Alexis Trigo, Director of Store Capability at Foot Locker, spoke at HR Tech World in Paris last week alongside Infor about how technology has been a boon for the footwear retailer.
Afterwards in a conversation with Executive Grapevine, he listed a number of ways in which technology has improved recruitment.
1. No walking
In the past Foot Locker relied on ‘walking traffic’ – job applicants walking in to the shop with a paper CV. However, this meant that these individuals were probably doing the same for all the shops along the high street. Trigo says: “Now, candidates are not necessarily walking anymore, and they’re probably targeting us specifically - as opposed to also stopping at the retailer to the left, right and directly in front of us looking for a job.”
However, he says that in order for the online application process to work it needs to be simple; “not only for the candidate, but we have to control the experience for the hiring management to make sure that whatever they are getting it isn’t going to be something they are going to abandon.”
2. Cultural fit
It can be very hard to not only find someone that is good at their job, but is also the right ‘fit’ for the organisation and its culture. However, technology has also solved this problem too.
Trigo says: “The assessment is based on top performers that are in our pipeline today. So, the people that are coming in have behavioural similarities to those who are our top performers and are contributing as if they were already a top performer.”
3. Reduced turnover
Retail companies especially, are known for having a high turnover of staff. This is largely due to the nature of the job and the types of individuals that work in retail – usually those in their late teens or early twenties.
But because of this better cultural fit, employees are staying. Trigo explains: “They find ways to stay with us. Whether that means being seasonal because they are at college or university.”
And as turnover at Foot Locker has been reduced, it means less time training and a more consistent team. “It becomes more about coaching and modelling, rather than explaining all the basics.”
Despite all of the improvements technology brings to recruitment, Trigo reaffirms that it is still just a recommendation process. He says: “It is prioritising and pre-selecting candidates for review – that’s a science. But the art that comes in to play is the recruiter themselves, validating and getting additional insights that can be probed against.
“Recruitment still relies on the human element, it’s just that human is more informed and have more information to help them make a better decision.”
And so it seems robot recruiters won’t be taking over just yet.