B&Q plans recruitment drive as others shed staff

B&Q
has bucked the recent trend of major job cuts by creating around 4,000
positions over the next 12 months.

The
DIY chain has already employed 3,000 staff this year and the new jobs are part
of the retailer’s extensive store opening campaign.

"We’ve
had a major opening programme for the last four years and it’s a continuation
of that. There is also a growth in the DIY market as a whole," said
B&Q’s HR director Mike Cutt.

"It’s
good news for the home improvement market and it’s good news for the areas
where we’re opening the new stores. We’re creating new positions in places
where there have been job losses in the past," he added.

The
majority of the new positions will be at warehouse or supercentre stores and
will include managerial posts as well as customer-facing staff. New stores will
be opening around the country with B&Q looking to recruit full-time,
part-time and overnight staff.

Cutt
also explained how the company would be recruiting "experts" to
improve the way advice is given to customers and that the move had implications
for the whole industry.

"We’re
aiming to hire 20 experts per store. We’re looking for people who are
ex-plumbers or joiners who will be able to advise our customers. There’s also
an impact higher up the supply chain in manufacturing," he said.

However,
such rapid growth and such a high volume of new staff can create unique
challenges for the HR department, as Cutt explained.

"We’ve
now got nearly 30,000 staff in the UK and hiring such a large volume does
present HR challenges. However, we’ve managed to reduce our turnover from 34 per
cent to 25 per cent. Because of such large-scale recruitment, we can often
exhaust the labour market of an area."

By Ross Wigham

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