Hiring the First Person who Applies

The Body Shop will start hiring the first person who applies for any retail job. No interviews, no background checks, no drug tests. When there is a job available, just answer three yes-or-no questions and the job is yours. It’s a new philosophy called “open hiring” - and it works.

Founded by Anita Roddick in Brighton, on England's south coast, in 1976, with a belief in something revolutionary: that business could be a force for good, the empowerment of women and girls and the belief that everyone is beautiful. It struck a chord and The Body Shop now has over 3,000 branches around the world and is, naturally, B Corp certified*.


This year, applied another idea to its revolutionary approach by becoming the first major company to implement a new strategy for hiring in its distribution centres. No more background checks, no more interviews. Instead, they’ll hire the first people who apply for any job.


It's called “open hiring.” When there’s an opening, nearly anyone who applies and meets the most basic requirements will be able to get a job, on a first-come, first-served basis. The company piloted the practice in its North Carolina distribution centre at the end of 2019.


“We’re not asking for your background check,” says Andrea Blieden, the general manager of the Body Shop for the U.S. “We’re not asking for you to be drug screened. And there’s only three questions to get a job. It’s, ‘Are you authorized to work in the U.S.? Can you stand for up to eight hours? And can you lift over 50 pounds?’ If those three questions are answered, then we will give you a chance to come work in our distribution centre.”


In the pilot it ran before making the change full time, monthly turnover in the distribution center dropped by a remarkable 60 percent. The company only had to work with one temp agency instead of three. When the economy begins to recover in 2021, could other companies follow this example as they try to quickly ramp up hiring?


*B Corps are businesses that live the highest social and environmental standards for people and the planet.

Source: FastCompany

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