These days, you’ll find WHSmith in many hospitals. It’s a unique environment, where our people have to be sensitive. Customers may be going through a difficult time – wanting swift, polite service or maybe needing to talk, whether they are patients, visitors or hospital staff. Whoever they are, our teams must be empathetic and ready to help. They also have to work closely with NHS landlords, making sure they’re engaged and fully supportive. Understanding this is key to our business, with hospitals a major area of growth. Cafés are a very big focus too – we’ve recently launched our own-brand ‘Coffee House’. There are 19 cafés in total with many more coming soon. Some are in hospitals, some are in stores and the rest are standalone operations, offering just food and refreshments. As cafés call for specific talents, we’re busy recruiting and upskilling our people.
The Store Managers and Team Leaders that run our Hospital & Café stores are responsible for driving sales, inspiring the teams and making sure every customer has a brilliant experience. The best managers take real pride in running outstanding stores. They’re hands-on, target-focused and entrepreneurial – treating the business as their own. This approach helps them meet the challenges they face – a fast-paced environment and security considerations. Hospital locations are particularly demanding. You need to keep the NHS trust on side and show empathy in what can be an emotional setting. You also need to thrive under pressure and train your people to manage when you’re not there. Tenacity, drive and good people management will go a very long way. Some managers have to contend with unsociable working hours too. With all this to think about, we make sure that there’s plenty of support available. One way we do this is through our Retail Academy, which helps managers learn and progress.
Sales Assistant roles
To be a Sales Assistant in one of our café or hospital-based stores, you need to be professional to keep customers happy. After all, they may be going through a trying time, with a loved one ill or injured. The key is to adapt your service to each kind of person. Excellent customer service makes all the difference, as does a good grasp of current promotions. Keep standards high and the store spick and span, and you’ll go a long way to impressing customers and managers alike. Show you’ve got what it takes and we’ll help you move up with the help of our Retail Academy.
Search our current jobs.