H&M, the Swedish fast-fashion retailer, has launched a recruiting campaign nationally, their first ever. They are touting their benefit and pay as a draw as well as their sustainability efforts to attractive potential employees.
H&M is planning on expanding their US operations and need to hire thousands. In the past year, the company has already opened 62 stores and has plans to open another 61 this year. New York will be home to their largest of all stores with a 63,000 square-foot store in Herald Square.
The company’s hiring campaign is measure of the growing shift for retails jobs to be a sustainable long-term career as retail companies are starting to be vocal about the company culture.
According to Bill Thorne, senior vice president at the National Retail Federation, “It is not in the retailers’ best interest to provide a job that somebody gets into and realizes, well there’s another opportunity literally two blocks away where I can make more money, get better benefits and maybe advance faster,” he says. “They’re all talking about why it’s important to work at their store and the opportunities that company provides (employees).”
All 363 American stores have displays as part of this hiring campaign along with billboards and mall advertisements and current employees offering video testimonials. Featured statements on the ads indicate what possible employment is with the company such as “Five weeks of vacation is possible,” and “Making sustainability fashionable is possible.”
Long-term careers are the focus of H&M promotion instead of the usual hourly retail jobs of the past. The company says over 30% of their executive team began as sales advisers aka store associates. The campaign is targeting Millennials with a focus on college campuses this September.
After the recession, retail work was one of the first to recover and H&M’s effort comes in at a perfect time with higher wages making the labor market a little tighter. In February, Walmart announced that it would increase their starting wage to $10 an hour as did T.J. Maxx with similar plans. As well, Target quietly began issuing raises for employees as well. All this is in addition to the Federal government pushing for an increase in minimum wage as well.