HR Leaders Series: Nic Porter

Georgia Doyle
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Nic Porter (1)As Head of HR at Planet Organic, Nic is responsible for nurturing culture and hiring all the bright stars in the healthy eating retailer's workforce.

Planet Organic’s mission for healthy and authentic foods filters down through its hiring practices and culture. Nic is a firm believer in hiring candidates with a strong brand affinity and nurturing people via the company’s employee wellbeing programme, of which Catapult’s flexible workforce is part of.

What is the biggest challenge facing hiring managers on the high street?

The constant battle to recruit and retain staff members. Everyone is looking for staff so we have to keep coming up with new methods of attraction and retention, offering something different to everyone else.

We are fortunate in that we attract people to the brand because they shop with us and they are genuinely interested in what we do and sell and the values that underpin our business.

What is the biggest challenge facing part-time workers? 

Part-time jobs are always the most difficult to fill, not from an attraction point of view, but from an over-application point. You have to be able to make yourself stand out more than the other 200 people that are applying for the same role.

How has technology influenced the way hiring managers in hospitality and retail find, manage and retain staff?

I think technology plays a massive part in the way we engage with employees. We use many different technology tools to attract people, onboard and train people and we are constantly developing new ways of engaging with our staff.

How have part-timers’ attitudes to work changed in recent years? 

I think the workforce is becoming more flexible. Previously the most common questions we got at the interview stage were concerning pay, now they seem to be shifting to benefits, flexible working, job share, etc.

How can high street employers address staff retention? 

Illustration1We need to make sure staff feel like they are valued, that we treat them as individuals who all have different needs. We need to provide opportunities for people who want to learn and develop, and really work hard at ensuring they enjoy working.

What does the future of part-time work look like? 

I think part-time work will continue to become more prevalent – we’ve already seen a change in how people are looking to work and with the rise of the “slashie” it’s only going to continue!

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