There are roughly 550,000 sporting goods and hobby store employees at any given time, and that's just the tip of the retail industry iceberg. Approximately 3.5 million stores are in operation across the US, making the hiring landscape a very challenging one. Aaron Schweifler, Director of Operations of Sports Basement, and Brianne, Hiring Manager, shares with us how Workstream has transformed their hiring process. From a once manual task with tons of paper applications, Sports Basement's hiring process is now fully mobile, automated, and all visible on a single dashboard. During the past 9 months, they have posted 27 positions and saw 277 applications in a week. They have seen more interviews scheduled, more applicants show up, and have saved a large amount of time due to Workstream’s automated process.
My name is Aaron Schweifler and I’m the Director of Operations for Sports Basement. We’ve been around for 20 years now. We have 10 stores, all in the Bay Area, and each store employs about 80 people so there's a lot of staff to maintain. We’ve always sold the best brands at basement prices but we also do a lot more: rentals, guided trips - you name it. People that come here to work are all people who basically were customers in the first place. They love what we do, they’re all bikers, hikers, skiers, and if they didn’t do one of those sports before, we pay for them to go out and do that sport. We’re all very similarly oriented when it comes to love of the outdoors and sports.
The challenges we faced in hiring in the Bay Area with 800 staff and 0% unemployment, we found that the old ways of recruiting with just going to the paper applications just weren’t cutting it anymore. We needed a much more modern system to find who we needed.
Our previous version of hiring was a mixture of paper applications that people would write and fill in in the store and we would have to keep in a folder. Now, everything is online. We used to email and call all our applicants by hand and now they get to pick their own time slot which just makes our job so much easier and quicker to find the best applicants.
On a global level, I never used to be able to see how each of our stores were doing when it came to hiring and that worried me because I knew some stores were struggling to find the right people. Now, I can see everything, I can see how many applications we are getting, I can see the applications that are being sent in, and I can see how well we’re doing with hiring. So it really gives me comfort to see how each store is doing and each of the hiring managers at each store have told me that they love it.
What makes Workstream stand out among the hundreds of other options that I get emailed about everyday is the fact that it targets hourly recruiting. I’m not trying to hire an engineer, I need 50 $15/hour people fast and Workstream’s approach is much more geared towards hiring hourly workers in the city.
Before we had four managers on this one hiring dock and now it's only me doing this Workstream platform because it minimized the work that we have to do and made it so much more efficient. Workstream really has been a godsend for Sports Basement - so efficient, I’m glad we’ve had it.
Workstream tip: We've helped other retailers and grocery stores streamline their hiring processes - such as Grocery Outlet, Gelson's Market, and H&M. Chat with us to find out how you can use our platform to address your specific hiring needs.
Desirene is a marketer and content-writer of Workstream. She has been with the Workstream team for over a year and is based in Singapore.