Will a recruiting campaign help H&M enlist new employees?

Discussion
Apr 01, 2019
Tom Ryan

For the fifth-straight year, H&M is rolling out its Place of Possible (P.O.P.) recruiting campaign, talking up H&M’s pay, benefits and flexible hours for U.S. employees as well as opportunities for advancement and personal fulfillment.

A statement on the campaign noted the Swedish-based fast-fashion chain’s move last November to upgrade benefits for part-timers. The changes included greater flexibility around minimum weekly hours, a new scheduling app and six weeks of paid parental leave for eligible part-timers.

H&M is also communicating the chain’s commitment to social responsibility and sustainability, qualities that appeal to Millennials.

“This year’s campaign builds on the intrinsic H&M value of ‘we are one team’ and takes a deeper dive into the idea of community at H&M as represented by the phrase ‘me, us, we and you’,” H&M said in a statement. “Whether a teammate has been here for a few weeks, or since the retailer first opened in the United States 19 years ago, the values of the brand are what tie all H&M employees together. This is H&M and H&M is community.”

In past campaigns, H&M has installed recruitment displays across its U.S. stores, including signage that read, “Your birthday being a paid holiday is possible.” Online video testimonials from current employees, college tours, as well as billboards and advertising in malls with such slogans as, “Five weeks vacation is possible” and Going Green in Black is Possible.”

The initial campaign supported an aggressive expansion that has seen H&M’s U.S. store base rise from 363 in 2015 to 549 currently. Store growth has slowed somewhat in recent years as online sales have been emphasized, although 42 stores opened in the U.S. last year. The initial effort also arrived as the U.S. labor market was further tightening and Walmart, Target, TJX and Gap all raised wages to attract talent.

Employee advocacy campaigns have become more common across industries to aid in recruiting talent, although the strategy has been more common for retailers to encourage employees to talk up brand initiatives rather than workplace culture on social media.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Are retailers missing an opportunity by not using employees as talent recruiters? Is H&M’s Place of Possible campaign a good example of how employees can be utilized for recruiting, or are there simpler ways to handle it?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"The best solution for a retailer like H&M is to launch a comprehensive MarCom campaign that encourages its employees to honestly talk about what makes them happy at XYZ."
"A new scheduling app, five weeks leave, and going green — some nice-to-haves, but does that move the needle?"
"If (and I stress if) this is part of a retailer’s authentic company culture and employer brand promise, then campaigns like H&M’s will be very effective..."

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5 Comments on "Will a recruiting campaign help H&M enlist new employees?"


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Ray Riley
BrainTrust

A new scheduling app, five weeks leave, and going green — some nice-to-haves, but does that move the needle? Retailers, H&M included, are missing a significant opportunity in developing front-line team members into candidates for internal succession planning and store roles of the future. These efforts help the career pathway conversation become more tangible to prospective recruits, and also shine the light on an actual rise in income via internal promotions. Instead of, “I get five weeks vacation and a scheduling app,” it becomes (as an example), “Well look at Jennifer, she progressed from store manager to district manager to VP stores by achieving these benchmarks, recruiting these teams, and developing via these defined certifications, courses, opportunities, etc.”

Mike Osorio
BrainTrust

H&M is well-recognized for their employee-centric recrutiing efforts. The video shown here is an excellent example not only of the campaign, but specifically of the diversity and inclusion which is at the heart of their company culture. If (and I stress if) this is part of a retailer’s authentic company culture and employer brand promise, then campaigns like H&M’s will be very effective in creating interest for prospective talents, as well as a source of pride for existing employees. If this is not authentic, it will not only be ineffective, but likely create backlash internally and potentially externally on social media.

Michael Decker
BrainTrust
Michael Decker
Vice President, Marketing Strategy
9 months 19 days ago

Every hire H&M makes is subject to the digital scrutiny of the prospect before they accept an offer. Glassdoor has presented a digital hub for current and ex employees to comment on the work environment and opportunities present. Unfortunately, Glassdoor often becomes a place for unhappy employees to gripe after they have left the company. Attempts to balance this often get perceived as ‘fake reviews” posted simply to counter. The best solution for a retailer like H&M is to launch a comprehensive MarCom campaign that encourages its employees to honestly talk about what makes them happy at XYZ. Website and social media posts should be prominent in a company’s recruitment strategy. Otherwise, candidates don’t get the full story.

Mel Kleiman
BrainTrust

I spend all of my time and effort helping companies to do a better job of hiring and retaining STAR hourly employees. I look at a lot of campaigns and if I were to rate this one, I would give it a solid B for the following reasons:

  1. They actually have a decent budget to spend on recruiting. In most organizations, recruiting is marketing with a rotten budget.
  2. Long term consistence. They would not keep doing it if it did not work to attract the type of employees they want to hire.
  3. They know what their competitive advantage is. They have a UEP, (unique employment proposition).
  4. The employees in the video actually look like employees, not actors.

Suggestion: instead of telling about benefits, ask questions in the ad. How would you like to get a holiday on your birthday? Questions get people to stop and think when they are reading.

Joan Treistman
BrainTrust

In a world where marketers are expressing challenges in understanding and communicating with younger consumers, it make sense to have those younger consumers speak to each other, especially when it comes to recruiting.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"The best solution for a retailer like H&M is to launch a comprehensive MarCom campaign that encourages its employees to honestly talk about what makes them happy at XYZ."
"A new scheduling app, five weeks leave, and going green — some nice-to-haves, but does that move the needle?"
"If (and I stress if) this is part of a retailer’s authentic company culture and employer brand promise, then campaigns like H&M’s will be very effective..."

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