In honor of the premiere of the fifth season of Mad Men that aired this past Sunday, all of my blogs this week look back at the jewelry industry in 1966—the year this season takes place.
A feature article in the June 1966 issue of JCK cites a study done by Zale Corp. that found four out of five employees that quit a job did so in the first three months. JCK writes:
Most often the reason is quite simple: the wrong person was hired. The employer, having made a mistake, now has to get a replacement and this will cost him trouble, time and money. “A single error in personal selection can cost anywhere from several hundred dollars to a thousand dollars and more, depending on the circumstances,” Zale comments.
To help jewelry retailers, JCK solicited hiring tips from an employment agency based in Philadelphia called Snelling and Snelling—the firm exists today as Snelling Staffing Services and is based in Dallas.
Here are the top five tips they offered readers in 1966:
- Use an application form. The information it provides will give you a good base for an interview. For a job that pays less than $100 a week, it’s not worthwhile to run aptitude or psychological tests.
- Among young applicants, look for someone who has had a summer job. This indicates initiative, a self-starter who wants to get ahead. Also, he’ll have a taste of supervision. A boy or girl straight out of high school may rebel against taking orders.
- Martial tension may carry over to the job. So be cautious too of an applicant who is separated from his or her spouse, or in the midst of a divorce. However, there is no reason a person with a divorce well behind him shouldn’t be a fully productive employee.
- Ask a young man about his driver’s license. If he hasn’t got one, he may have had trouble with the police.
- If you want young, pretty girls behind the sales counter, fine. But remember, they’re likely to get married. Also, young girls are likelier than older women or men of any age to lose their tempers. Many don’t like taking criticism. A married woman in her late 30’s or early 40’s whose children have grown up is likely to be a reliable employee. Find out how many jobs she has held. Check her health history too.
For more tips from the past on running your business, check out:
- 21 Tips From 1966 on How Jewelers Can Attract More Teenage Business
- 12 Tips From 1992: How Jewelers Can Add Bling to Their Diamond Rooms
- 15 Tips From 1975 on How Jewelers Can Turn Customers On With the Right Color
- 20 Tips From 1930 on How Jewelers Can Leave Customers With a Smile
- 10 Tips From 1925 on How to Sell Giftware
- 6 Tips From 1984 on How to Stay Ahead of Discounters
- From the JCK Archives: What Advice on 1950s Classified Advertising Can Teach Jewelers Today