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Smith: 'Hiring Squirrels' Changes How Retail Jewelers Identify Talent

Aug 21, 2014 4:04 PM   By Nirali Sheth
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RAPAPORT... Six in 10 people currently working in retail sales should take up another profession, according to Peter Smith, the executive vice president of brand development at Leo Schachter & Co. and author of a new book, "Hiring Squirrels, 12 Essential Interview Questions to Uncover Great Retail Sales Talent."
Smith said that being able to change how retailers identify and hire the best talent is an exceptional skill that must be learned. Smith's assessment and advice in the book comes from  30 years of experience  in retail jewelry, including having worked for  Tiffany & Co. and Hearts On Fire. He said  that he has "something important to say on this hugely important topic" because so many people working in sales today simply do not fhiring squirrels bookit.  

Not only that, but hiring the wrong people obviously, and negatively, impacts business, which is why "Hiring Squirrels" addresses the real costs of a poor hire. The author added that financial impact is not just about salary, for there are  training costs as well as lost business as a result of a poor salesman interacting with customers.

He said, interviewers often focus on the wrong traits (such as experience and pedigree). The book identifies those "few people" and the personalities  who should be working in retail sales, as defined as difference-makers and the author advises how to successfully interview those gems. 

According to Smith, the three traits necessary for salespeople today are drive, empathy and resilience. And, as Smith points out, these traits are not simply taught, but come from a range of experiences and often can be found with candidates who currently don't work in sales.

Patrick Sweeney, a co-author of "Succeed on Your Own Terms," said,  “If you want to find real diamonds, read this book! Full of wisdom, practical advice and engaging stories, 'Hiring Squirrels' is told from the unique perspective of an experienced and exceptionally accomplished professional and it is sure to help you identify individuals with true sales talent and bring out the very best in them."

"Hiring Squirrels" is available on Amazon.
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Tags: book, hiring squirrels, Nirali Sheth, peter smith, retail
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