Happy employees
Your potential employees in the labor market are looking for more than a temporary, holiday, or summer job. They’re looking to build a career at a company they can connect with.

With the lowest level of unemployment in the past 20 years, the race to hire top talent heightens. But hiring store labor isn’t just about putting bodies in stores, it’s about finding and keeping the best talent for you and your business. Unfortunately, c-stores have gotten a bad rap in the labor market, currently ranking lower than grocery, drugstores and QSR according to a CSP report. The good news? According to the same report, “Of the workers currently employed in the convenience-store industry, 84 percent are satisfied with their jobs.” Take a moment to digest that, because it’s important.

Your potential employees in the labor market are looking for more than a temporary, holiday, or summer job. They’re looking to build a career at a company they can connect with. Instead of looking at your open positions as a temporary fill or part-time hire, it’s worth taking the time to understand how to invest in the people you’re hiring in order to retain them in the long term.

Not just a Quick Stop

When you begin viewing your c-store as a career destination, you begin recruiting associates that are dedicated to the success and growth of your business. Be selective when hiring a new employee – make sure they’re the right fit for your organization. How do you accomplish this? Try implementing an employee referral program, or reward employees that bring on high-quality talent. Leveraging the employees you currently value to bring on additional talent can typically be an untapped resource. Still having a difficult time recruiting? Try more modern methods than the traditional “We’re Hiring!” sign in your store window. Invest in visiting career fairs, posting available positions online and utilizing social to your advantage. How the labor market searches for a job today is different than the traditional methods of the past.

According to data from NACS, “45 percent of convenience retailers [say they have] difficulty finding and recruiting top talent.” All of the above tactics can help bring in more talent for you to choose from, circling us back to the “be selective” aspect of the hiring process for your associates. Don’t forget that you’ll be training and investing time, effort and money into whoever is hired for the position. Make sure that candidate is the best of the best.

You’re Hired! Now What?

You’ve gotten the talent you want for your business, congratulations! But now, how do you entice them to stay? When looking for a career, many factors influence the decision to choose to stay with a company. Modern new hires and employees are looking past their salaries to the intangibles of their jobs for satisfaction. On the top of the list are items such as schedule flexibility, health and benefits coverage, education reimbursement or continued education, company culture and career longevity or advancement. Simply providing a higher salary than your competitors may get your associates in the door, but stopping short on other important aspects of the job can easily propel the associates you worked so hard to find into the arms of your competition. Dig deep, look at what makes your c-store and business unique. Make sure to highlight how you’re different from the job down the street. Then, make sure to reward your employees for their hard work and commitment to your business. Don’t forget to promote associates to managers and upper-level management from within your pool of store employees. These are the people who know your business better than any new hire. Not only will you ultimately save money on the cost of training someone new on your business, but you’ve embarked toward building and solidifying your employee’s career path with your company.

Building a Career

Ensure that you focus on making your c-store a great place to work every day. This will entice your associates and managers to become brand advocates for your business. These advocates will in turn invest themselves (and others!) in your company because they understand the value of having a career, not a temporary job. Providing your associates with a work-life balance, continued education/training, and opportunities for advancement will propel your business further than the brands that hire for the “right now.” Invest in the future of your company by investing in your employees today.

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