WHAT IS OPEN HIRING?
The Body Shop is implementing a hiring practice that’s fair and inclusive to all candidates. When applying, applicants are asked three simple questions, and all candidates are then selected in order of application date, with the earliest application selected first. Following the online application process, the applicant is invited for an in-person discussion with the Store Manager. This meeting is not an interview. During the discussion, the candidates are informed of the inherent requirements of the role, given a brief brand history, as well as overall responsibilities. If the candidate is able to fulfil the inherent requirements of the role, they secure the job. Successful candidates will then join The Body Shop’s best practice onboarding process, covering an array of product, customer service and soft skills training.
“Our 2021 Open Hiring program showed just how powerful the impact of breaking down discriminatory barriers to employment can be. As a business, we've gained qualified and loyal employees, and participants have benefited from invaluable work experiences that have set them up for future employment; whether at The Body Shop or elsewhere.”
Shannon Chrisp, APAC Brand & Activism Director
Why does The Body Shop use Open Hiring to recruit and retain talent?
The Body Shop is committed to creating a work environment that is open, trustworthy and honest. We focus on a person’s potential rather than their history, making work more accessible for those who may have been excluded from the opportunity for employment. In keeping with our purpose to fight for a fairer and more beautiful world, we believe that business should be a force for good; Open Hiring helps fulfill our equity strategy by supporting social equality in the communities where we operate.
To date, our Open Hiring approach has helped The Body Shop gain qualified and loyal employees, connecting passionate candidates to invaluable experience within a purposeful work environment.
How Open Hiring Works
The first candidate to apply is the first candidate to get the opportunity. If a candidate doesn’t have access to a computer, they can inquire to access a company laptop or visit one of our community partners.
When recruiting, hiring managers will select the first candidate on the list (in order of application date) and select them for an in-person chat. During the chat, the candidates are informed of open positions, company history, and roles and responsibilities. From there, interested candidates will be asked three simple questions to confirm they’re eligible and physically able to fulfil the role:
-Are you legally authorized to work in Australia?
-Can you lift up to 11kgs and work an eight-hour shift in one day?
-Are you happy to work with customers? (not a disqualifier)
Our mission is to replace scrutiny with trust, focusing on a person’s potential rather than their history.
WHO DOES THE BODY SHOP PARTNER WITH TO SUPPORT OPEN HIRING?
In line with the company’s inclusive hiring policy, The Body Shop Australia is working with charity partners Launch Housing, Little Dreamers and Good Shepherd, and APM Employment Services in Australia to encourage those who have traditionally faced barriers to employment to apply. These include those who have experienced homelessness, single parents, young carers and First Nations Australians.
“The Body Shop looks at people for who they are and not what they’ve done. To get a second chance gives you a reason to come to work.“
Distribution center employee, The Body Shop
Hear from Nykeba King, our Global Head of Inclusion and Belonging
"This year, global unemployment is set to reach 200 million, with racialized women and young people likely to be the worst hit. There are many reasons why people face unemployment. Often there are barriers that seem impossible to remove – unless someone is willing to give you a chance – which can literally be a lifeline for many people. To help breakdown these barriers, The Body Shop has started on a mission to open access to jobs and provide essential life skills to those who need them most. I joined The Body Shop in 2013, leading a tiny shop in Mississippi in the US. Although my educational background is in biochemistry and physics, my years leading retail teams allowed me the flexibility to work in my local community tutoring maths and science to young people from challenging socioeconomic backgrounds. In 2020, when The Body Shop introduced a new role to lead Inclusion and Belonging, which would lead the expansion of Open Hiring to global markets, it really sparked my purpose and passion for creating opportunities for people who are often overlooked.
Open Hiring is a phenomenally progressive recruitment strategy, developed by a fellow B Corp Greyston Bakery, that hires people based on their potential and not their past. It’s far simpler than you may think to give chances to people who normally have very limited employment prospects. In essence it comes down to removing barriers and bias in employment practices. So how does it work? Open Hiring means that the first candidate to apply gets the next available entry-level opportunity. The candidates are asked three simple questions to confirm that they are eligible to work and physically able to fulfil the requirements of the role – no other background or excessive pre-employment screenings. And that’s it. Back in 2019, The Body Shop launched its first Open Hiring program in our North Carolina distribution centre, where body butters and shower gels are picked, packed and shipped all over the world. Since then, the program has expanded to Canada, Australia and the UK and includes roles in our retail stores too. But we didn’t stop at simply removing barriers to our entry-level roles.
In 2021, to ensure that we were really reaching those who needed the program the most, The Body Shop partnered with over 20 charities around the world to actively attract and recruit people from the most marginalised and underemployed communities. The Body Shop hired over 1,400 people globally through Open Hiring, including young carers, people at risk of homelessness, people living below the poverty line and those who have been previously incarcerated. We have come a really long way since our first discussions with Open Hiring pioneers, Greyston Bakery. In 2021 our programme has seen around 25% of seasonal employees go on to become permanent hires within the company. But Open Hiring is not just about providing jobs, it’s bigger than that, it’s about improving people’s long-term employment prospects and general life skills, so this year we are going beyond jobs to enhance our communities by setting people up for the future.
In 2022, the programme is being expanded to include training, development and social support too. The Body Shop is working with charity partners to provide training and apprenticeships to equip people with the essential skills and confidence they need to be ready for work in the future. In 2022 we plan to bring in over 1,500 new employees through Open Hiring, with at least 350 coming from communities served by our charity partners in all 4 markets combined. Beyond 2022, we aim to expand our Open Hiring program to even more markets around the world, as well as piloting Open Hiring for several corporate and global function roles in the UK too. This B Corp Month, we are sharing our plans to build a fairer future through Open Hiring. In order to transform society for the better, we have to change how we see people. If you can’t get a job, you start to question your value and your entire role in society. This programme is about giving people first chances, a chance they have never had before, but it is also about second chances too. We really hope that by sharing our experiences with other organisations, we can encourage and inspire more CEO’s and HR departments to come on board. Take the plunge – I’m convinced you won’t regret it."