H&M—already a leader in fashion-forward apparel—is now recruiting thousands of fashion-centric millennials with its first US-wide campaign, Place of Possible, as it looks to staff up for its biggest store opening ever, taking place next week in New York, and across the US. It’s touting competitive benefits such as generous vacation (including your birthday) and its sustainability ethos to show that it’s the employer of the future for kids looking for a career in fashion and retail.
The company is expanding with plans to open 61 new stores worldwide this year, mostly in China and the US, to pass 400 stores worldwide. Last year H&M opened 62 new stores in the US, creating 2,800 new jobs. Its new flagship store in New York’s Herald Square near Macy’s will open May 20, becoming the largest H&M store in the world.
“We are proud to launch of the Place of Possible campaign because we believe the best investment we can make is in our employees,” said Daniel Kulle, president of H&M North America, in a press release. “H&M loves bringing fashion to the world and we need to find employees that want to join us in our journey.”
The recruitment campaign features 50 employees telling their personal success stories and talking about H&M’s benefits and commitment to diversity and sustainability. The latter point is a key issue for the retailer thrust into the headlines following the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh.
The campaign, which emphasizes what is possible at H&M, will also include outdoor billboards, in-store displays and a college tour in an H&M Airstream beginning in September.
“We really felt the need to reach millennials,” said Jennifer Ward, H&M’s US director of public relations, according to Business Insider. While H&M pays more than the $12.03 national average for full-time sales associates, the recruitment campaign’s focus is on flexibility, social responsibility and personal fulfillment over straight salary.
“We see that a lot of millennials want to take responsibility, they want to make sure they can be involved, they want to work for companies that are sustainable,” added Kulle. “And they like fashion.”
Kulle started as a store manager himself and cites the company’s record for fast-tracking people from sales to executive roles. “One-third of the people I’m working with are coming from the stores,” he said, in USA Today. “I think that we are not always looking for exactly the same (employees) as our main competitors. We are a value-oriented company. We think you can come and make a difference.”