Here’s How to Attract and Keep Employees

An employee value proposition and an innovative hiring process could be the difference between two-day and two-year employees.

March 25, 2022

NACS HR Forum Attendees

By Sara Counihan

ORLANDO—There’s a changing mindset among today’s workers. For them, work no longer means a place they physically go to earn a paycheck. Work means wherever their car is while they’re busy ridesharing or their living room while they’re crafting a career on social media.

So how can convenience retailers, where employees need to go to a physical place to work, attract the workforce of today? Having an employee value proposition (EVP), which tells future and current employees how they can benefit from working for you, can be the difference between a fully staffed store and scrambling to cover shifts.

“[Your company] already has [an EVP]. The difference is that some of you may be letting your employees define it 100% versus you articulating it for them,” said Chris McKinney, chief human resources officer Victory Marketing/Sprint Mart, at the NACS HR Forum, which took place this week in Orlando.

McKinney says that around 70% of employees admitted in surveys said that they have had one bad day at work and applied for a job when they got home.

“[An EVP shows] what is the foundation of how you are going to treat your people and how you expect your leadership to treat those around them,” said McKinney. “Hopefully that resonates with the individual after they’ve had a difficult day,” said McKinney.

McKinney said that this means that 70% of c-store employees could face some adversity at work, drive home, apply for a job, get a text from a competitor that evening, submit an application with two taps on their mobile device, and in the morning, they could be talking to someone with a job offer that pays 50 cents to a dollar or more higher.

“An individual that is not invested in your company at all or has no idea how the company is going to treat them is just going to leave for the money,” said McKinney. “[A fully articulated employee value proposition] needs to be woven into the fabric of the company as well and not just words on a page.”

According to Joanne Loce, managing partner at Fortify Leadership Group who presented with McKinney, the building blocks for an EVP are the company brand, a commitment to the customer, values/purpose/mission, pay/benefits and development opportunities, but overall, she says that an EVP spells out exactly what it means to the employee to work for the company.

“[An EVP] is a way for us to attract people, and the quickest way to spread this is word of mouth,” said Loce.

Once you have an interested candidate who turns into an employee, an effective hiring practice can turn a two-day employee into a two-year (or more) employee.

TXB Stores Inc. recently overhauled their hiring process from one that took five days from interview to starting on the job to another that has an employee interviewed, onboarded and started in two days flat.

TXB completes the interview, background, hiring and onboarding in one day.

“When [an employee] leaves, we hand [them] a schedule,” said Nathan Graham, director of human resources, TXB.

TXB brings potential employees through a four-step process. The first step is a store tour. When a job candidate walks through the door, they are greeted by a current TXB team member (not a manager) to walk them through the store. They stop at the fountain drink area first, where the team member explains that all employees get a free drink during their shift, and the candidate gets a free drink. During the tour, which is quick, Graham said, there is one-on-one conversation happening and no interview questions, and the team member is introducing the candidate to everyone working that day.

After the store tour, the candidate is handed off to another employee, and they both sit down in the store, and the employee leads the candidate through a structured, five to six question interview process.

Next, the candidate is handed off to another employee who leads the candidate through a realistic job preview (RJP). This is a 10-minute shadow process to let the person know exactly what they would do at the store.

The final step for the candidate is to speak with the store manager, who asks them a few questions. At this point, the two employees who spoke with the candidate and led them through the RJP have given their approval of the candidate. The store manager then extends a job offer.

“At this point when your offer is made, you have met every staff member that is on shift that day, so when you show up for day one, you already have friends,” said Graham.

Graham says that every TXB store that has implemented this hiring process has seen a reduction in turnover. Overall, the company has seen a 12% decrease in turnover over the past six months.

Learn more about TXB’s hiring process, as well as tips on how to hire Gen Z, in the NACS Magazine article “Are You Ready for a Gen Z Workforce?

Sara Counihan is contributing editor of NACS Daily and NACS Magazine. She can be reached at