emails sent by customers. They deal with customer concerns, product questions, complaints and respond to reviews. More often than not, these are the people who perform damage control and try to improve a customer's negative experience.

Visual Merchandisers create floor and window displays. They highlight your company's best products, dress the mannequins, and strategically arrange your store.

Buyers are responsible for purchasing the products for the store. This involves researching product performance, coming up with selling prices, and communicating with vendors and merchandisers.

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What are the typical responsibilities?

Retail sales associates are typically responsible for the following job duties:

  • Greeting customers
  • Determining and fulfilling the customers' needs
  • Answering customers' questions about the store merchandise and store policies
  • Explaining and demonstrating a product's features and usages
  • Providing information about sales, discounts, loyalty programs, store credit cards, promotions, financing options, and other benefits
  • Encouraging customers to purchase products and suggesting the purchase of additional products
  • Arranging sales merchandise and keeping the sales floor tidy (such as folding clothing and returning misplaced items to the appropriate shelf)
  • Providing outstanding customer service by assisting customers throughout their shopping experience
  • Ringing up customer purchases on the cash register
  • Accepting orders, processing payments, and handling refunds
  • Counting money and making change
  • Bagging, boxing, or gift wrapping purchases
  • Stocking shelves and taking stock inventory
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What are the qualifications for a retail employee job?

These are standard qualifications often found among successful retail employees:

  • High school diploma or GED equivalent
  • Valid driver's license (or access to public transportation)
  • Basic math skills
  • Excellent communication skills and customer service skills
  • Excellent problem-solving abilities
  • Positive attitude
  • Ability to operate point of sale terminals and balance a register

In some cases, for example, if you are hiring a new makeup sales associate, having existing in-depth product knowledge may be an additional requirement. Additionally, when hiring a new sales manager, you may want to look at candidates who have previous retail experience. If the role you are hiring for requires additional special training, mention it in your job description.

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What are the typical skills and competencies for a retail employee job?

These shared skills and competencies are often found among successful retail employees:

  • great communication skills
  • goal-oriented
  • friendly
  • energetic
  • persuasive
  • customer service skills
  • multitasking skills
  • time management skills
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Conclusion

Remember, a great job description should be detailed yet short and easy to read. There are many types of retail employees you may want to hire. With an eye-catching job title, motivating job purpose, clearly defined responsibilities and duties, and transparent must-have qualifications, your job description is sure to catch the right one to fill your vacant role.

Here are some final tips for writing the perfect JD:

  • Use simple words to cut length and increase readability
  • Write in the present tense
  • Avoid office jargon and abbreviations
  • Avoid using gendered language (such as: "She sells" and "He greets")
  • Never reference existing employees by name; instead, refer to them by their job title or department
  • Keep your responsibilities and duties section of the job description focused on present tasks, don't list things that might exist in the future

Check out our blog to learn more ways to improve your business and address other relevant hr issues!

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