To make it through the busiest time of year, many retailers hire seasonal employees to supplement their permanent staff. These employees are expected to jump into a position they may know little about and quickly acclimate to their new surroundings without losing a step. As someone who has interacted with seasonal employees on both sides of the counter, it’s not their technical skills that I admire the most but their enthusiasm and a willingness to learn that really makes these employees special.
Your job description for seasonal or temporary employees should focus on competencies and results instead of skills and tasks. Competencies go beyond skills by accounting for both knowledge and behavior. For example, a skill would be something like mopping the floor, using a computer, and stocking merchandise; while competencies are skills + knowledge + behavior like problem solving, communication, or professionalism. Here are a few ideas on how to adapt a task-based job description to one that focuses on competencies and results:
- Instead of something like “keep merchandise and sales floor clean and orderly” consider adapting it to “Create a clean, safe and attractive shopping environment by replenishing inventory, clearing dressing rooms, and arranging and displaying merchandise”
- Or change “greet and assist customers” to “Ensure customer satisfaction by greeting and assisting customers, remaining knowledgeable of product offerings and store policies, and assessing and fulfilling customer needs”
- And alter “work well with other team members” to “Promote a positive work environment by encouraging, supporting and working cooperatively with fellow team member”