Cosmetics chain The Body Shop has started an ‘open hiring’ pilot: literally the first person who walks in for a job can have it, without checks or tests – except for three simple questions.
No further questions
Answer three simple questions with “yes”: that is all you have to do from now on to apply for a job at The Body Shop in the United States. The ethical cosmetics chain joins the “open hiring” trend: when vacancies become available, anyone can apply and the quickest candidate is hired, without any further selection procedure.
The principle behind ‘open hiring’ is one of inclusion: by screening CVs, people who have had difficult periods (for example, they have been in prison or have been out of work due to medical problems) often have no opportunities. Job interviews can also be influenced by prejudices, conscious or otherwise – such as origin, language or gender.
The Body Shop first tested the system in its distribution centre in North Carolina at the end of 2019, in view of the influx of more than 200 seasonal employees for the holidays. In order to get started, applicants only had to answer three questions positively: “Can you legally work in the US?”, “Can you stand up for eight hours?” and “Can you lift over 50 pounds (22 kilos)?”, Fast Company says.
Trial project in Belgium
The results turn out to be positive: staff turnover in the distribution centre fell by 60 % in the months of the pilot project and the company only had to work with one temporary employment agency instead of three. One explanation – supported by research – is that ‘open hiring’ employees are often extra motivated, because they were not given opportunities elsewhere and now want to make full use of them. The Body Shop therefore saw an increase in productivity.
The Body Shop promises to use the money saved on selection procedures for training, employee benefits and programmes to support new employees. One such programme, for example, deals with transport and mobility, looking at the obstacles for the newcomers to getting to work on time.
Incidentally, the trend has already spread to Belgium: Ghent University is investigating the effects of ‘open hiring’ in our country. In 2021, a pilot project will start with ten companies in East Flanders. Other players in the Benelux are also starting to adopt the practice.
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