• Date: 24 May 2017
  • Posted By: admin

What to say when an unthinkable atrocity has happened? How to find words that express our shock and pay our respects to the families and friends who have lost those most dear to them? The truth is there are no words that could possibly give any comfort. We must therefore show our support in any way we can – especially by continuing to live our every day lives, and say to ourselves, ‘we shall overcome’ whilst at the same time being vigilant. Our – and no doubt yours – thoughts are very much with all those affected by the bombing in Manchester.

We won’t be commenting any further, or including it in our news items, out of respect.

This week we have spotted these stories for you: Top of the Pops; Bucking Broncho; In the doldrums; and Beware that reference.

Top of the Pops: Well, not the music chart, but rather LinkedIn’s list of the best companies to work for across 12 industries. That research consists of analysing data on job applications, people retention, and level of engagement. So who has topped LinkedIn’s list – and we should say that the research was confined to businesses with 500+ staff? Can you guess? Well, it’s the John Lewis Partnership. And that’s despite the company – which includes Waitrose – cutting bonuses and jobs, and making redundancies. LinkedIn suggests that JLP’s strong results might have something to do with hiring its first female Managing Director, Paula Nickolds. She certainly seems to be a great appointment, so is bound to have a positive effect on recruitment and retention. And who came in second? Again, have a guess! ASOS. The online retailer – which started life as AsSeenOnScreen because it sold clothes and accessories its customers had seen on celebrities – is going great guns. Apparently benefitting from the weaker pound, sales are strong, and it’s planning on opening up manufacturing in the UK creating 1500 new jobs. Add to that ASOS has expanded its Camden (London) HQ, offering cafes, wellbeing facilities, a library, concierge service, plus other benefits, and what’s not to love?

Have a look at the other companies on the list, and see if yours is on it.

Bucking Broncho: We do love a cryptic headline! What’s this about you must be wondering? Well, despite all the doom and gloom around rising inflation and low pay increases, everyone was predicting that retail sales would be hitting the floor. But not so – it bucked the trend! Well, in April anyway.  Compared to the same period last year, sales rose by a whopping 4%, and an increase of 2.3% on March’s results. Why we hear you ask? Well, the March figures really were abysmal, so it wouldn’t have been too difficult to see a good increase from that low base; and apparently that nice weather we had in April made a big difference too. Having had such dismal weather most of May, it’ll be interesting to see what effect that has had.

In the doldrums: It seems, on the face of it, to be a bit of a different story at M&S. It’s annual profits have dropped by a whopping 64%. However, it did make a strong pre-tax profit, but when all its costs were taken off, it resulted in this huge drop. The retailer has of course embarked on a 5 year turnaround plan – and that does cost. Steve Rowe, it’s CEO since last year, says that M&S is regaining its market share – which is great. As we reported last week, it’s got a great womenswear range for Autumn/ Winter coming up. And of course, making big changes costs a lot of money. Time will tell whether those changes are going to bring about the significant improvements in its bottom line over the longer term.

Beware that reference: Our last story for this week is about the need to be cautious around writing references. There has been a successful case at an Employment Tribunal in the case of a man who had a job offer withdrawn because the reference provided by his former employer made reference to his sick record, specifically 2 long periods during his employment. It’s probably also compounded by the fact that his previous employer has agreed that his dismissal in 2012 on the grounds of redundancy was unfair. The whole case is a timely reminder about being careful when writing references and how these can come back to haunt. And that due process must be followed in order to protect an organisation as well as the people affected during dismissal.

That’s it for another week of News Snippets from The Hub Retail Recruitment. Next week will be our Monthly Newsround, so make sure you’re back here on Wednesday 31st May to see what stories we’ve picked to whet your appetite. Until then have a good week.