Can Body Shop build a better workforce with an open hiring policy?
The Body Shop will become the first retailer to adopt an “open hiring” practice that doesn’t include interviews, background checks or drug tests. Job candidates only need to answer three “yes” or “no” questions.
- Are you authorized to work in the U.S.?
- Can you stand for up to eight hours?
- Can you lift more than 50 pounds?
The retailer hires workers on a first-come, first-served basis. If the prospective employee answers “yes” to all three, the job is theirs.
Open-hiring policies address the barriers and biases that formerly incarcerated individuals face finding jobs. The practice aligns with The Body Shop’s mission to be “the world’s most ethical and sustainable global business.”
“We aren’t just implementing our open hiring model out of a need to hire more people, but rather because we are concerned about the level of inequality and exclusion in society and we want to set an example for other brands on how to be fairer,” Body Shop’s U.S. general manager Andrea Blieden told HRdive.com.
Body Shop learned about open hiring practices from Greyston Bakery, a maker of baked goods that is pioneering the open hiring movement.
The promised business benefits of open hiring include reducing screening and recruiting expenses, and retention can also improve as those hired are often loyal to companies that give them a chance. With Greyston Bakery’s guidance in teaching the candidates basic skills, Body Shop tested the practice hiring holiday help at its distribution centers last year and found monthly turnover year-over-year declined 60 percent. Numerous seasonal hires also expressed appreciation to supervisors.
“They said things like, ‘I’ve been struggling to find a job. This is one of the only places that would hire me, and I’m not going to mess this up,’” Ms. Blieden told Fast Company. “When you give people access to something that they’re struggling to find, they’re very committed to working hard and keeping it.”
The trend towards eliminating drug testing and embracing other open hiring-type practices is also being driven by the tight labor market and the need for a wider pool of potential candidates.
- The Body Shop will start hiring the first person who applies for any retail job – Fast Company
- Employers hire the formerly incarcerated despite internal hurdles – HRDive
- Greyston Center for Open Hiring – Greyston Bakery
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see more potential benefits or drawbacks for retailers adopting open hiring practices? Do you think drug testing, background checks or interviews should be downplayed or eliminated in the screening process for job candidates?