I manage a chain store throughout the state of Missouri. It seems like we have a revolving door — I’m either hiring or firing someone weekly. What can I do to be more successful with recruitment?

Bar the door! Hiring and firing is a natural part of the business cycle, but it seems you and your staff may not be on the same page. When this happens, it’s disastrous for morale.

This question does not have a one-size-fits-all answer. Here are a few simple things to consider for better recruitment.

  • Know your brand and your culture. This means you should know who you are and what you stand for, and make sure others know too.
  • Embrace proactivity. It’s tempting to put off the hiring and the firing of people, but you shouldn’t have to delay an employee termination if you’ve proactively kept your eyes and ears open for good candidates. Talk to candidates that fit your brand and culture when you find them. You don’t have to offer them a job on the spot. From the managers down, hire only those who fit your culture and your brand.
  • Plan for today and for tomorrow. Know your needs and identify your short- and long-term plans for each position.
  • Know what an ideal candidate looks like. Look at what types of employees have been successful in the past. Just because you work in retail does not mean each job takes the same type of person, right?
  • Get in the trenches with your people once in a while. It never hurts for the managers or the owners to get out and work with the people. Sometimes we can just watch, but working lets the employees know you want to know what they do and how they do it.
  • Have fun. Laugh at work. Joke around with your staff. There is more to you and your business than the numbers. Your employees will be more loyal if they know you’re human.
  • Be honest with people you’re trying to hire. If your business is in a state of flux, the interviewee should know. I suggest telling them what you’re doing to fix it too. If you don’t address it and you hire them, they may feel duped.
  • Remember that turnover happens no matter what. The best thing you can do when someone quits is to thank them for their hard work — don’t burn a bridge. You may want them back.


Can we require an applicant to provide a recent paystub as proof of salary?

When I received this question, I thought I should defer to an HR specialist, so I turned to HR director and general counsel of JobFinders, Samuel Trapp. Here are his thoughts.

“The proper response to this question, which is a hot-button issue at present, is not whether an employer can require an applicant to provide a recent paystub, but whether an employer should require a paystub. I answer that question firmly in the negative. In fact, one state has already outlawed the question in the interview process, and others are considering doing so.

“Not only is such a request generally offensive to the candidate, but it could be used as the basis for a discrimination claim. Think about it: If women and minorities are historically paid less and an employer requires them to provide proof of a prior or current salary amount before the offer of employment, isn’t that employer perpetuating the discrimination by using the pay stub in the equation?

“My advice to employers is to know what you expect first and then try to justify why you believe past salary information is important. My bet is that the negative far outweighs the positive in this seemingly above-board request.

“My advice to employees? Don’t provide a pay stub. In fact, do not discuss salary until negotiating post-offer. Draw the line here. What possible relevance could your prior salary have to new position? Instead, direct your focus toward the salary range of the position and your comfort level with that range.”


Anne Williams is the president of JobFinders. She is not an attorney. All content in this column is not guaranteed for accuracy and legality and is not to be construed as legal advice.

Recent News

CBT Wants Your Opinions!

  We want CBT to be a place where people can exchange ideas to make our community better. With that in mind, we’re going...

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (for Civic Participation!)

It’s that time of year. Rosy-cheeked residents bustling about town. Cheery fellows on street corners hailing to friends and neighbors. To all, I wish...

What We Get When We Embrace the Artisans

  The multi-year process of rewriting the city’s development code caused a significant amount of sturm und drang, especially among the downtown folks, but...

Intro to Co-working

This article appeared in print as part of “Remote Control”   You’ve heard of co-working, but what is it exactly? And is it for...

Your Guide to Driving Electric in Mid-Missouri

This appeared in print as part of “Not Quite Flying Cars.”   Columbia has limited charging options for electric vehicles. Here’s where to plug...