Building a successful career in loss prevention has always been predicated on the commitment to professional growth and development. Working in a business as dynamic as retail, it is essential that we remain flexible in our methods and progressive in our approach to a global retail market. As the business moves forward change comes quickly, and our skills and abilities must evolve to meet the needs and expectations of a new professional standard.
When making hiring decisions we are always looking for talented individuals that can add value to our team. This is a key aspect in the evolution of our department, and critical to our overall success within the company. Yet while being able to identify talent is quite clearly a valuable skill, it does us very little good unless we are able to bring that talent to the table.
Have you ever had a candidate that you thought was perfect for the position, but were unable to convince them to take the job? Have you ever had a candidate that you thought had a terrific interview, and then you never heard from them again? Have you ever had a candidate accept a counter-offer, and decide to stay with their current employer?
What led the candidate to reach that decision?
Some reasons quickly stand out—for example, not meeting salary expectations—while others can be more difficult to see. However, determining the answer to that critical question can be much more meaningful when attempting to secure the best candidates, as well as your long-term success as a leader.
When we interview a candidate for a position, we are ultimately determining their overall ability to fit the job. We look at the different qualities of the person, evaluate the skills and abilities that they offer, and couple that with factors both tangible (such as salary) and intangible (for example: potential) in order to reach a hiring decision. But by the same respect, an interview is an interaction, and not one-sided. The candidate is also making an evaluation of your company as a whole—and of you as a potential supervisor—to determine whether your program offers the right match for them as they build their career in loss prevention.
An honest and open conversation regarding company culture and departmental philosophies should be part of the interview process. There are times when the conversation just “clicks” and we know immediately that the candidate will fit well into our program. However, there are also circumstances when quality candidates and quality companies are just not the right match. A global assessment that looks holistically at the candidate as part of our team will help both the company and the candidate make honest, objective and well-informed decisions.
Always Consider the Perspective of the Candidate
The best candidates typically have options. They are not simply looking for another job; they are looking for an opportunity to move their career in loss prevention forward in a positive and productive direction. They want a company that they can grow with, and a position that offers advancement potential. They want to work with others who share common goals and interests. They want to work for supervisors whom they respect—and who respect them. They want to work for an organization that is financially stable, yet operationally flexible and open-minded.
As the hiring manager, it is up to you to communicate those attributes to your potential candidates. Instead of simply thinking, “They need to convince me that they’re worth hiring,” we also must consider, “I need to convince them that we’re a company and a program that they will want to work for.” All of us understand that we should hire individuals who want to work for our company, and show their passion and enthusiasm for the position. But it is just as important that we communicate our desire to have them as part of our team; as well as expressing our passion and enthusiasm for our department, our stores and our company as a means to take their career in loss prevention to the next level.
Stressing the importance of hiring the right candidates is a simple concept to understand. But we must also keep the perspective of the candidate in mind. By changing jobs, they are making a potentially life changing decision, and they want to be sure that they are making the right move. When you’re good at your job, comfortable in your position and successful in your field (As most of the best candidates are), you are looking for the right motivation to make the decision to leave your current position and join another company. Sometimes it’s just that little shove that will make the difference, and convince you that you are making the right choice.
As the hiring manager, it’s up to you to provide them that motivation by showing the type of leader that you are, the quality of the program and the company that they will be joining, the character of your team and the potential that it holds in building their career in loss prevention. This helps to set the right tone for the candidates that you ultimately hire, and will help those candidates make a smooth and productive transition as well.
By capitalizing on opportunities to enhance our knowledge and education, we are making an investment in our own future. To learn more about investing in your career, securing top talent and the certification process, visit losspreventionfoundation.org.