What to Look For When Hiring Product Sampling Staff

With retail hitting a bit of a hump, it’s easy to understand why brands are flocking to create innovative campaigns that re-engage past consumers as well as approach fresh audiences. That being said, it’s no easy task – especially if it’s your first time doing so. At LIVE Agency, we have 25 years of retail experience guiding our methods, creative and performance management; so, it’s safe to say we know what we’re doing.

Throughout our years of sampling success, we’ve noted one major element that brands must consider but can often be forgotten or de-prioritised: who will be representing them throughout the campaign, i.e. your product sampling staff. Because believe it or not, these are the individuals who can make or break your entire activation.

But how can you ensure that you’re only hiring the right product sampling staff? Well, that’s exactly what we’re going to break down in this insight article!

What to Look For

When it comes to recruiting brand ambassadors, LIVE Agency looks for three distinct characteristics:

1. Enthusiasm

Your sampling staff teams need to be actively engaged with the product, and the wider brand, that they are representing – but engagement alone is not enough. You’re searching for brand ambassadors that demonstrate a sound understanding and a keen interest in the product. This way, they can pass on that excitement to the consumers that interact with the campaign.

In the absence of enthusiasm, your sampling efforts can often fall short of expectation with engagement levels remaining low. Remember, your staffing teams will set the tone of your campaign and be the first face consumers interact with – so ensure that you’re confident in their ability.

2. Adaptability

Any experienced ambassador will know that no sampling campaign is the same as the last. These individuals will be tasked with presenting different products or services whilst engaging with bespoke target audiences every single time. So, we probably don’t need to tell you that they need to be incredibly adaptable!

If not, you could find yourself with a staffing team that is uncomfortable with the task at hand – and this will always be evident in the campaign’s results.

3. Approachability

We’ve already mentioned how your ambassadors will be the first face your consumers interact with. They’ll be the ones to get them engaged with the product, and if all goes well, convince them to invest in your brand at a later date. But none of this will be possible if they don’t appear approachable to your target audience.

This is why face-to-face recruitment is so vital. Whilst you won’t be able to make a judgement via an applicant’s CV or by a phone interview, physical interviewing will demonstrate everything you need to know and ensure you’re not putting the wrong people at the forefront of your campaign.

How to Find Them

Of course, knowing what you’re searching for and establishing a process to do just that are two entirely separate challenges. But, at LIVE, we’re proud to say we’ve solved them both!

Our recruitment programme is well-renowned within the sampling sector – and there’s really no questioning why. We’ve invested time, money and effort into ensuring our clients have the very best people representing their brand.

Firstly, we ask all of our applicants to attend our ‘auditions’ where they can showcase their skills, experience and personality in addition to the above traits. Not only does this give them an opportunity to bring their CV to life, but it additionally identifies how they’ll work with a group – and an unfamiliar group at that.

Next up, it’s time for cuts. Whilst we know that every person has their talents, there’s only a specific number of applicants that will meet LIVE’s standards – and so it’s time to wave goodbye to those that don’t. In fact, we only approve the top 20% of our applicants which both incentivises them to bring their A-game every time and ensures our clients receive a stellar sampling team.

From there, it’s all about the training. At this point, we know we’ve found the right individuals for the job – they have the right attitude, the right experience and are ready to embark on their sampling journey – but now it’s time to give them the right tools to get the job done right!

We provide an orientation that gives our ambassadors bespoke insight into how LIVE works internally – from our culture to our day-to-day processes. By imparting all of our sampling knowledge onto our network of ambassadors, we’re confident that they can go out to any campaign and make real, tangible impacts. And, it’s fair to say that they are yet to prove us wrong!

Sampling experts by your side

We know that creating a one-of-a-kind sampling campaign can be a strenuous task to take on, but the rewards can be incredible. That being said, it’s important that you perfect the smaller details – such as your staffing solutions – before you jump into the bigger things.

At LIVE Agency, we’ve had over 25 years to perfect the art of sampling. And whilst we might be slightly biased, we’ve done a pretty good job!

Get in touch with our experts today and find out how we can support your efforts!

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