Pawnbroker 20/20: Hiring and Keeping Talent


Hiring – what to look for and how to do it?

When the candidate shows up at your store, let them wait a few moments on the sales floor. Watch how they interact with employees and around customers.

Do they look lost? Are they making the most of their time or are they standing in a corner trying to stay out of the way? You need a confident person with personality.

  1. Appearance – groomed, dressed well (pressed clothes, clean shoes, etc)
  2.  Do they have some type of notebook (pen/paper) with them? Do they have questions for you
    written down in their book?
  3.  Body language – confident. Offer to shake your hand? Walk with a purpose.
  4.  Does your gut instinct tell you that they are giving you truthful answers? Do not penalize the
    candidate for telling the truth – good or bad. Appreciate their honesty.
  5. Do they speak badly of their former employers? It’s ok to speak their mind….just tactfully. If
    they degrade their former boss(es) be wary.
  6. Be open and honest with them throughout your questioning. Don’t paint a perfect picture of
    your company and tell them they can make millions. No matter how badly you may want the
    candidate. Always tell them it is a lot of hard work to become great within your organization.
  7.  Do they ask you questions at the end? Ask what the next step is and when can they expect to
    hear from you?
  8. Have another manager/employee interview now or at a later date. It’s always good to get at
    least 2 opinions. I suggest having their potential supervisor interview to make sure that they
  9. If you like them, schedule a shadow session (during a busy time) so that they can meet the team
    and see how the day flows. This is a tough business! They need to see as much as they can
    before coming on board. Watch how they interact w/team members (do they get along?) and
    clients (do they approach them? Avoid?). You need a strong personality and a go-getter.
    Remember, you are looking for a long term addition to your team – never hire for short term in
    this business. It is a relationship business and your clients deserve continuity with employees.


We often just throw people to the wolves and do not pay them the attention that they need.

  1.  Keep them off the floor for at least 2-3 days. Have someone spend time with them in a classroom
    setting learning the business and YOUR BUSINESS. Make them fully aware of what you expect
    (customer service, their goals, the team goals, etc) before they hit your sales floor.
  2.  Pair them up with a top employee for the next few days. Be sure to compensate that employee
    for helping train your new hires. They will be taking time away from selling, etc. so they may
    earn less commission during this time. But you need them to train all new hires. Success breeds
  3.  Make sure that yourself/manager spends time with them each day before they leave. Answer
    questions for them and recreate their day. Make sure that they always leave on a positive note no
    matter how hard their day may have been. The first week is usually the most pivotal and can
    ensure longevity or a quick departure if not handled correctly.
  4.  Recap their first week the following Monday. Go over wins/losses and reiterate what you
    expect from them. “quiz” them to make sure that they are retaining the info you want them to.
    Make them show you that they can do transactions, etc.


  1.  When you see it….say it! Whether good or bad always do “mini one on ones” daily. Praise in
    public and scold in private. Do not wait to correct or praise….do it immediately.
  2.  Start each day with a recap and what you expect out of today with the entire morning crew.
    Find a way to praise and train during this meeting.
  3.  Have monthly one on ones with each employee to discuss performance and what you expect
    for the future.
  4. 30/60/90 day reviews for all new hires. Bi- annual after.
  5.  Greet each morning and show interest in their life – ask open ended questions. Thank each
    evening for their work and be specific! Great job on that Rolex loan today, really liked the way
    you handled the customer. Great job on selling that lawn mower. Thanks for showing them
    how to change the blade. It closed the sale for you.


Strive to have all “A” players. Constantly look for talent and to upgrade your team. Do not let personal
affairs (family, friends, etc) get in the way of making your team the best it can be.

Two ways to get “a” players – hire them from day one or teach them to the top. NOT ALL HIRES WILL BE
OR CAN BE “A” PLAYERS. Do not try to train a chicken to fly like an eagle.
It’s ok to admit that you made a bad hire…..just fix it quickly by finding the right talent.