Ready to hire more help for your gas station or convenience store? It’s not enough to like the person you’ve chosen to interview. They need skills that will help your business thrive.
For starters, write a good job description to help you attract the right candidate. If your requirements are too extensive, some potential hires could be intimidated. One study found that adding statements about what you can do for employees to your help-wanted notice — such as offering constructive feedback and opportunities — will attract better workers.
Asking the right questions will help you determine if you have the right person. While Google research has shown that there’s not a perfect correlation between a great interview and a great worker, an interview is still an effective way to learn about a potential hire. Ask the same questions of each employee so you have fair criteria for comparing candidates. That said, if a response raises a red flag, don’t hesitate to ask follow-up questions.
Before taking the next step with your candidates, review their profiles online. Google them. How do they appear on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other services? Do they have a website? Ask yourself if this is someone you want on your team.
When you ask your potential new employee questions, investigate whether they have the following qualities and skills:
Leadership. Can a potential manager make tough decisions, keep the staff motivated and resolve conflicts? Have the employee describe a situation in which their leadership helped solve a problem.
Math. From the clerk who has to make a sale to a manager who has to keep budgets, employees at your business need to understand basic math. Discern whether your candidate is comfortable doing sums and handling money.
Communication. Your employees have to be able to talk with you, customers and one another. If there’s a problem, they have to relate that to the next person up the chain of command. It also helps if they have writing skills. Can they submit a readable report? Can they write signs without misspellings and other issues?
Tech savvy. Is your potential employee good with computers? Can they handle social media with tact and verve? Both skills may be important for operations and promotion.
Customer service. Will the employee be presentable and courteous when dealing with customers? Can he or she resolve problems without escalating them? Ask them to cite an example of how well they dealt with conflict with a boss and with a customer.
Efficiency and initiative. How well can your employee manage their time? Can they get their tasks done well, in a reasonable amount of time? And will they show initiative to do those jobs that need doing when they have a few minutes, whether it’s sweeping the store or cleaning the bathrooms?
Experience. If your potential employee has never worked for a gas station or convenience store, do they have related experience in retail or customer service? Have them talk about how their experience can work for you.
Enthusiasm. Ask your candidate why they want to work with you and your company. What can they bring to the job, and what are their long-term goals? Do they have knowledge of your company or brand already? What improvements would they like to see in your operation?
Also remember that you may have to answer questions, too. Be prepared to respond to job candidates’ queries with honest descriptions of the work they can expect to do and the atmosphere of your company. Have them interview with more than one person if possible to get a deeper sense of their skills and personality, and to give them another perspective on your station.
With good communication at the interview stage, you can find quality employees who are as happy with you as you are with them.