July 18, 2018

How to Hire the Best Employees for Your Wholesale Business

In this post, we’ll list five tips for hiring the best employees for your wholesale business, so you can increase your revenue and build a thriving business.

1. Ask for Employee Referrals

According to the LinkedIn Talent Blog, asking your current employees for referrals should be the first step in your hiring process. They note that hiring a referred candidate is cheaper and faster than the traditional hiring process. Since the wholesale industry is very specialized, getting a referral from someone who knows what it takes to succeed in your business can be beneficial. Due to this, you should meet with your employees and tell them what you’re looking for in new candidates, so that they can reach out to people in their networks!

2. Attend Trade Shows

While trade shows are an avenue for acquiring new customers, they can also be a great way to recruit employees. According to Forbes, many high-performing employees that work for your competitors will likely visit your booth, you can see if they’d be interested in moving to your company. In addition to that, all trade shows include networking opportunities and educational sessions about hiring which you can attend. When looking for future employees at a trade show, find someone who is easy to talk to and good at starting conversations. Trade shows are a great place to find new sales professionals, because you want someone who’s great at networking, and many trade show attendees are very well-connected and have been attending the same events for years.

3. Join Industry Organizations

If you want to connect with potential employees, consider joining a wholesale organization that will allow you to meet other professionals in your industry. Below, you’ll find two examples of wholesale organizations.
  • The National Association of Wholesale Distributors: This organization provides business resources, networking opportunities, and events for professionals in your industry. Their mission is to bring attention to national public policy issues, and provide information on industry benchmarking, strategic management, and relevant conferences. By joining, you can meet other wholesale professionals that could become employees, while also learning about industry trends and other important topics.
  • The American Supply Association: The ASA is another organization that provides networking, educational, and advocacy opportunities. Not only can you can learn from other professionals about hiring best practices, you can post open positions to their job board.

4. Look Outside Your Area

Many companies try to recruit employees in their geographic area, but that can be limiting if you’re not finding quality candidates in your town or state. We suggest putting newspaper ads on different job boards, particularly in cities that have high unemployment rates or have just had a large wholesale plant shutdown. In addition, some workers also might be willing to move to your city if you offer relocation costs.

5. Hire a Recruiter

Recruiters can help you find the right candidates, so that you don’t have to spend time or money doing it yourself . It’s important to find a recruiter that specializes in finding employees for the wholesale industry, because they’ll understand the nuances of the jobs. For example, your recruiter can help you fill positions in purchasing, account management, finances, and warehouse management. Below, you'll find descriptions of these roles:


Purchasing is one of the most important roles in a wholesale business, so hiring the right person is crucial. This person will be working directly with vendors and negotiating delivery timeframes and pricing. They might also manage inventory. Find someone who has experience with negotiating contracts, managing multiple vendors, and handling inventory. According to Entrepreneur, the key to making money in a wholesale business is operating efficiently and quickly turning your inventory over, and that will largely be influenced by your purchasing manager.

Account Managers

As a wholesale business, owner you’ll be selling to other companies, so you’ll need account managers who can manage relationships and make sales. These employees will need to understand business, and have a background in business-to-business (b2b) sales.

Financial Manager

Your finance person should have experience running a financial department, balancing books, and managing accounts payable and accounts receivable. Not only will this person be paying the bills, they’ll be verifying customer credit and ensuring you have credible buyers.

Warehouse Manager

As your company grows, you’ll need a warehouse manager to make sure orders are getting filled correctly and efficiently. This person should have previous experience working in a warehouse and should know how to manage and motivate employees.


While a good hire can take your company to new levels, a bad hire can be destructive for your company. By taking steps to ensure you hire the most-qualified employees for your wholesale business, you’re setting yourself up for success in the future.