River Island launches online recruitment solution

For the first time ever high street fashion retailer, River Island, has introduced online recruitment to deliver sales advisers across its network of over 200 UK stores.

Working in partnership with online recruitment specialists, Changeworknow, the new online recruitment system has enabled River Island to reduce its recruitment costs, increase the quality of applicants and dramatically cut the time to hire in the run up to what is the busiest trading period of the year.

River Island is an attractive brand and each year receives thousands of applications for employment; but this high volume of applicants is time consuming to administer and puts a strain on the busy central recruitment team. 

As applicants get passed through to stores to shortlist it has not always been easy to maintain a consistent approach to short-listing, especially when there is pressure to fill the roles.

Moving store recruitment online now ensures that all applicants enter and complete the same process and only applications from suitable candidates hit managers’ desks; not only does this ensure the recruitment process is fair across all stores, but pressure on individual managers and their workload is reduced.

Lisa Astbury, Director of Changeworknow, says:

“People want to know more about their role with River Island than job responsibilities, salary and benefits; they want to hear what it really means to work for the company.

“To achieve this we have worked with River Island to provide an online solution that communicates to candidates what the company is looking for and the types of skills and experiences that will be important. 

“The online questionnaires help applicants really understand what it means to work for a fast paced, customer service oriented retailer and decide if this is the right job for them.  This has reduced the volumes but really improved the quality of applicants.

“Online recruitment enables River Island to provide regular feedback to applicants instantly and at no extra cost. It also encourages unsuitable candidates to deselect themselves, enabling us to maintain a strong employer brand with applicants and potential customers.”

The results speak for themselves.  In the first six weeks of the seasonal temporary campaign just over 54,000 applicants started the process with 37,000 submitting their application

Lisa comments:

“Recruitment is one of the most expensive HR activities, but maximising the use of technology enables employers to reduce their costs massively. Online recruitment, particularly at this busy time of year, offers faster and smarter solutions so businesses can drive better efficiencies in their recruitment process, which is a must in such an uncertain economic climate.

“More and more information is online and employers will miss out on talent if they don’t tap into online recruitment. Generation Y have grown up with information at their fingertips – they log on to the Internet to get the latest news, find out information and socialise, so it’s the natural place for them to go to look for work and apply for jobs.” 

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