We all know the moment we realize we’ve made a hiring mistake. And we all wish there were some way to avoid it. We can’t guarantee you’ll never again hire the wrong fit, but we can tell you three mistakes to avoid – and three things you can implement right now – to help make each hire more likely to be in alignment with your values, your mission and your culture.

The Top Three Mistakes Hardware Retailers Make In Hiring:

  1. Hiring because it’s urgent
  2. Not asking the right questions
  3. Not recognizing GWC


Hiring too fast, under pressure? Don’t do it! We’ve all been there. Understaffing is an ongoing problem in retail, and the pandemic hasn’t helped.

So we hire someone, anyone, because we’re short-staffed and we need people. Period. But even though getting a person in that vest and on the floor makes us feel like we’ve solved our problem if that hire isn’t a fit, it leads to even more problems – only one of which is cost: replacing an employee costs about 33 percent of their annual salary. So for that $20,000 a year, you’re paying an extra $6,600 each time someone leaves. If you’re doing that multiple times a year, that’ll add up!

cost to replace an employee

Hiring the most people as quickly as possible to fill the gaps on your floor is like putting the proverbial Band-Aid on a broken leg. The system has to change in order to hire a more engaged employee who you want to keep and who wants to stay with you.

Updating your hiring system so you can better judge when people are a fit and can help solve your customers’ top three needs (or a non-fit and shouldn’t be hired just to fill a gap) is your starting point to solving this problem. And we’ll tell you how.


We have a client who shared this story with us. They hired a guy, we’ll call him James, who did great in the interview. Aced the questions and when they asked him what his attendance was like at his other job, he said, “Perfect, except for emergencies.” Well, James called out once or twice a week. His aunt was sick, or his car broke down, or he had a cold. To James, these were all emergencies. The question that didn’t get asked was, “What qualifies as an emergency to you?”

Now, it would have been hard to see the need to ask that particular question, but it brings up the very real subject of interview bias. We assume that people will act according to our own values, and we often don’t ask them the right questions to understand their values and what motivates them most.

But if we’re prepared to see the places where our own bias gets in the way of asking the right questions, we can start to listen for the difference between what we want to hear and what we need to ask.

These are the two most powerful follow up questions you’ll ever ask. These will get you 10x ROI (return of information) – every time.

  1. What does that mean to you?
  2. Tell me more.


None of us relish the idea of letting someone go. But when it’s not a fit, firing someone is best for the company, best for the manager, best for the rest of the team and even best for the individual.

But how do we know, unilaterally, without letting emotion get in the way, that someone isn’t working out? How do we get everyone’s input so that they feel heard while being able to use their feedback in a unified way to make a decision? Enter the GWC rule – get it, want it and capacity to do it. A quick and simple measurement tool given out in the form of a spreadsheet that allows you to determine if someone is the right fit.

Download the Hardware Retailer’s GWC template HERE

Get It

This employee gets their role and the way it fits into the bigger picture of your company. They understand where they should be, when, and why.

Question to ask in the interview: Why do you want to work for us instead of another retailer?

Want It

They want a job at your company, not just any retail job. And they want the role that they have been given or understand their career path and agree to be in the role they’ve been given.

Question to ask in the interview: What motivates you about our company?

Capacity To Do It

They have the resources to do well at retail hardware. They understand how their job works, get along well with others and customers, and they align with your core values.

Question to ask in the interview: What do you do when you don’t know how to do something?

For more GWC interview questions and tactics, read “GWC, the One HR Rule That Helps Retailers Decide Who to Hire, Position and Fire…Quickly”

When to use GW

Whether you’re trying to see if someone is the right new hire, someone should potentially leave the paint department for the floor, or if someone needs to go, this quick and easy survey will give your team the voice and the reason to make the move!

Download the Hardware Retailer’s GWC template HERE


Right Person for the Job


Ninety percent of hiring (and therefore culture) problems exist because of mistakes made in these three areas.

Finding an employee who gets it, wants it, and has the capacity to do it is more valuable to you and your customers than 10 employees who don’t care and just want a paycheck; and asking those two powerful questions in your interviews (and in any other situation where you want to better understand your employees) will be a game-changer for how you build your team.

If you want more detailed information on any of these system-changing techniques, reach out to us, and we can help you implement a strategy that will set you up for success. Click below to grab a quick meeting for us to chat!

Jocelyn has been in the hardware retail business for over a decade, working with retailers from around the country on culture building, content creation, blog writing, website development, and overall marketing strategy. She has been working with Mojo since 2021.

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