IKEA showcases workers’ stories to attract jobseekers

'We seek to recruit quality talent while creating a lifelong relationship with co-workers,' says CEO

IKEA showcases workers’ stories to attract jobseekers

IKEA is hoping the stories of its own workers will help attract more candidates to the business.

The home furnishings retailer has launched a “Build your career with IKEA” campaign as it hopes to continue growing in Canada.

The company hopes to “recruit quality talent while also creating lifelong relationships with our existing co-workers,” says Tanja Fratangeli, acting CEO and chief sustainability officer, IKEA Canada, in talking with Canadian HR Reporter.

"As we continue to grow our operations in Canada… we seek to recruit quality talent while creating a life-long relationship with our existing co-workers,” she says, adding the campaign “puts our co-workers centre stage and highlights the diversity of opportunities we facilitate."

Fifty-one per cent of employers are looking to bring on new staff members in the first six months of 2023, according to a Robert Half report.

Showcasing workers’ stories

Under the campaign, IKEA is showcasing the individual stories of workers through various videos about career-building stories, how these workers are building their careers at IKEA, and how prospective workers can also build their own careers with the company.

Take the story of Ramiro Pintor Penagos, a new Canadian who relocated here from Colombia in 2019. Following 25 years in the military, he started a new career path at IKEA Calgary as a Goods Flow co-worker.

"My family moved to Canada to build our future here, and we're grateful for the opportunities it has offered us,” he says. “The IKEA culture makes it a supportive environment where you can learn new skills. My daughters Laura and Diana have joined me in working at IKEA Calgary, and have expanded their careers into sales and operations.”

Sharing these stories is essential to introducing the IKEA work culture to prospective workers, says Fratangeli.

“It's about authenticity. I joined IKEA four and a half years ago, and it's difficult to articulate the culture and the feeling that's here at IKEA until you join. And what we want to do [through the campaign] is we want to go through the stories of our co-workers, their real life examples, so that people can find relatable experiences, both from a representation perspective as well as being able to see what types of career paths there are.”

Purpose-driven employer

IKEA is also hoping to attract workers by emphasizing its purpose and learning opportunities for workers.

Nearly nine in 10 Canadians (85 per cent) agree that it's important to them to work for purpose-driven employers that live their values, according to a new study from IKEA based on a survey of 1,500 Canadians between April 14 and 16, 2023.

“It's probably one of the very first companies that was really purpose-led, and it's about improving the lives of the many, many coworkers and customers and in the community,” says Fratangeli.

The best way employers can showcase their purpose to workers is by being true to it, she says.

“Employers, if they are authentic, [workers] see that theme or that purpose show up in a multitude of different areas, both in the business and on the people side.

“And if it's not authentic, it's not ingrained in how you operate, employees can very quickly recognize that.”

A social purpose business is defined as “a company whose enduring reason for being is to create a better world,” according to the Social Purpose Institute, a program run out of the United Way of the Lower Mainland in Vancouver.

Learning and development opportunities

Workers are also looking for learning opportunities in their employment, with two-thirds (67 per cent) seeking out companies that offer opportunities to work in different areas of the business, while nearly eight in 10 (77 per cent) want to learn new skills, finds the IKEA survey.

It starts with the onboarding process, says Fratangeli.

“We have a very clear onboarding process that starts on day one, and it's a committed program of around 30, 60, and 90 days. That's where the co-worker really gets introduced to a lot of our programs or processes and the people that they're going to be working with.”

Once a worker passes through that process, they will continue their journey with IKEA, she says.

“We have both a very robust performance program so [workers] would get regular check-ins and regular feedback from their manager. So they can take the conversations during those discussions and begin to explore what they're interested in and maybe explore other skills or competencies that they want to develop, and maybe enhance things that they are currently doing.

“And then we also have [annual] talent reviews, where we sit down and talk about that person's potential. What have they contributed? How can they contribute? What could be the next opportunity [for them]? How ready are they?

“Most of it lives in those ongoing conversations between the manager and the co-worker throughout the year.”

Previously, Amazon announced it is expanding its slate of language programs globally under its Career Choice program.

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