Hiring for Soft Skills in Convenience Stores

Human Resources, Training

Soft skills can be incredibly important to have in convenience stores, especially when maintaining customer satisfaction. Unlike hard skills, soft skills aren’t necessarily something you can easily train your new recruits on. This makes it very important to hire candidates who already have some of the soft skills you’re looking for  skills like problem solving, conflict management, empathy, or communication. 

The Difference Between Hard and Soft Skills 

Hard skills generally consist of technical skills that allow employees to perform most job functions. Knowing how to work a cash register, use a certain computer program, or knowing the process for closing a station in your store at the end of the day are all hard skills. Soft skills can be harder to quantify because they consist of things like empathy, communication, or openness. They’re just as important as hard skills, if not more so, because they can help an employee connect with customers or their coworkers. This connection can give those customers a great shopping experience or make the workplace better for other employees. The benefits employees with good soft skills bring to your store cannot be understated. 

Recruiting for Soft Skills 

While teaching new employees hard skills is part of every onboarding process, teaching soft skills is much more difficult. For example, it is much easier to teach someone how to run a register or restock shelves than to train them to have better conflict management skills or to be better at communicating with coworkers and customers. This is why it is important to look for candidates who already have these skills while you’re hiring new employees. Having a recruitment strategy that includes hiring for soft skills would help with this a lot. 

Interviewing for Soft Skills 

When holding interviews for your store, you can try to evaluate a candidate’s soft skills by asking certain questions. Maybe you want to find out how good their problem solving is, so you ask a question about how they’ve handled issues they’ve had in the past. Asking about their past experiences when working in a team is also a good way to judge their soft skills, since teamwork is very soft skills-centric.   

Training – Essential for a Good Start 

After you’ve worked hard recruiting and hiring candidates with soft skills, you don’t want them to leave after only a couple days or weeks. It’s important to start employees off on the right foot with your business, beginning with comprehensive training for their new position. After all, providing employee training is known to increase retention and loyalty, and both soft skills and hard skills are both needed in order for employees to truly excel at their jobs. Take advantage of the tools and features a learning management system (LMS) offers, to make sure that every employee gets the start they need.   

Get More Convenience Store Human Resources Tips 

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