Pret A Manger staff help choose the new recruits

An initiative enabling staff at Pret A Manger to play a role in choosing
which job candidates are recruited has helped reduce employee turnover.

Esther O’Halloran, recruitment and retention manager at Pret A Manger, said
that as part of the second interview process, candidates work in a shop for
part of a day and the team they have worked with then decide if they get the

She believes this approach is one of the reasons why the organisation
reduced staff turnover threefold last year to less than 100 per cent, which
compares well to the industry average of about 150 per cent.

O’Halloran said the reduction in staff turnover has paved the way for the
firm’s planned expansion from 118 shops in the UK employing 2,300 staff to163
shops employing around 3,400 staff over the next three years.

She said: "Getting the team involved and giving them ownership for part
of the recruitment process means they [staff] feel responsible for them [the
new employee]. This means staff spend time with them and help them fell
comfortable with the business. Which makes people more likely to stay."

O’Halloran told delegates that when staff get promoted they are given £50
vouchers which they pass on to colleagues that have helped them attain
promotion to encourage team building.

Pret A Manger has also tried to ensure that managers foster good relations
with their staff by getting their team to audit their performance bonus.
Delegates heard that senior managers spend 10 days working in the shops making
sandwiches to ensure they stay in touch with all aspects of the business and
the challenges facing their staff.

By Paul Nelson

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