Retail Store Manager

Starlit Citadel is looking for a full-time retail store manager that will drive sales and attendance at the retail store while keeping expenses in-check.  Store manager responsibilities will include supervising assistant store managers, purchasing, merchandising and some customer service.  As a small business, we require a high degree of flexibility in all applicants.

Responsibilities

  • Develop business strategies to raise our customers’ pool, expand store traffic and optimize profitability
  • Meet sales goals by hiring, training, motivating, mentoring and providing feedback to employees
  • Conduct personnel performance appraisals to assess training needs and build career paths
  • Ensure high levels of customers satisfaction through excellent service
  • Work with Warehouse Manager to ensure timely and satisfactory fulfillment of all online orders and inquiries
  • Complete store administration and ensure compliance with policies and procedures
  • Contribute to Social Media presence and building the company brand
  • Weekly purchasing of products from distributors and communication with distributors and publishers
  • Maintain outstanding store condition and visual merchandising standards
  • Report on buying trends, customer needs, profits, etc.
  • Deal with all issues that arise from staff or customers (complaints, grievances, etc)
  • Be a shining example of well behavior and high performance
  • Prepare, pack equipment, travel to and set up material at various conventions in Western Canada
  • Additional store manager duties as needed

Requirements

  • Prior experience as a retail manager
  • Budgeting
  • Customer management skills
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills

 

Nice to have

  • Knowledge of Board Games and Board Game industry an asset
  • Knowledge of Magic the Gathering an asset
  • Valid Driver’s License an asset

Contact us at logistics@starlitcitadel.com with why you’d like to work for Starlit Citadel and your resume.  Salary is dependent on experience.

Now Hiring – Retail Store Employee (Vancouver, BC)

Starlit Citadel  is hiring again in Vancouver, BC!

This is a year-round part-time position that works in the retail store and at conventions as needed.   With our move to a full brick & mortar location, we have need of a dedicated retail store employee to work with customers at the counter and answer questions.

The retail employee’s main role will be handling customer interactions in the store, assisting customers in locating products and with their product knowledge as well as the checking customers out.   In addition, they will be required to help invoice and pull orders from the online store, receive products and clean and tidy the retail location as needed.  Work at conventions both in Vancouver, BC and out-of-province will be required from time-to-time. Additional projects and one-off tasks will also be assigned from time to time, according to the needs of the company.

As this is the first retail employee hired, the employee will need to be quick on his feet with a preference given to those with previous retail experience (as an employee and manager).  They will at times be required to help develop procedure guides for tasks and help develop better procedures to increase efficiency in the company.  will be provided hands-on training and written procedure guides for all of the above tasks, and will be expected to follow them in order to reduce errors and ensure consistency of service in the company.

This job’s primary hours will be during the Friday to Sunday shifts (8 hours each) with occasional additional hours during weeknights as needed.

Requirements:

  • Full-time availability Saturday & Sunday
  • Familiarity and comfort with computers and data entry
  • Good customer service skills
  • Detail oriented and focused

Nice to Haves:

  • Full-time availability on Friday, partial availability during weeknights
  • Gaming knowledge (specifically board games) and general geek culture knowledge
  • Knowledge of Magic the Gathering
  • Valid class 5 driver’s license
  • Previous retail experience

If you are interested, please send your resume to logistics@starlitcitadel.com with your hours of availability and a cover letter explaining your fit with the job. Please note that this job will initially pay at minimum wage.

Now Hiring – Logistics Assistant

Starlit Citadel / Fortress Geek is hiring again in Vancouver, BC!

This is a year-round part-time position that works in our warehouse and conventions as needed. We are an e-commerce business that sells directly to consumers and offers both shipping and in-person pickup of customer orders.

The Logistics Assistant’s main role will be shipping and receiving, and they will also be expected to assist with basic warehouse organization and customer service. In their primary role, they will be responsible for processing and invoicing customer orders, and picking and packing them in preparation for shipping. We receive new stock weekly, and they will be expected to assist with the restock process, unpacking, inspecting and shelving all new items, as well as confirming the accuracy of the received shipment and updating store inventory as needed.

In addition to these regular duties, the Logistics Assistant will undertake general administrative tasks in the warehouse including cleaning, sorting and inventory counts. They will also be required to provide basic customer service to Local Pickup customers.  Work at conventions will be required from time-to-time which will require in-person selling. Additional projects and one-off tasks will also be assigned from time to time, according to the needs of the company.

The Logistics Assistant will be provided hands-on training and written procedure guides for all of the above tasks, and will be expected to follow them in order to reduce errors and ensure consistency of service in the company.  As a small, growing company; we are constantly changing our procedures as the business changes.

This job will be 12 to 18 hours of work during the majority of the year, with 30 – 40 hours worth of work during the Christmas rush period (mid-November to end-December generally).

Requirements:

  • Part-time availability on Weekdays
  • Occasionally on weekends
  • Familiarity and comfort with computers and data entry
  • Detail oriented and focused
  • Valid class 5 driver’s license

Nice to Haves:

  • Gaming knowledge (specifically board games) and general geek culture knowledge
  • Previous pick-and-pack and/or warehouse experience
  • Knowledge of Magento backend

If you are interested, please send your resume to trwong@starlitcitadel.com with your hours of availability. The starting wage is $10.50 per hour.

 

We’re Hiring: Join us on the Convention Scene

One of our biggest areas of growth in the past year has been participation in the geek convention scene — we’ve gone from attending 2 or 3 gaming-specific events to almost a dozen anime, fan, and gaming conventions a year. It’s been a lot of fun to get in direct contact with so much of the community, but we’re finding ourselves stretched just a bit thin bouncing from event to event.

As a result, we’re looking to add a new member to our team, in the position of Event Coordinator. It’s a seasonal, part-time position that puts you in charge of running the sales booth at the events that we attend as our sister site, Fortress Geek. We’d love to have a friend or regular customer take on this role, as it’ll need someone with a passion for both the geek community and our company in particular. If you (or someone awesome you know) think you’d be a good fit for this position, please send a resume and cover letter to Kaja at ksadowski@starlitcitadel.com by Friday, January 17th, 2014.

Full Position Details

Are you a part of an Anime, Fan, or Gaming community? Would you like to get paid to attend conventions and sell awesome geeky toys, kitchenwares, collectibles and games to your fellow fans? If so, then this is a great opportunity for you.

This is a part-time position with a schedule based around the yearly gaming, anime, and fan convention season. Our e-commerce business attends 6 – 12 of these events per year, and needs a dedicated staff member to organize and manage customer service and sales at each event.

The Event Coordinator will be expected to attend each convention that we are booked for, and perform the following tasks: supervise inventory packing, load-in, and load-out; manage staff schedules and booth coverage; sell product to customers and manage other sales staff; keep accurate transaction records of event sales and deposit cash collected; liaise with convention organizers to handle any issues that arise on site. As the primary representative of the company at each event, the Event Coordinator is expected to present a professional and friendly attitude, and be able to quickly and knowledgeably address customer and event staff’s concerns. They will also be responsible for the appearance and layout of the sales booth.

The Event Coordinator’s schedule is tied to our convention plans. They will be informed of upcoming events at least 2 months in advance, and must be available for the entire duration of each event, including load-in and load-out times, and any necessary travel time. Upcoming events that we will be attending include: Toronto Comicon (March 7-9, 2014), FanExpo Vancouver (April 18-20, 2014), and Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo (April 25-27, 2014). Travel and accommodation for out-of-town events will be covered in full, and all travel time will be paid.

We will provide training on our convention and cash-handling procedures, and the Event Coordinator will be given ample opportunity to familiarize themself with our inventory prior to their first event. If further training is needed, we will provide the necessary resources for the Event Coordinator to be able to perform their job in full.

Requirements: Availability for 3-5 consecutive days, up to 12 times per year (schedule to be provided in advance). Strong customer service and organizational skills. Experience with cash handling and basic account-keeping an asset.

Expected Start Date: February 17th, 2014

Rate: $14/hour, plus travel and accommodation costs for all events outside Vancouver.

Starlit Citadel / Fortress Geek

Independent Contractors

I’ve talked about volunteers, interns & other free help before.  So today, let’s talk about another one of the most common ‘shortcuts’ businesses take in terms of cost and hiring is to hire an individual on as an ‘independent contractor’.

The Business Case

Hiring an independent contractor to do work for you has some advantages for a business, at least at first glance:

  • Less bureaucracy –  You get an invoice, you pay it.  You don’t need a Canada Revenue Agency Payroll account, you don’t have to withhold funds for EI or CPP or deal with the paperwork involved
  • Lower cost – you don’t have to pay EI or CPP or WorksafeBC.  Often, you can ‘bargain’ lower salaries / rates overall because the contractor sees more of their actual pay.
  • Quick termination – if they are contractors, there’s a lot fewer requirements if you are looking to terminate the contract
  • HST / GST savings –  as an ‘expense’, you get to clawback some of your HST / GST revenue if the contractor charges HST

The Contractors Case

So why do these contractors agree to this? Well, here’s a few reasons why:

  • Lack of power – sometimes, the job is offered only on these terms.
  • Expenses – whether it’s HST / GST that they charge and thus can use for other input tax credits or general expenses (e.g. telephone, rent, internet, etc.); there’s definitely financial benefit here
  • Multiple sources of income – as a theoretical contractor, you could potentially have more than one source of income as a contractor.

It sounds like a win-win situation for everybody doesn’t it? Except…

Business Liability

The problem is, there’s a definite liability if your ‘independent contractor’ is found to be an employee.  You are liable for:

  • unpaid taxes, penalties, interest, CPP and EI premiums
  • injuries on the job since the contractor wasn’t covered by WCB
  • the onus is on the business, not the contractor to prove a contractor relationship if any complaints go to HRDC or the like

Contractor Liability

  •  obviously, the contractor is also liable for unpaid taxes, penalties, interest, CPP and EI premiums
  • in addition, you aren’t automatically covered by HRDC and other employee laws.  You can always complain, but it becomes a longer process to get restitution

What CRA looks for:

  •  Control – how much control does the employer have in this relationship? Does he dictate when, where and how you work? A great example is our bookkeeper.  She does all our work remotely, I just send her the files.  The only real control I have is when I expect the work to be completed.
  • Ownership of tools – whose tools are being used? how significant are those tools? Rob who shoots all our videos brings and uses all his own equipment
  • Chance of profit / loss –  who runs the biggest risk here of profit or loss? Is the contractor taking on any potential risk? Kaja for example isn’t a contractor since she’s guaranteed her pay and she hasn’t taken on any operating expenses for the business or herself
  • Integration – This is a kind of a weird one and discusses who is absorbing who into their business practices.  It’s often an indicator of how much work is being done by the contractor for the employer / number of clients the contractor has.

Now, I’m obviously not a lawyer so this isn’t legal advice.  However, from all that I know of, the risk of not ‘hiring’ an employee properly is often quite high.  Sometimes, the line can be quite grey.  Other times, the hassle might seem too much – example, hiring a really short-term worker (a few days).   In both cases, as a business owner and as a potential independent contractor; it’s worth knowing your rights and liabilities.

 

On Hiring

We recently went through another hiring process for Christmas. We’ve also grown enough that it’s becoming a strain to keep all the balls in the air, so, hiring.

This time, we’ve had an amazing number of good to great resumes come in. We came up with a ‘short’ list of over 10 people to interview and had to cut it down to 5. It meant having to leave a lot of solid people on the floor for some arbitrary reasons because we only have so much time and only 1 position to fill.

It’s strange how luck plays a factor in this process. A year ago, we tried hiring for the exact same position and because no one came up to par, we didn’t hire anyone.

So this year, some of the reasons we cut people from being interviewed included:

  • Experience (too much, too little)
  • Language skills
  • Resume format / structure
  • Resume content (spelling mistakes, lack of ‘good’ experience, etc)
  • ‘Geek’ level

The interview process itself was interesting.  Since this isn’t a highly-skilled position, what we ended up looking for was fit more than previous experience (again, we had trimmed out many of those who had no or little relevant experience).  At the end, we judged the interviewees on:

  • Body language
  • The answers / what they didn’t say in their answers
  • The questions they asked us (or lack of)
  • ‘Fit’ with company culture / other employees

Now, the real fun happen as we ‘on-board’ the new hire in a few weeks and see how well we did.  Sometimes, some people interview well but aren’t a good fit.  We’re hoping this isn’t the case now; but you never really know till you try it out.

Hiring & Business

It’s amazing the sheer amount of work that goes into hiring someone. Never having had to run the entire process from start to finish, I never really realised how tiring it is and why it becomes so important to reduce your hire rates if at all possible.

I thought I’d list out the individual steps we have to deal with here.

  • Defining the Job
  • Defining chain of commands and management
  • The Job Post
  • Short-listing candidates
  • The Interview Process
  • The Offer Letter
  • Calculating Salary & Withholding’s
  • CRA & the WCB
  • Training (and prior to that, documenting processes for training)
  • Internal Evaluations
  • Job Confirmation

Once that’s all done, you’ve got an employee.  Now it’s the everyday day-to-day management.