Ever wondered what it’s like to interview the interviewer? Well, don’t worry, because we’ve done it for you! I suppose it’s not quite the same because they’re not actually applying for a job but hey, it’s still an interview.

 We spoke with Stephanie Jackson Recruitment (through zoom because that’s the new thing now) to discuss all things happening in the recruitment world. Whether you are part of the luxury fashion industry, or are interested in getting involved, here’s the low-down on how you can be bettering your skill-set during quarantine and what brands will be treating you (and the world) better during a crisis.

It’s understood the fashion industry has taken a huge turn during these circumstances we’re currently facing, what are the luxury fashion brands doing to help towards the COVID-19 crisis?

This is a really crucial time for businesses around the world. However, seeing what some of the luxury brands have done to contribute their support to COVID-19 has been incredible. A few examples of this are luxury Italian brand Moncler, who have donated 10 million euros to the Italian healthcare system. The donation will be going towards building a new hospital with over 4000 intensive care units. LMVH were the first to announce that they were utilising their cosmetics factories to manufacture their own hand sanitiser. Prada have been manufacturing masks and Jo Malone have also been manufacturing their own hand sanitiser. These are, of course, just a few examples of how the luxury fashion industry have responded to COVID-19. As someone who has been in this industry for a really long time, it is with great pride that I am able to call most of these brands my clients.

Companies such as Hermes and Chanel are paying their employees in full during this difficult time. This proves that they are excellent companies to be a part of as even in such drastic circumstances they look after their team members. It has been great to hear that employees of these brands have been using this time to expand on their product knowledge by engaging with specialist training programmes.

How do you feel these acts of kindness will affect these brands in the future?

From a recruitment perspective, these movements are putting these brands in the spotlight for when things do resume back to normality. The best candidates in the market will feel confident to apply to such ethical companies. It was really comforting to learn that brands such as Hermes and Chanel are paying their employees in full and providing them with specialist training material for them to enhance their already excellent product knowledge during this time.

This, of course, is not the case for all luxury brands. However, this shows that the brands that have always been the key players stay true to their word. Not only from a recruitment perspective, but from a consumer perspective, it instils confidence and encourages continued support of these brands when it comes to consumer’s deciding on where they should spend their money.

What can you advise people who work in retail to do to keep busy during quarantine?

For those who are currently employed, this is a perfect time for you to enhance your product knowledge. Also, to really embody the brand that you are working for by researching and diving deep into the brands history and heritage.

We discuss this a lot at SJR as passion for the brand always comes through when speaking to clients.

Those that are currently seeking opportunities, this is a great time for you to brush up on your skillset, decide which area of the industry you feel you are best suits and which brands you feel would represent well.

I have always been one to say that CV is just a piece of paper and it is down to how you yourself bring that piece of paper to life. Here at SJR, we are offering a CV support service to help you stand out.

Aside from this, it is vitally important that you remain positive and ensure that you are doing all you can to remain in a positive mental health state. Through our social media channels, we have been advising our network on the best ways to keep active and mentally healthy during this time.

How have you as a business been adapting to working from home?

As with most businesses it has been a real challenge to adapt to working from home especially since we are such a close nit team and enjoy our office banter. However, we do regularly meet on zoom to keep in touch with our team members as well as regular calls and catch ups.

As the majority of the time we are in and around the stores checking in on our candidates and clients, we needed to find a way to keep up with our minimum of 10,000 steps a day whilst working from home. Our extremely creative operations manager Charley, came up with the great idea of providing each team member with a fitness smart watch and has set us each a daily target, which I must add she is very strict on. Haha!

What tips can you give to other employers to keep their staff positive and confident?

My advice would be, if your work has come to a close and your employees are working from home or furloughed, now is a great time to get to know them individually on a personal level. This will allow you to truly understand them, what motivates them and all the things that we generally overlook when things are so busy in the day to day working life. This will allow you to really play each member of your team to their strengths when things resume. This will put you on a path to success with a truly happy team. Remember the person who feels appreciated will always do more than what is expected of them. An example of this would be that, here at SJR, when it is a team member’s birthday, we like to celebrate in style. Unfortunately, we were unable to celebrate a team member’s birthday as we usually would, however this did not stop us from still celebrating in style the best way we could by sending a quarantine celebration box of goodies.

How are you supporting candidates during these uncertain times?

We pride ourselves on having a fantastic relationship with our candidates and are always approachable. This has not changed since going into lock-down. We send regular updates of encouragement to them via email and through our social network channels. Everyone is advised that our business lines remain open during our normal business hours should anyone need any support of any kind.

How would you advise people looking to get involved in the luxury fashion industry?

Here at SJR, we believe that your attitude is your best attribute. If you are looking to get into the world of luxury, however do not have the necessary experience, please do not shy away. Some of our most successful placements have been through temp to perm, which is working interview style recruitment process. This allows you to prove yourself on the job. We run regular assessment centres where you have the chance to show your skills in a group style interview where you are assessed on your attitude, knowledge and understanding of the luxury retail world rather than what is written on your CV. If you feel that you have what it takes, please get in touch as we would love to hear from you.