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Insight into Cashier Turnover

Cashiers are responsible for ringing up purchases in convenience stores, grocery stores and other establishments using cash registers and electronic scanners. In 2014, there were approximately 3.5 million cashiers in the U.S., making this the second largest occupation behind retail salespeople.

This entry-level position does not require any formal education or work experience, and the employer provides most training on the job. The pay for cashiers is low as it is generally minimum wage. Due to the volume of cash transactions, applicants may be required to pass drug screens and background checks. Cashier jobs may be full-time, part-time and seasonal or offer flexible hours.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that cashier employment will increase two-percent from 2014 to 2024, which equates to approximately 67,000 new jobs. Because the job description requires good customer service but offers low pay, the turnover rate is high.

More reports show that companies are desperate to keep their minimum-wage workers. Within the last couple of years, companies such as Walmart, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, IKEA, Starbucks and Gap have committed to increasing the wages of low-paid workers. While this has sparked concern among investors, there are reasons why companies are willing to fork out more money for long-term retention in these jobs.

  • The average cashier earns a full-time salary of between $20,026 and $25,400.
  • The cost of replacing an employee that earns a lower income is approximately 16% of their annual wage according to the Center for American Progress.
  • This equates to $3,204.16 to $4,064. Every time a cashier quits, it costs a company this amount to train a new hire, which adds up – especially for larger retail companies.

If you equate this 16-percent number with Walmart’s 500,000 low-wage employees, the total cost is approximately $1 billion. While boosting cashier’s wages will not solve the turnover dilemma, it can help reduce the overall costs associated with training and recruiting new employees.

Costco implemented a long-term strategy to retain good employees. The average hourly worker starts at $11.50 per hour and those employees that stay more than five years can easily earn upwards of $20 per hour. “This is not altruistic,” Costco co-founder Jim Sinegal said of his company’s pay practices. “This is good business.”

Some retailers, such as Target, have made it clear they will not conform to higher wages. If these employers want to decrease their turnover rates without increasing hourly pay, their profitability may lie in predictable scheduling, such as giving cashiers their hours several weeks in advance.

If your company is looking to reduce cashier turnover, the first step is hiring employees that want to work long-term. You can accomplish this by including specific questions in Ninja Gig’s online job applications, which makes it easier to identify good applicants. Second, your organization will need to consider polling employees or looking at the general city and area to see if higher wages or more flexible schedules appeal to applicants.  Sign up today to start accepting employment applications online immediately!