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Jimmy DeGroot: It Takes a Team to Recruit Great People January 31, 2024 (0 comments)


Green Bay, WI--One of our biggest challenges that looms over us is finding exceptional talent to join our teams. In my journey as well as conversations with fellow retailers, I've come to realize that there's a valuable resource right under our noses – our existing employees and loyal customers. This approach to recruitment has yielded remarkable results for many.

First and foremost, it’s essential to recognize that your frontline team members possess invaluable insights. They understand the benefits of working in your store and can articulate why others might want to join your team. Not too long ago, I met Stacy, who worked at a jewelry store, and her friend AJ, who was trying his luck in real estate but facing some initial challenges. Instead of dismissing AJ as too busy, Stacy thought he would work out great at the store and invited him to work at the jewelry store while he got his real estate career off the ground. As it turns out, AJ fell in love with the jewelry store environment, transitioned to a full-time role, and is now excelling in sales. Stacy's open-mindedness and belief in AJ’s potential demonstrate how valuable existing employees can be in identifying talent, even talent we might think are happy elsewhere.

Some of the best salespeople, goldsmiths, or even bookkeepers have transitioned from completely different careers and stages in their lives. This applies to every position in your store, not just sales. What sets this approach apart is its focus on finding individuals who may not be actively seeking employment but would consider a change if presented with the right opportunity. Traditional job search platforms may not always lead you to these hidden gems. So, pay attention to your customers as well. Inviting them to discuss potential roles within your store with you, your manager, or your owner can be a game-changer. Customers who are already familiar with your store and team are more likely to join your ranks than strangers.

Never assume that potential candidates are doing so well or are completely happy in their current roles that they wouldn’t want to explore new opportunities. Many outstanding individuals work in retail simply because they love it, not out of necessity. Encourage your team to keep their eyes open, and always have business cards on hand to legitimize discussions with potential candidates.

To incentivize your team further, consider offering bonuses for successful hires and additional rewards after the candidate has been with your store for a year. This not only motivates your team but also reinforces the idea that they are essential contributors to the growth of your business.

Lastly, studies have shown that individuals hired from within your store's influence tend to stay longer and integrate more seamlessly into the team than complete outsiders. Familiarity with your team and the store expedites the learning curve, making it an attractive option for retailers.

The best recruitment tool I've found is right within your store and your personal circles of influence. By tapping into your team's insights and engaging with your loyal customers, you can uncover hidden talent.

James (Jimmy) DeGroot is a professional jewelry sales and operations trainer from the jeweler’s side of the counter. Having been in management and the jewelry business for over 20 years, Jimmy offers weekly training to jewelers nationwide via the Train Retail website. Jimmy is an AGS titleholder and specializes in training relevant and timely methods for jewelry teams. He can do a full training on making Bridal Presentations the best they can be, among many other regular training options. Contact Jimmy at or call 920-492-1191.

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