When a Japanese retailer known as MUJI announced their arrival to the Finnish market by opening the largest European store in the heart of Helsinki, they were just launching their people operations. With such a lofty goal, they needed to recruit the best talent, primarily department managers and store personnel. MUJI team was open to new approaches and ideas, already knowing the recruitment process needs to be effective and easy to handle, partly automated but most of all- applicant friendly.
Off the Beaten Path
Previously, applications were handled via multiple channels. This was tedious and inefficient- explains Pilvi Forsblom, HR Manager of MUJI Finland, who together with Maire Haarla, Assistant Flagship Store Manager, put trust in Peoplegeeks to co-create the most suitable process.
With years of HR and recruitment experience under her belt, Pilvi was aware of how important the applicant experience is. Speed and transparent communication are the key to handling large numbers of applications. MUJI’s goal was to strengthen the talent pool and build the optimal process for future recruitments, while at the same time keeping applicants’ data in-house. Instead of settling for a comfortable path of posting ads to job boards or seeking recruiters’ help and hoping for the best, together we sailed off to designing an unorthodox process that is best suited for MUJI’s talent needs and culture, one they will continue using even once we’re out of the house.
Five months later, reflecting on the project, we can tell how good the process really is. In theory, it was viable, and it was a jump for us as we’ve never done it that way anywhere. It is interesting to see what to automate, and what to leave to human operations.
– We are very happy with the process!- tells us Pilvi Forsblom. I worked with agile teams, so I had some vision about how the process will go. The way of working in sprints from start till the end meant that there are frequent checkpoints and reviews. This helped us to quickly progress forward, focus on current needs and priorities and complete some tasks simultaneously. It saved us time and money, but most of all it was effective and easy to prioritize when there is a team of people focusing only on this.
Results and Achievements
Feedback about the process from candidates was excellent. They cited a very fast and interesting process that kept them curious and engaged.
This process is a huge time saver for MUJI team, as it made easier to receive and review many applications, communicate with applicants and make more informed hiring decisions. Over the course of the summer, MUJI attracted and hired very good candidates, and gathered a team of managers and store personnel that work together. The Kamppi pop-up store that opened in July managed to operate with double or even triple their daily forecasted revenue.
-Working with Peoplegeeks was very effective and fun. It resulted in building a successful recruitment process we are now running independently. The team was easy to work with and available when we needed them. For MUJI it’s important that it’s mutually beneficial, respectful and humble. This is how it should be done. – says Pilvi.
As a piece of advice for other companies looking into creating their recruitment process from scratch or reforming the existing Pilvi pointed out – You don’t have to do everything by yourself. There are always different resource constraints, but it is very rewarding, and it pays off having a whole team working towards the same goal.
MUJI is operating over 975 stores worldwide and one of their goals is to share and implement successful processes and practices from other countries. Pilvi shares her belief that this is how a real recruitment process should look like and hopes to see its implementation by other MUJI stores.
Words of Our Consultant
Behind every successful project stands our talented and agile team of consultants. Here is how Daniel Fabricius views the MUJI project and why it was special for him.
Daniel Fabricius, consultant: Our cooperation’s worked amazingly well. In the beginning, the MUJI team found enough time to give us the input we needed to get started even when they were just 3 persons with lots of things to do. It was also nice to feel that they trusted us and were open to new ideas, allowing us to work successfully together on the project.
Behind the colorful construction walls spanning the entire 4th floor of Kamppi shopping center in Helsinki, MUJI Finland will open its doors 8th of November 2019. This 3,400 square meter store will bring a whole new concept of sustainable, durable and simple products in fashion, home, food, bookstore and cosmetics departments, including products reflecting local culture, built with locally sourced Finnish materials. Most of all, starting off with their recruitment process, MUJI is aiming to become a place boasting not only with top quality products but also an excellent and motivated team.
Read more about other interesting and transformative client cases on our Portfolio page.
Photography sources: MUJI; Peoplegeeks Oy