As a Fortune 100 company, operating more than 4,000 stores in nine countries, the need to attract, develop, and retain top talent is crucial to supporting our growth. We are continually looking for diverse, enthusiastic, and committed individuals to join our team, with hopes that some will develop into our global leaders of tomorrow.
We take a multi-faceted approach to recruiting as we seek employees with diversity in experience, gender, race, ethnicity, age, and more. In addition to our traditional recruitment activities, we also focus our efforts on students, recent university graduates, and military personnel, as well as hiring locally from the communities we serve.
Each year, several hundred students take part in internship programs that operate across our divisions worldwide, in areas including Merchandising, Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Store Operations, and Distribution Services. We seek candidates who are curious and have a passion for innovation, relationship building, strategic thinking, and global relations.
Our merchandising internships, in particular, are coveted among students, particularly those who have a passion for various aspects of the fashion industry, including fashion, retail, finance, business administration, information technology, and other related disciplines. On average, 80% of interns from the merchandising program in the U.S. go on to join us full-time after completing college. In Canada, over 35% of our merchandise operations and planning and allocation co-ops transition to full-time or contract positions upon graduation. In the U.K., nearly 70% of merchandising and buying placement students go on to join our Graduate Programme following completion of their university degree courses. In 2017, we hired more than 300 Associates into the U.S., Canadian, and European buyer and planning and allocation training programs, many right out of school or through Associate referrals.
Our long-standing commitment to the U.S. Armed Forces is highlighted by our dedication to hiring members of the military, veterans, National Guard and Reservists, and military spouses. We value their strong work ethic, professionalism, and loyalty and offer a range of career options to match their talents and expertise.
In 2013, TJX pledged to hire at least 3,000 men and women who are active military, veterans, or military spouses by 2018. We met that goal two years early and are pleased to report that we had hired more than 5,000 people from these populations by the end of 2017. Learn more
With approximately 249,000 Associates and more than 4,000 stores across the globe, our store Associates are our largest population of talent. But more than that, they are the face of our retail chains, welcoming customers and helping to support an exciting shopping experience. Behind the scenes, the Associates in our distribution centers also ensure our stores continue to deliver a treasure hunt experience by helping us get the right products to the right stores at the right time.
In support of our efforts to hire field Associates, teams in the U.S. and Europe participate in innovative youth programs – the Youth Business Institute (YBI) in the U.S. and Get into Retail in Europe – which offer professional and personal development opportunities for disadvantaged or vulnerable young people. YBI teaches job readiness skills to students in at-risk high schools and exposes them to the business of retail. Get into Retail, run by The Prince’s Trust in the U.K., provides training, development, and eventually, employment opportunities for successful participants. In 2017 we hired over 50% of YBI graduates and nearly 70% of Get Into Retail graduates for positions in our stores. Our Canadian team partners with organizations like the Calgary Region Immigrant Employment Council, Canadian Mental Health Association, Steps to Success, and others to support its field recruitment efforts.
TJX has a long history of hiring people with varying levels of skills and abilities, including those who face barriers to employment. These could include people in situations that make it hard for them to find or keep a job, such as economic challenges, access to transportation, lack of experience, or other personal challenges. We have developed community outreach and recruitment strategies to support those who face employment challenges and to help us foster a workforce that includes qualified individuals with a breadth of abilities.
For example, to assist in our recruitment efforts, we work closely with community-based organizations in the U.S. and Canada to actively recruit people who may face employment challenges. These organizations often pre-screen and train the candidates that we hire for our stores and distribution centers. The relationship between TJX and community-based organizations is beneficial on many levels:
Over the course of the last 20+ years, we have provided jobs to more than 290,000 people who have received some form of government assistance in the U.S.
One area of particular focus in the U.S. is hiring people with disabilities. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in 2016, the unemployment rate for those with a disability was 10.5%, more than twice the rate for individuals with no disability.1 We have developed collaborative community partnerships, and our U.S. Talent Acquisition group promotes workforce programs that facilitate access to jobs for individuals with disabilities. Through these programs, we are working toward increasing employment for these individuals.
1 Economic News Release at https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t06.htm