Typical Roles at a Toy Store

A toy store functions like most other retail businesses: you’ll need a general manager (possibly the owner) to run the business and a variety of retail staff to help customers and process sales. Depending on the services your business offers, you may need to hire additional employees during the holidays.

General Manager

The general manager runs the store at a high level, making strategic decisions and exploring new sources of income. This role can be filled by the owner.

Typical Salary: $45,000

What Does This Role Entail?

  • Managing staff
  • Accounting
  • Supplier logistics

Who to Look For:

  • Knowledge of the toy market
  • Business experience
  • Ability to manage people

Shift Manager

The shift manager runs the store in the general manager’s absence, handling day-to-day problems and managing staff.

Typical Salary: $12/hr

What Does This Role Entail?

  • Manage staff
  • Ensure customer satisfaction

Who to Look For:

  • Ability to manage staff
  • Comfortable working with customers
  • Working understanding of the business (perhaps gained by working as a retail associate)

Retail Associate

Retail associates help customers find and select products, and process sales.

Typical Salary: $9/hr

What Does This Role Entail?

  • Assisting customers
  • Completing sales
  • Misc tasks around the toy store

Who to Look For:

  • Comfortable working with customers
  • Agreeable personality

Toy Store Hiring Tips

Hiring employees can seem like a nerve-wracking process, but it doesn't have to be. We break the process down into four basic steps: (1) Planning; (2) Recruiting; (3) Interviewing; and (4) Completing the Hire. Here are some tips for each phase of the process

Plan to Staff Your Business

To compete with online and big box retailers, your toy store should develop an inviting culture with employees who are friendly and truly helpful. You’ll be emphasizing the personal touch of going to a local toy store and selecting toys.

 Your staffing needs will depend on the size of the business: the smallest toy stores can be staffed solely by yourself (the owner). To ensure that you’re open during optimal times, however, you’ll probably want to hire a shift manager or two who can run the store in your absence. Hiring shift managers is also helpful to free you up to work on marketing, research into trending toys, and store finances. As the owner, you have to value your time and use it as effectively as possible: hiring others to run the daily operations of the store can be a smart move

If the store you’re launching is large enough (or you expand in the future) you’ll need to hire retail staff to help customers and process sales. These employees can work the cash register, help customers, or straighten up inventory.

Develop a Recruiting Strategy

You can recruit for these positions through any conventional channels: online job boards and local flyers are great options. When staffing for short-term or seasonal hiring, consider college students at local schools who may be eager to pick up part time work.

Interview with Confidence

If you take your time during the planning and recruiting phases of the process, you will likely end up with many qualified candidates.

Nonetheless, it is natural for a new business owner to be a bit anxious the first time hiring employees. Don’t forget that the interview is just a chance to get to know an applicant and to give them an opportunity to learn more about the role and the business. Also, it might help to remember that they are probably even more nervous than you are!

Throughout the interview process, it may help to keep in mind that most toy stores look for employees who are:

  • Friendly
  • Positive
  • Knowledgeable about toys

Here are some sample interview questions that will help you learn more about the character of your interviewees:

  • Tell me about a time you’ve had to perform a job while under pressure
  • Talk about a time you were at your best helping an employee
  • Tell me about your interest in or knowledge of toys?

Be Familiar with Hiring Laws

After selecting a job candidate, there are certain steps you will need to follow to complete the hiring process. Check out our Hiring Compliance Checklist for a step-by-step guide to the legal aspects of hiring employees.

One of the most important steps is to classify your new hire as an employee or an independent contractor. Become familiar with IRS guidelines on this matter, as there are serious consequences for misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor.

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For more details, please refer to our guide on the topic, Contractors vs. Employees: What You Need to Know. We also provide templates for the essential hiring forms you will need.

Set Up Payroll

Once you have a growing team of employees, it's time to set up your payroll. Using a payroll service provider saves you time for running your business, and also helps ensure that you comply with important federal requirements such as employee tax withholding.

To help our readers save money and grow their business, we negotiated a 20% discount for you with payroll provider ADP, the most popular small business provider in the country.

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Try ADP and get 20% off payroll services for your business.

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