June 2, 2023

TDmonthly Magazine

September 2011 | Vol. X - No. 9

13 Dos and Don'ts of Recruiting and Retaining Employees

Your staff can make or break your Holiday sales.

By Doug Fleener
September 2011

With additional reporting by Justina Huddleston.

The upcoming Holiday season can be a stressful one for retailers. So what’s the key to navigating this busy time smoothly and coming out on top?

TDmonthly asked Roberta Bonoff, CEO of the award-winning Creative Kidstuff chain of specialty toy stores, what the key to success is and she boiled it down to one word: Staff.

“Our staff is the biggest asset of our business; without them we wouldn’t exist," Roberta says. Since opening its doors in 1982, the Creative Kidstuff specialty chain has been winning the hearts of parents, teachers, and most of all, kids, wit their hands-on, DO-touch mentality. With seven stores in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, and one in West Des Moines, Ia., Creative Kidstuff is always looking for fun, energetic, and creative employees.

For most retailers, the quality of the staff is a key sustainable competitive advantage and point of differentiation from their competitors. While each store may have a different product mix, it’s the employees and their level of customer service that makes the difference between success and failure — especially during particularly busy times of year. Unfortunately, many owners, operators, and managers often fail to invest the appropriate amount of time and resources in staffing.

Recruiting and Retaining Quality Employees

Recruiting — Successful retailers know that recruiting is a daily activity. Don’t wait until just before the Holidays or when a position opens up. Recruiting isn’t about hiring a person; it’s about hiring the right person. You want an employee who complements your current team and is passionate about your products and customers. Consider these Dos and Don’ts of recruiting.



Retaining — Retail has one of the highest turnover rates of all jobs. Retail workers cite low pay and high stress levels as the two most common reasons they switch jobs. Turnover directly impacts a retailer’s profits due to lost sales and the cost of recruiting and training new employees. Keep in mind these Dos and Don’ts for retaining your employees.



So remember — to be a great place to shop during the Holidays, you need to be a great place to work. Give your employees plenty to smile about, and they’ll give your customers plenty of smiles.

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