Recruitment for Retailers: Key Considerations

Curry's has been the subject of media attention recently after requiring job applicants to dance as part of its interview process. Applicants were organised into groups and had to perform a dance as part of a team building exercise. Whilst dancing does not form part of Curry's official recruitment guidelines, and it has since apologised for any humiliation caused, this is just the latest example of a business coming up with innovative ways of recruiting staff. So how can retailers ensure they get the best people for the role?

You need to tread carefully, not least to avoid adverse publicity and should be mindful of the potential for discrimination claims, even at an early stage in recruitment. It is even possible for someone to claim discrimination without having applied for the job, on the basis of the job advert or arrangements for interview. Retailers should therefore be very careful about the wording they use to ensure they are not inviting challenge.

Whilst you can be creative with your interview questions or tasks, the Curry's example is a timely reminder that you should be assessing candidates against relevant criteria, linked back to the role you are trying to fill. You want to test candidates and although confidence or personality might be key, you must be able to explain the rationale behind the assessments that you carry out. Many companies have started to include a competitive game in their recruitment process since this can reveal more about a candidate's personality than traditional questioning. 

It will also be very important to give thought to the contract that you will be offering. Many retailers will require seasonal staff and you therefore need to make sure your contracts contain suitable notice clauses, or fixed terms. Retailers should also be aware that even short-term staff will accrue holiday and your contracts will need to reflect this entitlement.

Ultimately, recruitment is a good sign that your business is busy or growing, but it is worth taking the time to tailor your job advert, interview process and contract depending on the vacancy, to prevent issues arising. If you need guidance to navigate this tricky area of employment law, please contact our Employment team.

For more information, please contact Bethan Jones in Michelmores employment team at bethan.jones@michelmores.com