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Hiring Fantastic People


I’ve begun helping former Starbucks marketers, Shannon Jones and Paul Williams, with their online Local Store Marketing Guide. It’s simply called the LSM Guide (@LSMguide) and it contains much of what we learned from doing field and corporate marketing at Starbucks that can help local businesses increase awareness, drive traffic and become a good community neighbor.

It’s ridiculous how much practical and proven marketing advice these LSM Guides share ranging from New Store Openings to Annual Promotional Planning to an exhaustive Catalog of Marketing Activities. Retail businesses from the smallest mom and pop shops to franchisees of the largest brands can benefit from these guides.

SPECIAL OFFER: The first five people who email me will receive one-month free access to the entire LSM Guide library.

The newest LSM Guide is the Hiring & Staffing Guide.

Retail operators know better than anyone that the people you hire are the most important part of your business. Your competitors can replicate your products and programs but they cannot replicate your people. It’s your people who live and breathe your company culture.

The truth is… finding, hiring, training and keeping the best people is the most critical step to long-lasting success as a retail business.

One story shared in the Hiring & Staffing LSM Guide involves the hiring practices at the Container Store.


The Container Store is a Dallas-based retailer of storage and organization items including boxes, bins, shelving and anything else needed to keep your stuff tidy. The business has been around since 1978 and is routinely ranked by Fortune magazine as one of the best companies to work for in America.

It’s people, more than its products, that separate the Container Store from its competitors. Kip Tindell, ceo and co-founder of the Container Store, sums up the importance of hiring the best people by saying, “The best thing you can do for your employees is to surround them with people who are fantastic.” (Whoa!)

Perhaps the most interesting thing the Container Store does to hire fantastic people happens during the job interview process. Usually, a store manager brings in a small group of employee candidates and conducts a group interview in the middle of the store during the middle of the day. At some point in the interview, the manager will ask the candidates to go out in the store, find a product they love and then tell the other candidates why they love that product.

Upon hearing and seeing the potential employees tell stories about the products, the Container Store manager can quickly tell who is a cultural fit because of the passion and enthusiasm they display. Obviously, the passionate and enthusiastic people stand a greater chance of getting hired on as the next fantastic Container Store employee.

This job interview best practice from the Container Store is a simple test to determine how much passion a potential employee has. It’s easy to hire warm bodies to fill an open employee position. It’s much more difficult to hire somebodies, not warm bodies, to join your team.

Never underestimate the importance of hiring fantastic employees.

As mentioned earlier, your competitors can replicate your products and programs but they cannot replicate your people. It’s your fantastic people who live and breathe your company culture that will make your business a long-lasting success.

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