Hiring for a Comic Store

Unless you plan on having either extremely limited hours or never having a vacation, you will most likely hire someone to work at your store.  This could be among the most important things you can do.  This person may be the difference between success or failure.  If you break it down, most comic stores are the same.  They carry the same products and charge essentially the same prices.  The biggest difference is the location and the service.  We will assume you put the time in finding the best location for the money.  So now the one thing you can do is provide great service.  And this does not stop with you.  It is something that every employee of yours must also provide. 

With this in mind, put some thought into who you are hiring.  Many stores hire customers.  While it does help to have someone who has knowledge of comics, this is something that can be learned.  But if they have no customer service skills whatsoever, good luck trying to teach them.  Things to look for is someone who is polite, can keep their talking to a minimum and are attentive to customers.  And they must be able to realize that not everyone like's the same comics.  They need to be able to help the customers find the comics they want and not the comics that they themselves like. 

I once had an employee who hated the New Kids on the Block comics that we carried.  I carried them because we were between two grade schools and I knew that the girls from the school were fans of the band.  I would put them in the window with other comics and it would draw them in.  What I did not know was when I was not there, this employee would bad mouth the comics to the girls who were coming in to buy them.  This was something that I did not find out about until later after he was already gone.  I cannot help but think about how many possible female comic readers he turned away. 

When you are interviewing, think of job interviews you have been on and the questions they have asked.  If you have never been on a job interview, do some research online and come up with some questions.  Ask about customer service experiences, dealing with demanding customers, work ethic and thinks that are relevant to the job.  Make sure they have some basic skills needed like basic math skills, good phone skills and are punctual. 

The best advice I can give for having a smooth working relationship is to make an employee handbook and give it to each new employee.  It should be something that answers their questions as well as set your guidelines for how you want the store to be run.  Cover topics like employee discount and who is covered by that (most companies allow the immediate family that lives with the person), dress codes, what kinds of music is acceptable (and how loud it can be), breaks, sick days, being late and even acceptable language.  This may sound pretty basic but it can save alot of headache later on.  If the person knows what the rules are ahead of time, they cannot use the excuse that they did not know about it.

While you may not think it applies to you, discrimination in hiring can and will get you in alot of trouble.  You must become colorblind and not be sexist when hiring. 




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Tom Zjaba 1997 - 2015      

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