Employment: Temporary Staffing: The Way to Increase Sales at Retail Stores

The Employment section did not involve the reporting or the editorial staff of The Moscow Times.

Inna Prokazova
Head of Admin & Temporary Staffing Department
Ventra Employment

Retail is one of the most dynamically developing sectors of the Russian economy. For some years now, Russia has received top marks in various ratings measuring the attractiveness of countries for the development of retail trade.

According to the latest market research, Russia's retail industry employs about 15 million people, no less than 15 percent of the total number of employees involved in the national economy.

Just like any other industry, retail has a number of serious difficulties that hinder its steady growth. The lack of qualified staff and the complexity of the recruitment process during the seasonal spike, turnover of staff and increasing competition are the main current problems of any retail organization.

The position of Sales Assistant is among the most in demand on Moscow's labor market. Prospective employers are searching for young candidates aged 18 to 35 years. However, people from this age category tend to change work quite often, which leads to high personnel turnover.

Why do Sales Assistants quit their jobs? How can this situation be resolved? How to reduce the cost on staff?

The optimal solution to this problem has been found. Many major retailers started using the service of providing temporary staff. Now it's becoming more and more popular among retail companies. Temporary employees are ready to perform difficult and complex duties.

Business Hours

The working day of a Sales Assistant is longer than the working day of an office worker. Sales Assistants work 10-12 hour shifts, and sometimes even longer, if the last customer is trying on clothes in a fitting room or if the salesroom requires cleaning.

Temporary employees are mostly young men and women, who by virtue of their age are active and energetic. They are not frightened of 12-hour shifts.

Working on Weekends

All retail stores are open on weekends. Permanent staff doesn't really enjoy working on weekends, as employees may have their own plans on days off. Temporary staff is ready to work seven days a week, including weekends, since the main purpose of young people is to earn extra money during the free time between lectures and exams. Temporary employees are ready to devote their weekends to work.

Those Who Work on Their Feet

The work of a Sales Assistant requires hours of standing or even running. Sales Assistants spend a lot of time on their feet. Except for a lunch break and two-three 15-minutes rest breaks, they are often unable to sit down during their 10-12 hour shift.

Even if the Sales Assistant helps the customer to choose the right pair of shoes, he or she is not allowed to sit down on the sofa next to the customer.

Shopper Traffic

The modern customer loves shopping, especially on the weekends and before the bank holidays, and often takes the whole family to shopping centers.

This increases the customer flow and, consequently, retail profit. However, the quality of service due to overload decreases.

Assistance of temporary staff helps to balance the workload among employees, which will increase the quality of service during heavy hours as well as the image of the company in common.

Greeting the Customer

The way a Sales Assistant greets the customer, offers assistance and consults the customer reflects the image of the company. A Sales Assistant needs to be polite, helpful and understanding. Companies providing the service of temporary staff deliver trainings and provide instructions to Sales Assistants. Therefore, the temporary staff has knowledge and necessary skills for the competent implementation of duties.

Taking all the aforesaid into consideration, I d like to say that using temporary staff is one of the most effective solutions for retail business. The idea that temporary staff is underqualified is now outdated. Temporary employees can quickly adapt to the new place of work and get down to work. Temporary employees frequently change the team and the company and feel free in their new working environment. Temporary staff has all required knowledge skills and experience to perform the duties.

The demand for temporary personnel grows rapidly in the summer, during the holiday season, before the bank holidays, during sales and, of course, at the opening of new stores.


The Employment section did not involve the reporting or the editorial staff of The Moscow Times.