One of the emerging issues pawnshops in the 21st century will confront is the acquisition and retention of motivated hourly employees. Obviously, there are several institutional avenues one can follow such as Craigslist, want ads and/or online services such as Indeed.com. But, what if the answer is internal? What if the solution is to make your store (in my words) an Attractive Pawnshop? Large, publicly traded companies that have a reputation for being a good place to work will always have plenty of candidates readily available and eager to work for them. Examples include Disney, Nordstrom, Southwest Airlines, UPS, The Container Store, and Whole Foods. Don’t forget, most larger companies all started as a single entity before expansion. So, the question is, what does it take to make my shop an Attractive Pawnshop?
How do we have such great team members? You ask. I don’t lollygag around with the hiring process. When you have a tough job to fill, a skill set that is in high demand and with a shortage of qualified people, you have to move quickly to get them secured as a team member and in the Technology world it holds truer now than ever. Don’t let the old adage “you snooze you lose” come back to bite you. Too many times I’ve seen hiring managers hold to their process of finding a specific number of candidates to interview before moving forward. In the start of my career I always held to that. With age comes wisdom. I’m not saying don’t do background tests, drug tests, or reference checks. What I’m saying is if you interview one person and you know it’s the right person, hire them! Get the ball rolling NOW! Make an offer pending all your processes.
Let’s face it, I have said it once and I will say it again. We are in the people business. We talk a lot about our customers. We speak to understanding their needs, what motivates them and how we can best help them. The other side of the coin sees us all operating businesses and having to hire people to help the plan in place succeed. Over the years, I have known many entrepreneurs, VP of Human Resources and countless corporate hiring managers investing thousands of dollars into tools to help make this process more efficient and successful. These tools, in the own way, are effective but I will never discount instinct as a very powerful tool in this process.
Over the years I have hired or contributed to hiring hundreds of professionals. When hiring we try to hire for attitude first, coachability second and finally for a domain skill with experience. I think we would all agree attitude is a very desirable attribute you can’t coach up all the time. When hiring for a specific position, for example Sales, we know there really is not an exact science to replicating success. Some may have higher success ratios than others but at the end of the day, in the hiring process, it boils down to the individual you are inviting to join your teams. At Data Age, we feel as long as we have the right attitude we can find a seat on the bus for someone. Not everyone knows, right out of the gates, what their path is in life or in the workforce. Many sales people find out they want to go into marketing and even more just want to help customers, thus seeing them take on a client support role.