7 Retail Management Skills Hiring Managers Struggle to Find?
Retail management is a tough field because it requires such a diverse set of skills. You have to be just as good with people as you are with numbers. And you have to be able to lead, while still being willing to pitch in at all levels.
Because of the wide range of skills required, many employers are struggling to find qualified retail managers. The good news for you is that if you have what it takes, you will definitely stand out. Here are seven retail management skills you will need to help land you the position.
Anyone who works in retail knows you cannot predict what is going to happen from one moment to the next. You can be slammed for hours, then suddenly completely dead. You can have a full staff one day, and half your employees out sick the next. A good retail manager will be able to roll with the punches without getting panicked, flustered, or dejected.
2. People skills
Working with the public can be exasperating at times. Even though you have sales staff out on the floor to deal with customers directly, you are bound to hear “Can I speak with the manager?” fairly regularly.
Once in a while, a customer might want to compliment you on how well you are running your store. But more often than not, they want to complain. And they are not always going to do it in a polite way. Retail managers who excel know how to make customers happy without giving away the store to do it.
The more organized your store is, the less likely you are to find yourself struggling to keep up with customer demands. This means both the front and the back of the retail establishment need to be in order. Inventory needs to be compiled in a logical, easy-to-access manner. Invoices, sales receipts, and other documents need to be computer friendly, but also secure. Employee schedules need to accommodate potential rushes and slowdowns. The list is long.
Retail managers who are organized are going to be at the top of any hiring manager’s list of candidates. Making sure your resume is in perfect order can help illustrate you have these vital organizational skills.
Getting people to visit your establishment—and spend money there—is a part of retail management that is sometimes overlooked. However, it is an important aspect of the job. Even if you are part of a national chain that provides advertising and marketing materials, it is going to be up to you to ensure they are used optimally. Something as simple as where you place a sign or having a colorful spotlight on a sale item can make all the difference. Being able to think outside the box when it comes to drawing customers in will undoubtedly work in your favor.
5. Motivational leadership
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employee turnover in the retail industry is around 60 percent. That means if you can attract and keep quality employees, you are way ahead of the game. Having excellent motivational leadership skills will help you keep your employees happy, engaged, and loyal. This means knowing how to provide incentives effectively, how to talk to your staff in an inspiring way, and how to cultivate a strong sense of loyalty to you and the company.
Multitasking is an inherent part of retail management. While it is a skill that can be learned, it tends to come more naturally to some people than to others. If you are the type of person who can juggle five tasks simultaneously without missing a beat, retail management may be your calling.
As a retail manager, there will be times when you are going to have to wear multiple hats, many of which seem below your level of authority. You cannot be averse to vacuuming the floor, helping a customer try on clothes, or inputting mundane data into the system. Therefore, humility is a valuable quality for any good retail manager to have. Saying “that’s not my job” is not really an option in this business.
A career in retail management is a challenging one, but it can also be exhilarating. If you exhibit the skills listed here, any smart hiring manager will snatch you up in heartbeat. It is a rare individual who can master the complex world of retail management.