‘Our clients are looking for a unique and customised service – both in terms of the product and service,’ company CEO Chris Sheppard said. ‘They expect our staff to be very well informed about the products and take a genuine interest in helping them find the right product.
‘We realised very soon after we established our business that we needed a mature age recruitment strategy that was specific to our business model and that a generic approach would not work for us.’
Chris said mature age workers contributed to less staff turnover, exceptional service and business growth through return customers.
More than 50 per cent of Peter Sheppard Footwear staff are aged 55 and over. The oldest employee has worked with the business for 26 years and is now 75. Several customers have joined as employees.
Chris said older Australians provided a high degree of inter-personal skills, life experience, and loyalty.
‘Our approach highlights the benefits of hiring mature age Australians and demonstrates that mature age people have a lot to offer in the workplace,’ he said.
‘We provide a family atmosphere and focus on recruiting people who have specific personalities, with less focus on previous shoe sales experience.’
Chris said an important part of the company’s success was due to its retention of mature age staff.
‘We focus significantly on effective pre-employment training to ensure new staff are well informed about our products and confident in assisting customers,’ he said.
‘Our flexible work environment, which includes part-time/casual work to suit each employee’s needs in addition to building a culture of support, has resulted in our employees staying longer with the business.’
Chris Sheppard was happy to share his success story engaging mature age Australians in the workforce.
‘We are happy to share our experience with other businesses who may not have considered a tailored approach to recruitment or the benefits of recruiting mature age Australians, particularly in the retail industry,’ he said.
To find out more about Peter Sheppard Footwear, visit its stores in Victoria, Queensland and NSW.