Retailers need a considered approach to recruiting at peak trading, says Peter Fullard, managing director at Upskill People.

As we race towards Black Friday and Christmas, retailers must give significant time and effort to filling seasonal positions.

Roles that might be seen as less important, temporary openings, are in fact vital to making the most of peak trading.

Shoppers  till  cash point  paying

Shoppers till cash point paying

Considered recruitment for peak trading periods is crucial for retail success

With a high proportion of sales revenue delivered during peak season, considered recruitment is crucial for overall business success; brands and reputations are at stake.

Peak is unique

There are differences to hiring for peak season over other periods.

“With a high proportion of sales revenue delivered during peak season, brands and reputations are at stake”

Fierce competition and increased levels of sickness provide retailers with two additional challenges to bringing in new talent.

Whatever the process in place for recruitment, retail managers need the skills to recruit the right people for the right roles.

Biting the bullet

Remember that the interview is often a candidate’s first insight into a business.

As an employer, whether a candidate is successful or not, you want to leave them with a good impression.

But how do you make a final decision on who to hire?

There are five key considerations:

  • Base your decision on all evidence and not just the interview.
  • Be certain that you have not been biased or influenced by personal preference.
  • Offer the job to your first choice and inform other candidates that they have not been successful only when the offer has been accepted and references checked.
  • Check references only to validate the information provided by the candidate and always advise candidates not to resign from their current employment until you have received satisfactory references.
  • Reject interviewed candidates with courtesy – the least you can do is tell them in writing that they have not been successful.

Remember, it’s the right people for the right roles – don’t let your heart rule your head.


Peter Fullard, managing director, Upskill People

Peter Fullard



Retail Week has teamed up with industry leading e-learning company Upskill People. To find out more about the e-learning offer – and the new Managing People series – designed specifically for retail professionals, go to