This is a two-part Q&A with UNIQLO, winners of Retail Employer Of The Year 2021 – Large Category. For part one, we chat to Ketty Chiang, Talent Acquisition Partner. Ketty has been with UNIQLO for 8 years and has shared insights into UNIQLO and what they do to foster a great culture within their team the enables career progressions and growth.
Tell us about yourself?
Hello, I’m Ketty Chiang. I’m a Talent Acquisition Partner from UNIQLO Australia. I have been working with UNIQLO for 8 years and I have found my journey with UNIQLO has been extremely rewarding!
Tell us what it’s like to work at UNIQLO?
Every day is different! Being part of the Human Resources team, we collaborate very closely with the various teams at stores as well as at our headquarters to help everyone create a growth and development framework that enables them to achieve their individual and collective goals. I love that our organization is flat and transparent which helps all of us communicate with each other freely and efficiently.
What does UNIQLO do to foster the culture that you aspire to have?
Globally, UNIQLO places a large emphasis on people development because a dedicated and talented team is crucial in determining a business’ success. We provide multiple avenues for employees to grow such as our Manager Candidate Program which provides employees who are part of the program, the opportunity to participate in global projects as well as meet with other candidates from other markets. The company also strives to create a sense of ownership where everyone from the top down is constantly encouraged to think like a leader no matter the role – this has translated into a stronger level of pride in the work, accountability and proactiveness.
What do you think positions your employer brand to stand out or apart from your competitors?
UNIQLO is a global company with over a thousand stores in more than 25 countries around the world. Being a global brand means there are many opportunities for employees to be part of large-scale, global projects, and provides the opportunity to work in different markets as well as take on roles in different functional areas of the business. This also means we are very culturally diverse in our hiring and the team gets the opportunity to experience collaborating with other people from different backgrounds.
Another standout is our UNIQLO Manager Candidate Graduate Program which aims to provide a fast track for store employees to become store managers within a short period of time. It’s a challenging program but with potentially high reward as the majority of candidates eventually become important key business leaders in the company around the world – some of our Directors in UNIQLO Australia for example, actually came up from this program so it really shows how you can grow within this business.
What do you believe is the biggest benefit to UNIQLO in relation to your employer brand?
As a global brand, we have the benefit of already being highly recognisable. Many team members who join us are actually longtime customers who are familiar with our products and brand proposition. Increasingly in this market, we are also being noticed for our continuous growth with 25 stores and counting – this I believe signals to potential employees that we are investing in Australia and therefore our talent pool.
If you were advising a business starting their employer brand positioning journey/or wanted to give their existing one a refresh, what 3 tips would you give them?
- Be clear on the business’ vision and make sure this easy to understand and then communicated across all platforms. Getting the word out on what the company is wanting to do helps existing employees and future employees buy into the brand.
- Using social media platforms such as LinkedIn to highlight the different roles and the people behind the business. Putting faces and having individuals share their thoughts on how they have grown at the business is an easy way to say, ‘We’re a great place to work at!’.
- Potential hires nowadays want to know how a business is giving back. If you don’t already have an existing CSR program – think of starting one and make sure it relates back to the type of business you’re running. We, for example, have partnered with the Royal Flying Doctor Service amidst the COVID-19 pandemic to donate surgical masks to their team of healthcare workers and our Ultra Light Down Jackets given they travel to quite remote areas.
Anything else you would like to add?
We’re all very thrilled with getting this award!