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Retail Associate

Complete with job descriptions, skill profiles, and interview templates. Use this Retail Associate hiring guide to help you make the right decisions, fast.

HOW TO HIRE A Retail Associate

What does a Retail Associate do?

A Retail Associate is the first contact point for a customer in a retail store. They are tasked with helping customers make buying decisions and will process the transaction. Retail Associates will also carry out visual merchandising tasks and inventory management and assist in the day-to-day running of the store.

Day to day tasks of a Retail Associate

Skills assessment

Retail Associate definition

A Retail Associate helps customers find products in a store and recommend appropriate products for customer’s needs. Their duties include ensuring the store is appropriately stocked, assisting customers as needed and performing transactions like sales and returns. They will also maintain the shop floor and perform administrative tasks as requested. These are purely entry-level positions.

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Retail Associate Hiring Process

Step 1: Understand the role
Step 2: Source Applicants
Step 3: Skills Assessment
Step 4: Interview
Step 5: Hire

Build the Ideal Candidate Profile​

To find the best person for the role, you need to understand what the role involves. You can complete this with the hiring manager to define the role, its contribution, and the skills needed.

Write A Job Description Based On Skills

Once you understand the requirements for the role, you’ll need to understand the skills for success. You can then write an effective job description to promote your role.

Selecting The Ideal Candidate

See which applicants have the right skills for the role. Send all your applicants a Vervoe skills assessment from the expert library, or customize one for your organization.

Interview Top Performers

Your skills assessment results will identify top performers. Focus your time on interviewing those that have met or exceeded your requirements. Assessment results will also help guide which skill areas to focus on in the interview.

Making An Offer

Once you assess your candidates against these skills, you’re ready to offer the top performer(s). You should base your offer on the value that the candidate would bring to your team and your business as a whole. It is also important to ensure your compensation and benefits packages are competitive in the industry and help you attract and retain the top talent.
Build the ideal candidate profile

Skills needed for a Retail Associate

A retail associate must be customer-focused and willing to learn. Because each customer is different, a retail associate needs to have exceptional verbal communication skills and listening skills.

Pro Tip

For entry-level roles, you’re likely to receive a larger number of applications than you would for a senior position. Ensure you provide details about what it’s like to work for your company, and what your company values are so applicants know whether your company is the right fit for them.


How to write a Retail Associate job description

Once you’ve determined the skills required for the role, you can write the job description to advertise for your position. Here’s what to include in your Retail Associate job description:

Job Title: What position are you hiring for?

Summary: What makes your company unique? What would it be like to work for you?

Responsibilities: An overview of the role’s day-to-day activities, and how the position contributes to the organization

Requirements: Skills a candidate must have to perform the job successfully

Benefits: Details of compensation, benefits, and any perks on offer

Pro Tip

In building your candidate profile, remember you’ve already identified what skills are needed to succeed in the role. Here’s where to list your “must-have” skills and maybe a couple of “nice-to-have” skills. For example, a Retail Associate must empathize with customer’s concerns and problems, but it would be nice to have sale experience.

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Sample skill tests for a Retail Associate

Create a free account today to access the full assessment and more from our library

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Question 1

Attention to Detail

Question Type: Multiple Choice

Find the two identical codes and select the corresponding letter below.

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Question 2

Active Listening

Question Type: Audio

What two follow up questions could you ask Barbara to help find what the customer is looking for?

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Question 3


Question Type: Video

What is your idea of quality customer service? Define in a 1 minute video.


How to interview a Retail Associate

Once your Vervoe skills assessment has surfaced the most qualified people for your open role, you can focus on interviewing these candidates. The interview should focus on any skills that require development that were highlighted from the skills assessment.

Now you know that candidates can do the job, the interview becomes more of a relationship building exercise where you can get to know the candidate on a more personal level, understand their motivations, and how they would fit in with the team.

Making An Offer

How much does it cost to hire a Retail Associate?

The US average for a Retail Associate is $22,535 according to while the reported average salary on amounts to $27,300. Entry level positions start at $23,400 per year while most experienced workers make up to $39,021 per year.

Retail Associate Salary United States

Retail Associate salaries in the United States range from $24,300 – $39,021 (USD). Retail Associate salaries in the U.S vary a lot depending on the industry, location and any commission incentives.


Retail Associate Salary United Kingdom

Retail Associate salaries in the United Kingdom range from £13,000 – £26,000 (GBP). Retail Associate salaries in the UK vary a lot depending on the industry, location and any commission incentives.

Source: Glassdoor

Retail Associate Salary Australia

Retail Associate salaries in Australia range from $46,000 – $65,000 (AUD). Retail Associate salaries in Australia vary a lot depending on the industry, location and any commission incentives.