How AI in Retail Hiring is Changing the Game

How AI in Retail Hiring is Changing the Game

by Melissa Bissing on August 27, 2019

2.5 min read

Are you struggling to find the right retail candidates? More than 8 in 10 retail companies say they are. Find out how AI in retail hiring can help.

Are you struggling to find retail candidates with the right skills and experience?  More than 8 in 10 retail companies say they are. The industry has seen enormous transformation in the last year or so, and it’s created a nearly overnight sea change in candidate requirements for retail jobs. Many of today’s retail employees need experience working with complex ordering and checkout systems. In addition to traditional service skills, they also have to be able to troubleshoot for customers having difficulty with self-service options. This is where AI in retail hiring is helping to change the game.

AI technologies are a driving force in evolving retail interactions. They’re also essential to the solution for TA teams striving to engage, identify and advance retail candidates faster and smarter to snare the talent everyone wants to hire.

AI technologies that transform hiring

Retail recruiters are in a tricky position: Accelerated hiring is the goal, but you can’t gain speed at the expense of the candidate experience since retail applicants are often your loyal customers, too. And, it’s almost always a challenge to engage candidates with a great experience when you’re filling hundreds of positions. Here are five AI-enabled technologies that can help you strike the right balance between speed, efficiency and the ideal candidate experience:

Text interviews. Need employees who can work for a day or a week in your pop-up store? Or, employees willing and able to restock shelves overnight? Text interviews are a quick and easy way to identify candidates who have availability when you need them and meet certain job requirements, like being able to lift 40 pounds. An AI-enabled recruiting assistant that’s part of an advanced interviewing platform can invite candidates to interview via text, then automatically advance qualified candidates to the next step, whether it’s scheduling a live interview or completing an on-demand video interview. Store managers can invite potential candidates into a text interview and start the hiring process with their smartphones right on the spot.

Automated scheduling. Many chatbots will interact with your retail candidates using natural language to set them with a convenient interview time. Chatbots in an advanced interviewing solution can chat in your branded vernacular, and leave managers free to run the store while they check their interview availability using the free/busy feature in Outlook. AI-enabled assistants also handle interview cancellations and rescheduling, and send interview reminders. It all happens in a simple, convenient and mobile experience for candidates that speeds along retail hiring, especially with high-volume reqs. See how FedEx hires team members faster in this brief video interview. 

Predictive intelligence and talent analytics. AI applications crunch the numbers and find emerging patterns that help TA teams better understand the key characteristics of front-line associates and the criteria for an improved retail candidate experience. Armed with the data, hiring teams can make smarter hiring decisions.

Gamification in assessments. Some companies use AI-enabled gamification to engage candidates in the application process and see how they perform in situations that mirror the actual job experience.

Unbiased candidate review. By masking candidates’ identifying information in on-demand interviews such as name, zip code and area code, AI in retail hiring is enabling teams to reduce unconscious bias and zero in on candidates within large applicant pools who have the best sales demeanor, skill in handling customer complaints, and enthusiasm for the job.

Is Same Day Hiring a Possibility for You?

With the speed and time savings created by AI technologies, some in the retail industry have shifted to same day hiring. The value of this innovative strategy is clear, especially when retail managers own the hiring for their store. If you’re interested in pursuing same-day hiring in your organization, be sure to review our e-book, Accelerating quality hires with intelligent interactions. Find out how an AI-enabled interviewing solution can support your transformation to faster, more candidate-centric hiring.

Getting a handle on artificial intelligence in hiring: 4 simple truths for TA leaders - Download now - AI in retail hiring