I initially joined a firm of chartered accountants in a specialist HR team who supported client senior recruitment, graduate recruitment and career pathing; this established my interest in HR. I truly understood the impact HR could have when I was at Mothercare (30 years ago) when the business went through transformational change and HR strategy was aligned to the business strategy and truly creating impact.
Recruitment and retention are at the top of every employer’s agenda right now. Earlier this year, a survey by the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) at the London School of Economics and Political Science found that half of all UK businesses are struggling to recruit, with a fifth of firms experiencing retention problems. An unprecedentedly tight labour market combined with the cost-of-living crisis has meant that thousands of UK workers are considering jumping ship to a job with a better salary and more benefits – and therefore companies who stand the best chance of attracting, recruiting and retaining their staff are the ones who offer attractive and competitive packages, with employee satisfaction at their core.
This appears to be very much the case at Mamas and Papas (M&P), one of the UK’s leading nursery-based brands, supplying prams, pushchairs, maternity wear and baby equipment. Caroline Cording, the company’s Group Human Resources Director – who has been in post since September 2019 – has helped build a people agenda that puts the employee experience front and centre, integrating vital trends such as wellness and flexible working in order to create a highly attractive working environment – that can help to attract and recruit the best talent into the business. She sat down with myGrapevine magazine to talk about how she is helping to recruit the best talent into the business, whether the flexible working trend is helping to recruit a more diverse workforce, and shared examples of how she is helping to support staff wellbeing.