Adriana Verreet understands the value of working in the retail industry.
As a Regional Talent Acquisition Manager, she is responsible for finding, and ultimately hiring for TJX Canada’s team in Western Canada. The primary portion of her role is finding leadership talent.
TJX Canada is a fast-paced, challenging, and rewarding place to work. But Adriana says that many students and grads don’t know about the various career opportunities in retail, and the opportunities it presents young professionals.
As it turns out, there’s a lot that happens before products hit the sales floor – which translates to a whole world of learning and career opportunities. Here are the top 5 reasons why new grads should explore a career at TJX Canada!
1. Make the most of your existing experience
Most students and grads have worked in retail at some point in their careers. And Adriana says that understanding how sales works on the floor is the first step towards being successful in the retail industry. It allows them to understand the standards TJX Canada sets, and to develop valuable skills like customer service, organizational skills, and sales skills.
If you already possess knowledge about how retail works from a customer-service perspective, you already have one foot in the door at TJX Canada. What comes next depends on your ambition, and having a goal in mind about where you want to end up.
“It’s about leadership and managing people,” says Adriana. “You should also be ready to analyze the business and understand profitability. And you begin your understanding of these components working on the sales floor.”
2. Company values
TJX Canada is all about mutual respect, diversity, and open communication. In fact, as a Talent Acquisition Manager, Adriana works hard to ensure that these elements are consistently reflected with every candidate her team sees.
“We talk about this constantly,” she says. “For this generation, they’re accustomed to speaking up. It’s a very collaborative culture, so I think that’s how it impacts employees.”
“You can be who you are without fear,” she says. “I’m talking from the president to part-time employees!”
3. Opportunities to learn
TJX Canada is dedicated to supporting their employees through various training programs.
Recently, they launched their Retail Management Graduate Program – so far, it’s been a huge success.
Want to work at TJX Canada? Here are some of the things Adriana looks for as a recruiter:
- How do you cope with stressful situations? It’s critical that candidates are able to handle stress in a positive and constructive manner.
- How do you resolve conflict? This is especially important in roles where the individual is dealing with customers or clients.=
- Are you able to take and provide feedback? Since this is a huge part of TJX Canada’s culture, it’s important the candidate is able to produce positive results out of constructive feedback.
TJX Canada also has an Accelerated Development Program. Over 6 months, selected Associates have the chance to work on every module of the training program. After their extensive training, they have the opportunity to do an interview with Adriana herself to secure a role with the company.
Adriana says these training programs are highly beneficial to students and grads. The manager works with the individual side by side, and the team gives them feedback so they will be prepared for their role with the company.
“The ongoing support, the coaching sessions, and the feedback are all very good,” says Adriana. “They train and they validate”.
4. Achieve career growth
There’s a lot of room for achievement in retail. But Adriana says that students often forget that this industry is about more than folding t-shirts.
“Students make the mistake of thinking that retail is a stepping stone,” she says. “They don’t think about it as a business operation…. they need to think macro – what happens beyond those 4 walls.”
For ambitious young professionals, Adriana says that it’s possible to advance quickly – one of the advantages to working in a store location.
“Depending on an associate’s performance, it can go very fast,” says Adriana. “It’s a very profitable career – they could go from a part-time worker to Store Manager, and eventually, they could become the District Manager. From there, there’s an entire organization to explore.”
Adriana says students can move into a variety of departments – HR, Logistics, Health and Safety, and more. There are plenty of roles that students can explore, especially if they have an educational background in that particular industry.
5. A great work culture
Adriana says that the positive work environment at TJX Canada has made all the difference in her career – and she says she’s seen the effect it has on the students and new grads that she has brought to the team.
“I think the partnerships you build in this environment is what will make you,” she says. “Even though we’re a big organization, we somehow maintain an intimacy in the relationships.”
Adriana describes TJX Canada as a place of constant learning and growing. Her LinkedIn profile boasts feedback from enthusiastic young professionals that she’s hired. “[Adriana] found the best fit for me and has been very supportive and encouraging in my journey. I am very much enjoying my new position in TJX Canada,” states one endorsement.
TJX Canada’s REACH Program certainly reflects these values. If an associate goes above and beyond for a customer, they receive recognition with a pin and a gift card. The company’s Social Committee works to organize events, like barbecues and potlucks for the employees – not just for head office, but for store level employees as well.
The most important thing is the constant feedback and validation TJX Canada employees receive. “I see their confidence level growing,” says Adriana. “If they can go out into the world and be more confident, all from a job at this company? I think that’s fantastic!”