How Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch bridge the gap between junior and senior workforce
It is a known complaint amongst young professionals that employers are setting unrealistic standards when it comes to work experience. “More than three years of experience” for an entry-level job or after three years of studying the only starting opportunity is a low-paid internship. Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch, however, have tackled this issue with their commitment to inclusivity and diversity. But how did they manage to do so?
Entry positions with responsibilities
The labels offer entry positions such as Assistant Store Manager that give opportunities to junior professionals to develop their allround work skills, take on independent responsibilities but also get the guidance they need. It is the balance between these factors that do the magic and help junior professionals to step up to senior levels. However, it is difficult to create this harmony in a big environment and therefore, the brands have created a solution: senior responsibilities in a micro environment. But why?
Micro-environments For Independence
By establishing a micro-environment within the compounds of a physical store, Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch ensure that the environment’s goal is feasible and that all employees are aware of it. With this guidance in mind, employees are invited to be more flexible when it comes to the roles and tasks, as long as the goal is fulfilled, fostering self-driven responsibility which is crucial for seniority.
Fostering an Allround Set of Work skills
At the same time, the flexibility of a micro environment also allows store employees to take on a broader range of tasks by changing responsibilities with colleagues. Rather than being stuck with one function, junior professionals can therefore grow a more well rounded senior set of work skills. With the assistant store manager position, for example, the tasks range thus from omni-channel fulfillment to team management, stockroom operations and more.
Direct Line to The Top
While a small environment fosters independence, junior professionals should not be afraid to be left with no help. Because another benefit of a micro system is that there is a direct, simple line to the top. Thus, whenever the employee needs guidance during work, they get this in a timely and personal manner due to direct access.