Exclusive by Patrick Avenell

SYDNEY: With JB Hi-Fi set to open 50 new stores in the short term, the employer is set to embark on a recruitment drive. CEO Richard Uechtritz said he would welcome staff joining from competitors if they thought the JB way was right for them.

In an interview with Current.com.au, Uechtritz said that JB Hi-Fi currently utilised a “sophisticated” recruitment system, grounded in traditional online and print advertising. Although he had no plans to alter this, or to headhunt, Uechtritz said that dissatisfied staff from other retailers, or those laid off through the economic downturn, would not be excluded.

“We advertise in various media: online, in newsprint, for our people,” said Uechtritz. “We don’t go out there and try to seek people from our competitors, but as one company grows, unless the whole industry is growing at the same rate, then somebody is going to lose business, and thus someone adds labour and someone loses labour.”

“I would think that any person that feels they’re not being able to utilise their talents in an organisation that is not doing as well for any number of reason, they can come along and talk to us at any time.”

As for working conditions at JB Hi-Fi, Uechtritz is very confident in his organisation’s employment proposition.

“We don’t have many people leave JB Hi-Fi. If you’re working in retail, it’s a pretty good environment to spend your day in, compared to many other environments.

“I think it’s one of those things that if you’re a young [person], you’ve got all the latest technology, you’ve got movies and games, you don’t have to have a uniform and we empower our people to make the decisions. We give them, if they’re a good salesperson, the ability to make a lot more than the average wage. It’s been one of our strengths; we constantly get feedback on how enthusiastic our people are.”