With an entrepreneurial approach that provides opportunities to find and test new initiatives and constantly improve them, Hervis Sports and Fashion Romania successfully tackles challenges on the labour market. Iulia Lazea, HR Manager at Hervis Sports and Fashion Romania, talked to BR about the company’s approach to being a top employer in Romania.
How would you define your HR policy?
Our HR policy is built on several core pillars. First, it is about hiring the right people for the right roles by setting specific selection criteria for each role and using selection tools to ensure a high degree of objectivity during the selection process. Second, developing our employees is a priority for us, and therefore we constantly evaluate their skills and knowledge and organise training and specialised courses supported by the internal learning and development department. Our trainers use both classic methods and innovative ones such as Virtual Reality, as well as the internal e-learning platform. Colleagues thus have access to essential information that gets constantly updated, from product courses or sales techniques to management skills. Third, we can talk about advancement within the company, following the development of the necessary skills and knowledge. As a result, most management positions are occupied by employees who have proven themselves suitable for taking on higher level roles. Last but not least, supporting the inclusion of people with disabilities is a top priority for us. Hervis locations across the country continuously integrate people with Down syndrome or other disabilities who want to learn and become independent. We ensure their cohesion within the teams they are part of, and we adapt our roles to their capacity of carrying out tasks.
What were the main initiatives the company dedicated to its employees last year?
One of our HR initiatives in 2022 was to carry out an in-depth assessment of middle management staff in order to identify specific needs for development. As a next step, we built and started implementing customised programmes that would help them increase their level of knowledge and skills. These programmes are still ongoing in 2023. As for the learning process, we were among the first retailers in Romania to introduce an innovative professional training technology based on Virtual Reality. This way, our colleagues can experience different scenarios related to the organisational environment, can react to concrete situations, and can put all the knowledge they’ve accumulated into practice.
What is your strategy in terms of attracting and retaining talent?
To attract new candidates who are passionate about sports and a balanced and healthy lifestyle, we continue to expand and mix up our recruitment channels, upgrade our career page, and constantly promote employer branding campaigns on social media. We pay attention to the onboarding process and provide constant feedback, we monitor our colleagues’ degree of involvement through one-on-one discussions with their direct superiors, we recognise their performance, and offer them opportunities for development within the company.
3 HR challenges for the retail sector in 2023
- Our industry is affected by an exceptionally high turnover rate. Consequently, most new joiners view their jobs as temporary careers rather than a long-term vocation in sales.
- The labour crisis that both retail and other industries have been facing in recent years has significantly reduced the candidate pool on the labour market.
- For companies that are continuously expanding their store networks, the challenge is centralising the hiring process and ensuring a consistent candidate experience across all units.