Recruitment in the retail industry often differs from other industries, as it is primarily handled by the company's store managers rather than the HR function. This places high demands on user-friendly recruitment systems. Catarina Olvenmark, HR Manager for the equestrian store Hööks, talks about how switching systems has had a positive impact on both operations and the brand.
Catarina has been in the position of HR Manager at Hööks for just over a year. She has a more than 20-year HR career in retail behind her. As a veteran, she knows that recruitment in retail poses specific challenges due to its distribution across all company units. Catarina herself works at the headquarters, but across the country, there is a vast network of Hööks stores and responsible store managers who are expected to handle the recruitment process themselves.
"In retail, HR services do not function as direct support. Instead, my main task is to make everyday life as simple as possible for the recruiting store managers. In order for them to focus on their main tasks, such as customers, sales, and employees, it is crucial that recruitment systems and processes are as easy to handle as possible."
Implementing a new system
Retail recruitment has long been a tricky area, but Catarina feels that a lot has changed in recent years. When she joined Hööks, she saw that the old recruitment system needed to be updated to provide store managers with a tool they can handle on their own. The choice fell on Jobylon's digital tool. So far, Catarina is pleased with how it has turned out.
"Today, the store managers handle the entire process themselves. What was really exciting when we introduced Jobylon was that the store managers were so positive about taking full responsibility without, for example, having to call HR to publish an ad. From my perspective, I also see that it has worked really well in the organization. It is just as easy for me to use as it is for those who do not have recruitment as their main task."
The challenge of high employee turnover
In retail, high employee turnover is a continuous issue. Catarina describes it as a constant flow of recruitment. In the past six months, Hööks has had 45 job openings and received over 3,000 applications. Catarina, with her overall responsibility, sees the importance of providing each applicant with good feedback.
"Everyone has the right to receive feedback. We also have the advantage of being a popular brand, with a target audience that has emotional connections to Hööks based on their equestrian interests. That's why it's even more important for us to nurture the relationship. With many applications in circulation, I am actually surprised at how easy it is to manage them in Jobylon's tool. It has a simple structure that gives us a clear overview and allows us to have control over where candidates are in the process."
Recruitment - a branding issue
Catarina also sees another clear improvement in the actual advertising process. There are ready-made templates that make it easier for store managers to quickly start a recruitment process. Moreover, the advertisements create a unified impression from an employer branding perspective.
"The way the ads are structured today allows us to convey much more about our brand, making it easier to communicate what Hööks is to the candidates. It also gives me confidence knowing that everything advertised by us leaves a positive first impression on applicants, regardless of who in the organization posts it."
"We do it together."
As the HR Manager, Catarina has the overall responsibility for recruitment, and she appreciates the transparency that the tool has brought to the organization. It makes it easy for her to follow up on the progress of the store managers and provide support where needed.
"Within our organization, we work to make things easier for each other. It's a common thread in everything we do. The Hööks spirit is about seeing opportunities, making things simple, showing care, and doing it together. I think it's important to facilitate, not to simplify at the expense of quality, but to give each other the right conditions. With transparent internal systems, we can achieve a completely different level of collaboration and build trust for our managers."
Like most retail companies, Hööks is a growth-oriented company that is opening new stores at a steady pace. Today, Hööks has a presence across most of the Nordic region and will continue its expansion in the same area. Just this autumn, three new stores have already been opened, and Catarina is pleased with how well Hööks has been established in new cities.
"The recruitment for new stores has gone really smoothly. The entire journey from advertisement to a completed hiring process is generally very fast for us today. Honestly, I am so satisfied with Jobylon, and a big reason for that is the fantastic support we receive. They are always there when we have questions. Six months in, it's just as good as it was in the beginning, which has been a pleasant surprise. You can't know that before choosing a new partner."