5 Qualities That Make a Great Retail Employee

Now that the holiday crazies are winding down, it may be time to redirect attention to streamlining operations. If staffing up is on your to-do list, heed these terrific tips from jewelry retail expert Suzanne Courvisier-Mathis, president and CEO of Diamond Staffing Solutions. Below, her top five qualities to look for when hiring any retail employee.

Suzanne Courvisier-Mathis

1. A Drive to Sell

You want someone who wants to sell. How do you identify that quality? You can tell by the way they approach the business. We recently placed a person at a tough store that was underperforming. The [salesperson] had such passion and drive that he took a business that was down 30 percent and increased it to more than 50 percent. He’s the kind of guy who doesn’t keep his bonus, he shares it. And when you’re working for a person like that, you want to [do well].

2. A Good Work Ethic

You want someone who’s willing to come in and help out when someone’s sick. If you don’t have a passion for the business, you shouldn’t be in it.

3. A Team Player

You don’t want people who are there to play for themselves. You want people who play nicely in the sandbox. You want them to be in it to win it for the team. Even divas [salespeople] who write a million dollars should be working for the team by showing them how to sell. If you have a good team, everyone wins. If someone’s already made a huge sale that day, it’s great when they then respect one another enough to back off and let the next person take it. If you can get an environment like that, you are winning.

4. A Self-Starter

I find this quality in retail more than in other industries because employees know they have to do certain things to succeed. It’s like when it’s slow, someone says, “I think I’ll call those repair customers and while they’re here, I’ll put a piece of jewelry on them.” Even snuggling up with the [sales] divas and saying, “I’ll put that in a box and wrap it for you.”

5. Integrity

This one comes down to loss prevention and hiring people who aren’t going to steal sales. When that customer comes in and asks for a person who’s not there that day, are they going to take the sale or give it to that person [who laid the foundation for the sale]? It’s about not being underhanded.


*Funny stuff alert: Pop culture website Buzzfeed published a hilarious retail send-up yesterday called 45 Things You’ve Experienced Working in Retail. Good for at least a dozen belly laughs.

Here’s one of our favorites:

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JCK Magazine Editor