The open hiring policy will launch on 7 October and follows a successful trial in the US, which saw a 60% reduction in monthly staff turnover and increased productivity. It also made it easier to fill vacancies, The Body Shop said.
The company hoped the policy would remove barriers for candidates who normally face difficulties in traditional recruitment.
Antonia Tony-Fadipe, inclusive hiring lead at The Global Body Shop UK and global functions, said: “Open hiring focuses on a person’s potential rather than their history, and we’ve seen it can be a powerful way to find talented and loyal employees.”
Stephen Bevan, head of HR research development at the Institute for Employment Studies, said that the technique can speed up recruitment significantly.
Speaking to HR magazine, he said: “It’s a faster process. You’re not setting preconditions, and therefore you’re opening up a more diverse candidate pool — you’re not saying ‘you have to have a degree’ or ‘you have to fit this profile’.”
The method is particularly useful for sectors impacted by rapid turnover, added Bevan, because of the higher retention rate.
Hospitality job openings in the UK were up by 59.1% in June-August, and employers have struggled to fill these postings and keep them filled.
“Employers in retail and hospitality, the sort of sectors which have traditionally had rapid turnover and are particularly vulnerable to labour shortages, are ideal candidates,” Bevan said.
“If they’re confident they’ve got a good infrastructure for training people, including a good induction, and put the time and effort in, then they may see success.”
The Body Shop is launching the programme in partnership with Movement to Work, an employment and outreach non-profit focussed on young and disadvantaged people.
The programme will start with 175 temporary Christmas positions, and candidates will be asked only three questions: if they are legally authorised to work in the UK, capable of lifting 11kgs and able to work for up to eight hours in one shift.
The Body Shop’s programme will target disadvantaged candidates, such as single mothers and people who have previously been homeless. The impact of employment on poverty is significant.
The process is suited to entry level positions, said Bevan, but not for roles that require high levels of qualification or experience.
“There are certain jobs where a complex and time-consuming recruitment process is overkill, and you just want someone who’s enthusiastic and ready to learn,” he said.
“Given the inherent randomness of most employers’ selection techniques, I do think that open hire, particularly for entry level jobs, is likely to be as valid, and probably more valid, particularly if an employer is committed to using good training to get people up to the right standard once they’re hired.”