Joules [PR Manager]
With the motto “Established in the fields of Great Britain”, Joules Clothing Group is one of the UK’s most recognised and loved lifestyle brands. Tom Joule began selling clothes at outdoor events over 25 years ago and today the retail network spans right across the UK and Ireland. The company’s roots remain firmly fixed in Market Harborough; an historic market town in the rolling countryside of rural Leicestershire.
The expansion of the retail network had progressed at an impressive rate however the company identified a need and opportunity to fulfil the enormous brand potential through online sales channels both domestically and overseas. This necessitated the recruitment of an experienced PR manager; reporting in to the managing director this individual would require key skills that would encompass the following;
- Current knowledge of the ever-evolving clothing and fashion industry.
- Delivery of brand maximisation through various social media channels.
- Creation and on-going management of a unique online community.
- Successful delivery of the three year Social and PR strategy.
- The ability to grow and direct a talented, dynamic team in which the successful recruit would maintain a hands on approach to ensure delivery / engagement.
The primary challenge in attracting the talent was location. The clothing and fashion industry is centred almost entirely in London, current roles would be attracting rewards which are indexed to London salary-levels and the prospect of a relocation to Leicestershire was probably not on the immediate agenda of prospective recruits.
External recruiters had carried previous campaigns to build a strong shortlist but had not been successful due to failing to identify and address the challenges mentioned above.
The Recruitment Project
The ONE Group delivered a two stage plan:
- A market-mapping exercise was conducted REMOTELY. London was identified as the target talent pool and 40 individuals were long-listed and approached in connection with the vacancy
- An enhanced Attraction Programme was devised
In order for any potential recruit to consider an opportunity OUTSIDE of London they would need to understand the full, unique details of this opportunity.
We engaged with key members of the Leadership Team at Joules to build a comprehensive picture of the prospects of this opportunity.
- Scope and size. Many of the ‘target’ candidates may already be working with larger, more established organisations. Joules offered the UNIQUE opportunity to devise, own and deliver a strategy from scratch.
- Geographical context. Whilst the initial focus was on the UK, the remit of this role was to drive European market penetration
- Engagement. The right recruit would undoubtedly buy-in to the vision of this role and the culture of an organisation which is highly ambitious and has remained committed to its routes in the East Midlands.
In order to absorb and adopt this culture however, we recommended that the selection process should incorporate as many members of the organisation as possible – whether or not they were stakeholders in the decision. The selection process involved five different stages of selection/engagement culminating in a meeting with Tom Joules, the founder.
The market mapping process in London derived a list of 40, viable recruits, all of which were contacted, screened and vetted for suitability.
Vacancy promotion and pre-selection reduced this to a shortlist of 6 candidates, all of which “bought in” and were excited by the prospect of moving out of London to Market Harborough to fulfil such a unique opportunity.
The 6 shortlisted applicants were further examined during the onsite interview process and were reduced to 2 possible recruits, subsequently an offer was made within 6 weeks which, following an engaging process, was gladly accepted.