WHAT IS OPEN HIRING?
*The Body Shop uses a hiring practice that’s fair and inclusive to all candidates, regardless of their membership in a class protected by federal, state or local law. Open Hiring means that the first candidate to apply gets the next available opportunity across entry-level positions, at our stores and distribution center. When a hiring manager is recruiting, they select the first candidate on the list (in order of application date) for an in-person chat. During the chat, candidates are informed of open positions, company history, and roles and responsibilities. From there, interested candidates are asked three simple questions to confirm they are eligible and physically able to fulfil the requirements of the role. Starting in 2021, The Body Shop has taken purposeful action to attract and accommodate candidates that may face barriers to employment.
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) 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 this country?
• Can you lift up to 25lbs (50lbs for distribution center employees) and work for up to 8 hours a shift?
• (Retail) Tell me why you want to work with customers.
Our mission is to replace scrutiny with trust, focusing on a person’s potential rather than their history. At our distribution center, we hire on the spot, allowing candidates to tour the facility and be scheduled for work quickly. We also host job fairs at unemployment offices, shopping centers and other venues to make hiring opportunities even more accessible.
WHO DOES THE BODY SHOP PARTNER WITH TO SUPPORT OPEN HIRING?
We work with regional community partners to support 30+ store locations in addition to our distribution center, and these partners help provide wrap-around support to potential candidates. Services may include job readiness classes, transport assistance, one-on-one counselling, food access and shelter, legal support and financial wellbeing education, and wardrobe and hygiene products.
“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
The Body Shop first introduced the Open Hiring concept as a pilot in September 2019 in its North Carolina distribution center.
In 2020, we rolled out Open Hiring across retail stores in the US and Canada for entry-level seasonal hires. In 2021, we’re expanding efforts to permanent employees.
The Open Hiring model has helped The Body Shop to eliminate background checks, drug screenings and high school education requirements in hiring seasonal employees.
To date, The Body Shop has hired 733 seasonal employees through this program. Of seasonal employees, 10% became permanent hires.
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 math 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 center, 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 marginalized and underemployed communities. The Body Shop hired over 1,400 people globally through Open Hiring, including young caregivers, 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 program 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 program 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 program 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 organizations, 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."