Recruitment drive, flexible benefits and internal comms

Recruitment: Launched a major recruitment drive in October to hire 11,500 employees across a variety of roles. While a number of these will be temporary, to cater for increased demand over the festive period, it will also keep staff on permanently where it can as it looks to expand both its Sainsbury’s and Argos chains. A key indicator of HR spend, the supermarket will need to invest in benefits that enable it to attract the best talent for vacant positions, as well as time-efficient training modules. The company places an emphasis on apprentices to ensure it has a consistent talent pipeline and has over 700 employees currently enrolled in programmes. Since the Apprenticeship Levy was launched this has increased, and the target for Sainsbury’s is to employ 2,500 apprentices year-on-year by 2020.

Flexible benefits: Talent retention is a major challenge within the sector, which traditionally sees high turnover, and Sainsbury’s continues to develop its reward and benefits package to ensure it remains competitive and attractive to younger staff. Schemes currently offered by the company include colleague recognition, season ticket loans, cycle-to-work, long service awards and childcare vouchers. It has also considered implementing a flexible benefits platform and we expect it would be interested in a solution that’s demonstrably suitable for the large portion of its staff it employs on hourly contracts.

Internal comms: Recognising that engagement is vital to improving retention, Sainsbury’s measures this in a number of ways; through its “sustainable engagement” survey, assessing an employee’s connection to the business, and the “We’re Listening” initiative, which recently highlighted that 72% of employees view Sainsbury’s as a great place to work. It will want to increase this figure over the next year and we predict it to increase its internal comms investment to ensure employees remain motivated and engaged with its reward and benefits offering.

Revenue: £26.22bn

Number of employees: 195,000

Financial year end: March 31

HR providers: Reward Gateway, Cyclescheme, Care UK, Stonewall…

New appointments this year:

Group Head of Reward – Sarah Desai

Head of Talent & Development – Sian Evans

Head of HR Operations & Technology – Elaine Bergin

Other key contacts:

Head of Group Learning & Development – Stuart Comer