How to staff your pop-up

1 Nov 2016

How To Staff Your Shop

Pop-ups can live and die by the quality and attitude of the people staffing them, so finding the best people to showcase and sell your product is worth dedicating your attention to. There are a great deal of people available for temporary jobs around the UK and while this means you have lots to choose from, it can also make it harder to find the right fit.

We called on the experts from online job seeker marketplaces Catapult and Flexy to get the low down on the best ways to find candidates, how to know what you’re looking for, and most importantly, how to train them up to make sure they show your product at its very best.

How To Staff Your Shop

Let’s start at the beginning, what should I include in the job description?

Catapult: “We ask for basic information such as location, what your business does and the job title of the person you’re looking for. This gives candidates an overview of what is required to carry out the job role.”

Flexy: “Also, think about your brand values, and make sure they are reflected in the tone of your job description. The workers you hire will be representing your brand, so it’s important they identify with its principles from the very beginning.”

How To Staff Your Shop

Where are good places to look to source staff for my shop?

Catapult: “Usually employers look for temporary staff in the following ways:

Friends and family. Reaching out to your close network is perhaps the most obvious place to start searching!

Your previous employees. It might be that some of your previous employees have expressed that they are interested in one-off shifts.

Staffing agencies. These companies can take a long time and be expensive to use, so they tend to be not as well suited for short-term projects.”

How do I know what a good applicant looks like?

Flexy: “When you’ve (hopefully!) received lots of applicants, you’ll need some criteria to narrow down the candidates. In terms of hiring temporary staff, attitude is the most important factor, so ask yourself:

Is the candidate switched on, eager, enthusiastic and motivated?

Does the candidate fit with your brand image and values? Do they grasp your offering and understand the benefits it entails?

If you have time, it’s a good idea to contact at least one reference to ensure the candidate did a good job previously.”

How To Staff Your Shop

What's the average hourly rate for retail staff?

Flexy: “This is a hot topic in the media currently, as many businesses are being called out in the press for under-paying staff.”

“Legally the minimum wage is £7.20 for over 25’s, £6.70 for 21-25’s, and £5.30 for those under 20. However, in order to entice the crème de la crème of temporary staff in your field, you need to pay fairly.

“We took the decision to only allow jobs to be posted on our platform at, or above, the London Living wage, which is £9.40 (or £8.25 outside of London) – we consistently get feedback from users about how brilliant our workers are. Paying reasonably will not only attract a higher calibre of applicant but will also help keep workers motivated and improve their reliability.”

How To Staff Your Shop

And finally, how can I ensure they know my product well enough to sell?

Flexy: “No matter how much instruction you provide, no member of staff will know your product better than you do. Here are a few ways you can help them on their way though:

A crash course on outlining the key benefits of your product with a demo or sample can really help temporary staff get to grips with your offering quickly.

You should equip staff with enough knowledge to talk about the features and benefits effortlessly, but also provide them with a process to seamlessly refer a very inquisitive customer over to you (or another more experienced member of the team).

Remember, there’s no shame in not having all the answers; just as long as they know where to find them with confidence.”

Before you hire anyone, remember you must check they are legally able to work in the UK (a £10,000 fine can be imposed if they aren’t). To check the legal work status you need to physically see and take a photo of their EU passport or UK work visa (details can be found here).

Catapult is an online marketplace where you can find and select local staff based on their experience, their video, and star ratings from other employers. For more information visit

Flexy is a digital marketplace where you can find and book brilliant temporary workers by the hour, day, week or month. All workers are vetted, rated and checked to work in the UK, so you can book your temporary dream-team in minutes. For more information visit