Your company is only as strong as your weakest employee. When you are hiring your staff, there are many things you need to take into consideration. But the biggest question you need to ask yourself is, “how will this person impact my business?” There are really only two answers to this question.

Hiring the wrong people could have a severely negative impact on your company if they are not right for the job, or not right for your company. But after doing your homework, and conducting a thorough interview, the right person could have a wonderful effect on your business. Whether it is bringing a team atmosphere and positive attitude, or just being knowledgeable about your product, having the right staff can really boost your bottom line.

You don’t want to hire just anyone. This is your business — your baby, so to speak. You wouldn’t allow some flunky off the street to babysit your child, so why would you allow it in your retail operation? When interviewing possible candidates, even for part-time work, find out what their motivations are. Why do they want to work for you? Why this business, why not somewhere else? What is it about your store that interests them? You don’t want to intimidate them, though, so tread carefully, and be friendly in your questioning. It should feel like a conversation, not an interrogation. Allow them to elaborate and ask questions. It’s a relationship you’re both seeking, and each of you needs to be the right fit for the other.

Think about your current staff. What is the dynamic? How do they get along? Are they team-oriented, or do they just show up and laze about? Do they approach customers, or just expect the customers to come to them? Customers should always be greeted upon entering, but unless you feel they are a threat to your store, give them their space to look around. Ask the periodically if they are looking for anything in particular, and if they say no, then back off. People don’t like to be pressured.

On the other hand, if customers see staff fooling around, being disruptive, and not paying attention, there’s an even greater chance you could lose sales that way, too. The bottom line is, make sure your staff wants to be there, and they’re not just in it for a weekly paycheck. Make sure they work well with others, and that they’re happy employees. Pay them a decent wage, give them enough to do to keep them busy, and treat everyone equally. If possible, give them incentives, and help them to feel a sense of accomplishment and pride by including them in store successes. If your staff could care less about these things, then maybe it’s time to find a staff that does.