My retail business has been trying to fill two positions for six weeks. We have received more than 200 applications. After culling these to a shortlist of ten, six didn’t turn up for the interview or called the day of the interview with a lame excuse (my thumb hurts, I have to take my flat mate to the doctor etc) and three to whom we offered a position declined days later with a lame excuse (I forgot I have a family holiday or I forgot I have to fly to New Zealand to give evidence in a criminal trial).

We almost got to the point of saying that if they turn up for the interview and then for the first day of work we’ll give them whatever they want. Not really.

In retail with the pay good, $20 an hour for casual adult team members, prospective employees have options – especially good employees. It’s a sellers market and this is reflected in the excuses we get. Thankfully we have found someone but the experience made us realise that we have to do more to sell any vacancy in our retail business. The solution is a combination of money, flexibility and career options. Now, all we need is some candidates who actually turn up for an interview.

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