(Original post by epilepticfitz)
I have created this information to give anyone who is considering applying for a job at Hollister some prior warning before applying for a job here. Although it may seem like a great place to work at, with lots of young energetic people, it is not as great as it seems.
I would like to tell you a few things about Hollister and I will run through the following things,
• Who I am and how I am related to Hollister
• What I was promised before starting my job
• What I actually received as an employee at Hollister and things they failed to mention
o The real number of shifts I can expect
o The number of employees at the store
o Exactly what they expected me to wear
o The ridiculous way you have to collect your rota
o The length of shift they forgot to tell me about
• The job itself
• Questionable ways in which Hollister operate
• Finally, what I think of working for Hollister
Who I am and how I am related to Hollister
I am a 23 year old student living in Manchester, in my final year of studying Marketing and I am currently staff member at the Hollister store in The Trafford Centre in the UK. I have recently been through the interview process, been asked if I would like to join, accepted, taken my induction and performed my first shift.
I applied for a job as model but was offered the role of Impact which consists of working in the stock rooms and taking deliveries. I had no problem with this as I can appreciate that I may not have to Hollister look and I would therefore be happy to work in Impact.
What I was promised before starting my job
I was told the following things about what I can expect from this job,
• As a part timer I was likely to get 3-4 shifts per week and I would be operating on a 0 hour contract.
• Shifts would usually be either 5 or 6 hours long.
• I had to look presentable and dress with the Hollister look
The reality of what I received as an employee at Hollister and things they failed to mention
After going through an induction of sorts and performing my first shift, I have uncovered some details that Hollister failed to point out to me and what is actually likely to happen when working for Hollister.
• The real number of shifts I can expect. I was told by a manager that new starters were more likely to get 1 or 2 shifts per week.
• The number of employees at the store. There are about 300 employees at this store. In my opinion this is a huge detail they failed to point out to me and it creates two problems for me as an employee.
Firstly with such a large number of employees it makes it incredibly difficult to get the number shifts I was told to expect during the interview process.
Secondly with such a large number of staff, it is probable that the managers do not know many of these people as I would expect they should from my experience in other similar jobs. This quickly became clear to me as I was repeatedly told by the managers and other team members that they would not remember my name and that this is a common occurrence. This does not really do much for my moral and I would guess the same is true or the moral of the other staff with a similar role to me.
• Exactly what they expected me to wear. Looking through my hand book it says that I can not be forced to wear Hollister clothing at work, as long as I wear clothing which has the Hollister look. This was fine with me, but after my induction I was told to come in half an hour early for my first shift to “try on some shirts”.
On my first shift I did as I was told, came in half an hour early (unpaid of course), tried on a couple of shirts, some jeans and some flip flops and thought, “yeah, these clothes are very nice”, but I could see where this was leading. I asked if these would be free as uniform and I was told that I had to pay for them there and then. I was given no option as to whether I wanted to buy them or not.
I came dressed in my own Hollister T shirt and unbranded jeans and shoes which was in accordance with their rules in the hand book, but was then strongly obliged to spend over £60 on uniform. There was no mention of this during the interview or induction (if you can call it an induction as I will explain later). What if I did not have £60?
Later in my first shift I was told, again by a manager, if I was not wearing a Hollister shirt to work, I would be sent home. Same for the any other unbranded jeans. This does not sound like what I agreed to in my contract.
• Receiving my rota. During my first shift I was told that the rota in my store is created every Thursday to allow staff to see when they are scheduled to be working over the next week. This seemed fine so far, but I was then told that I would have to come into the store every Thursday to receive it and this is the only way to receive it. I am not allowed to call up or email and ask for it, or to have it emailed to me, I HAVE to be physically in the store.
This is far from ideal as I can not drive and my bus journey takes about an hour each way. This means every Thursday, I will have to waste two hours of my life simply to see when I will be working, and of course my time and travel costs are not paid for.
• My salary. I have yet to be told officially what it is. According to the other staff it is probably £6.25 per hour as “that is what all new starters receive”, but I haven’t been told this by the manager who hired me, the manager who talked me through my induction or the manager who was guiding me on my first day. I am just expected to accept whatever salary and not care about it. This is ludicrous.
• The length of shifts. My first shift was 4 hours long, this possibility was not mentioned to me at any point during the interview or induction and I am again expected to take it, and continue to up beat and positive about working at Hollister.
The job itself
Working in Impact, I work in the stock room and will be doing such tasks as picking stock for the shop floor, folding stock, moving large boxes, unloading stock from boxes onto shelves and other such activities. I am happy to do all these tasks and there is music being played and other people my age to talk to as I do it, but there are some points about the job role that are not at all desirable and even dangerous as I will explain in the next section.
Questionable ways in which Hollister operate
While working at Hollister, I have noticed several other ways in which Hollister operate and some of them may put you off.
• Wearing flip flops. This is what I was expected to wear as my uniform. Is this really the best or safest foot wear for working in a stock room handling heavy boxes and apparatus? I think not.
One of my jobs has been to move large, wheeled cages full of stock from one stock room to another. “Wait until one of these runs over your feet, it kills” the girl with me told me, giving me the impression that it WILL happen.
• Instructions on manual labour. I know that manual labour can be dangerous, and I am fairly sure that by law, I have to be told how to do this properly. Have Hollister given me any indication on how to do this? No. Do they expect me to do manual labour? Yes.
• Fire Safety. I have barely been told a thing about fire safety. At all the other places I have worked, I have been shown all the fire exits and shown exactly where to go in case of a fire. At Hollister I have yet to be categorically shown the fire exits and the instructions on where to assemble in case of a fire was roughly as follows,
Manager: “in case of a fire, you need to go to car park 4”
Me: “where is car park 4”
Manager: “I have no idea”
This manager then proceeded to laugh this off as if it was a joke, although I am fairly sure this is also against the law and again is certainly not common practise in other places I have worked.
The only thing that I could consider to be fore safety training is when I was told to read a poster which I would then be quizzed on. The focus of this poster was the tag lines used in store, the cut of the women’s jeans, the competition Hollister customers can take part in and right at the bottom a very small feature asking about whether I had been instructed correctly on fire safety.
During my quiz, I was asked about the cut of the jeans, the competition and the tag lines, but had to mention the fire safety part myself and told my manager I had not received these instructions, to which she replied “OK” and we continued with something else. I have yet to be instructed in this area.
• Health and safety in the stock room (or lack of it). My first job at Hollister was to pick stock from the stock room to replenish the good which had been sold on the shop floor. The stock room has large shelves full of stock which I would guess are between 9 and 12 feet tall and stock going right up to the top shelf.
I noticed that there was a ladder in the stock room, so I expected this is what I would be using. However, when I was told by the stock room manager how to pick the stock on the shelves I couldn’t reach, they said the following, “don’t use the ladder, climb on the shelves”. I was categorically told NOT to use the ladder. I am fairly sure this is to stay in line with Hollister’s expectation of their pickers to pick one item every 20 seconds, which with a ladder, I am sure would be more difficult.
• Hollister constantly employ new people. I asked the managers what the staff turnover was like, and apparently it is quite high, people are coming and going all the time. Is this due to people quickly realising that Hollister is far from the ideal place to work? I think so.
I have spoken to one of the managers further about this, and they told me that they are constantly “trimming” their staff. I can appreciate that they want their staff to work hard, but how can they expect this when they give these staff such ill treatment and there is constantly the shadow of knowing there are always people to replace you hanging over your shoulder. This seems far from ethical.
What I think of working at Hollister
I left another job for this at a highly reputable high end fashion brand to join Hollister and I knew that there would be a slight cut in hours, and likely to be a cut in wages, but I was willing to accept this from what I was told throughout the employment process.
Upon starting the job at Hollister, I quickly realised it wasn’t as rosy as it was made out to be, and that the company have little regard for their staffs moral, and safety and is entirely focused on making money. During my induction I was told by one manager “my safety is their number one priority”, this is clearly not true due to the lack of safety regulations or fire training.
I find the way they treat their staff without any regard for their own lives to be disgusting and completely unethical and I would not recommend a job here to anybody.