Cashiers look after the financial transactions of public-facing businesses like retail shops, cafes, restaurants and supermarkets.
Cashiers should be adept at using the equipment they'll work with on a daily basis (or if not, then quick to learn), they should be friendly and sociable with the people they interact with, and they should have basic mathematical skills that will help them navigate challenging situations.
Ideally, a cashier would also have a passion or interest in the business they work for, or at least knowledge of the stock and offering of that business so they can locate items, upsell and generally offer help and guidance to consumers.
When hiring a cashier, you should put together a thorough recruitment process that aims to examine each candidate's strengths and weaknesses, characteristics, traits, abilities and soft skills. This will help you to hire the best person or people for the job.
What should a cashier be able to do?
First and foremost, a cashier should be comfortable operating the equipment they'll need to use to perform their daily tasks. This may include electronic scanners, a cash register and a card machine. They'll need to be able to process transactions, count out correct changes and issue receipts, credit and refunds.
Cashiers will spend their days interacting with customers, so it's essential they're sociable and friendly. As well as offering help, locating items or dealing with queries, cashiers may be put into situations where they have to deal with complaints or disgruntled customers. In these situations, cashiers need to show they're still able to be polite and friendly, and that they're able to keep calm under pressure.
As with most roles, there's a certain amount of housekeeping and admin required of cashiers. This could be keeping the till area clean and tidy, ensuring records are up to date, complying with health and safety regulations, dealing with packages and generally ensuring tasks that keep the business going are completed in a timely manner.
Hiring the right cashier can be profitable for your business. Someone quick, accurate, friendly and polite will boost sales and keep customers returning — which is why it's essential to prepare a thorough and targeted recruitment process.
Skills to look for in a cashier
There are a few key technical skills and abilities that it's important to look for when hiring a cashier. The skills listed below will help you to ask the right questions and set the best tests when you're looking to recruit:
Accounting software: familiarity with accounting software will be really helpful when it comes to ensuring accounts are in order, and no mistakes have been made on the tills.
Point of sale (POS) software: it's essential that cashiers are already comfortable with a point of sale software, or can pick the skills up quickly. They'll be using this software every day, so they need to be able to do so quickly and accurately.
Microsoft Office suite: there will be an element of admin involved in the role which may include preparing reports in Excel, scheduling meetings and sending emails in Outlook, and using the various other Office programs to contribute to successfully maintaining the business.
Active listening: listening to customers and responding appropriately is important. How cashiers interact with their clientele makes a big difference in whether people choose to return and spend their money.
Mathematical competency: being able to understand and follow basic mathematical principles is a really helpful skill for every cashier.
Useful abilities for a cashier
Unlike skills, which are normally learnt through education or experience, abilities are more inherent and related to the type of characteristics you'd ideally want someone to have to do the role.
A cashier needs to be able to demonstrate the following abilities:
Strong interpersonal skills: good cashiers are warm and friendly and enjoy the company of people. It's a highly social job, so cashiers need to be able to show that they communicate well, and can keep calm to resolve any difficult situations that may occur.
Speech clarity and recognition: with communication being one of the most essential parts of the role, it's important that cashiers are able to understand other people's speech, while also talking in a clear and concise manner to their customers.
Problem sensitivity: problem sensitivity isn't necessarily about solving problems, but it's about recognising when things may be about to go wrong, so people can respond accordingly. This is a really useful skill to have in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment like sales.
Near vision: dealing with the till systems, scanners, receipts and invoices requires a good level of vision. Cashiers should be able to show that they'll be able to take all of this in their stride thanks to strong near vision.
Selective attention: this is the ability to concentrate on the task at hand without getting distracted. This is a particularly useful ability for cashiers, as the environment they work in is often loud and busy.
Which soft skills tests could I use to hire a cashier?
As well as assessing technical ability and skill, it can be really helpful to supplement your recruitment process with one or more soft skills tests. These tests examine things that are often harder to assess, but are essential for the role.
The soft skills tests you might want to consider when hiring cashiers include:
Communication skills: whether it's verbally communicating something to colleagues, listening and responding to customers or taking instruction from business owners, cashiers need to be able to communicate effectively if they want to meet the basic requirements of the role.
Interpersonal skills: being able to effectively speak to customers, work with colleagues and get on with all those around them is important for a cashier. It's a highly social role, so candidates should be able to demonstrate how well they can interact with others for the greater good of the business.
Time management: being able to prioritise tasks effectively and demonstrate an understanding of the importance of being on time is a really essential soft skill for a cashier who needs to be present in order for a service business, such as a shop, cafe or supermarket, to run.
Which technical or aptitude tests could I use to hire a cashier?
The following aptitude tests should be considered when you're looking to hire a cashier. They can give you a better sense of candidates' strengths and weaknesses.
Numerical reasoning: this test will assess candidates on their understanding of basic mathematical principles including interpreting data.
Microsoft Office: from Excel to Outlook, this test will help you get a better sense of candidates' Office competencies, and where their strengths and weaknesses lie.
Error checking: the error checking test asks candidates to identify errors in data sets under tight time pressure. It's a great indicator of how good someone is at spotting problems, a really useful skill in the fast-paced world of retail and hospitality.
Our recommended test battery for a cashier
Hiring a good cashier can help with your business's reputation and sales. If you're struggling with which tests to use in the recruitment process, we'd recommend the following:
Numerical reasoning: fundamentally, a cashier should be comfortable with numbers and this test will allow you to assess whether people you're interested in hiring are or not.
Communication skills: a good cashier should be comfortable with people and able to demonstrate strong communication skills in this test.
Time management: is essential for shift-work particular in the retail industry. Using a time management skills test will be useful to your pre-hiring process.
Interpersonal skills: great customer service requires interpersonal skills which can be tested using an interpersonal skill test.
For more information on hiring a cashier, visit Picked's cashier test page.