Is she wearing Wranglers?
Yesterday, when the job report headlined stock market news, I was diligent digging around for a humble, beaten down, sorta staple retail play that might grow gradually into a hip, higher-octane-through-the-boom “discretionary” brand as our country gains more confidence in the coming years. I was looking for the PBR of jeans.
Not oddly, that’s my major nuance to can when I try to diversify my people relationships to hold long-term too. As long as she can wear the jeans and keep up with my tangled analogies.
And that’s how I’ve always been treated by my best mentors whether they are person or corporatehood.
Since I wrote in my other blog a few months ago that I liked JC Penney’s new leadership’s ideas for making a big mall department store feel more like a village stroll I’ve been slowly adding to my stash of facts about its prospects.
Online ordering looked easy. Free shipping for purchases over $50 should be popular. I saw comments somewhere that the holiday decor brought smiles to customers. I even visited the store twice. And once bought a very thin, poorly threaded tee.
Friday, I listened carefully when others were supposing the stock would weaken again secondary to possible employee morale problems.
“Intrapreneurship” (entrepreneurial spirit and strategy within an old, often large, company) is often much more difficult than starting from scratch. It can be much more productive for society when successful.
Established companies have lots of advantages: credit lines in place, drawers full of pens, copy machines and medical benefits aplenty. There can also be a significant portion of the competently employed who are turned off by change - of any kind. This can overwhelm the benefits of having the other capital resources ready to deploy in the desired direction.
Given the long faces and slow reflexes I’ve seen walking through JC Penney on my way to the mall cineplex, I thought this would be a great challenge for this 100+ year-old company. On second thought, maybe I keep that sentence for sound. On my second visit the staff was fairly assertive, but seemed hesitant getting the hang of communicating the changes not really abounding suddenly.
Although it’s important not to rationalize stupid moves, sometimes it’s advantageous to think counter to prevailing, superficial expectations running a short term direction in a stock or the market. JC Penney, Zynga, and many other companies might actually benefit from a lot of employees deciding that the new plans are not their style. Management can then hire attitudes aligned with the new direction.
However, the jobs board used must be smart and smooth. Not all companies can shake nuts out of a tree and begin there.
So, as a diligent, research-my-advantages investor (and willing to have anyone’s plan prod me out of my suburban comfort) I signed up for some email JCP job updates. I chose various geographies where I hoped I could tell if JC Penney was refreshing its workforce along with its showroom floors.
The interaction for choosing my email alerts was ok. Signup was short! But, when I was later asked to log in after returning to the site from one of these very email alerts, the site said it didn’t recognize my email. I needed to sign in again.
The job titles looked fairly fresh. “Fashion Design Expert”, for example, could help them earn better customer support. I expect they will invest to pay better than the competition, but no salary or wage ranges were obvious.
Job descriptions were too traditional. And long-winded. The 100+ company decided to explain how they were proud of their longevity, but that they were now ready to open the windows and let the fresh air in. The breezy was the first few web pages of the hiring portal. The air in the trenches where one applies, and where you lose good people, remains stale.
Simple, open, and welcoming surprise is the solution to this problem. Like your showroom strategy.
While getting started, don’t even explain the fresh air move. People will notice as as they go. All things, otherwise discoverable, are better left unsaid. You don’t really want to hire “fashion experts” who don’t already see how boldly you moved to change your logo, hire Ellen, air the freshest commercials, and pounce YouTube with relaxed views into the thrust of your company’s community involvement.
If you want to evangelize with any new fact in the story, just say the CEO is fresh from Apple. Where’s his picture breathing fresh air into your job description?
Optional Facebook log in to apply for a job stalled. Linkedin was available. Yada, I’m waiting for Pinterest.
How can any employer exceed the latest trends to gain an advantage meeting Talent?
Make it efficient and different. Just like you aim with your organization and your brand.
Make the application a direct and obvious “show us you” opportunity. Job hunters have filled in way too much tedium.
So make it short, let their diligent work grooming a Linkedin profile fill you in on the experience, education, work, etc.
Employers need to know that facebook profiles are getting sanded down to be most bland as we all hear more stories about employers and others looking over shoulders and expecting to file changes to passwords. If you want to verify the capability to be unalarming, blah. But I can’t imagine why JCP should. Y’all need personality on that village shop stroll.
Leave some open blanks and doodle room. Allow an applicant to pin other profiles that might reveal more of their fashion design expertise. Walmart, if you’re only hiring people for 32 hours a week let that person share with you a snapshot of their pride in what they do at their other 32 hr/week hobby or job.
It can’t be that hard to create a more inviting space so someone creative, brimming with ideas and energy, can better nailgun unique interests and personality to a hiring intro, can it?
How about this? Allow applicants to choose a mix of ten words or images that best describe and introduce their work persona. It’s my hunch that the care and presentation of the selection will tell you more than you’ve ever gotten before. And it’s faster than a machine reading CVs.
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