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War for Talent: Getting the Recommendation

Turning team members into brand ambassadors

CHICAGO -- Despite the public’s negativity related to working in a c-store, almost three-fourths of c-store employees would tell their friends and family to apply for a job in the industry.

RaceTrac Petroleum Inc. is making good on those potential referrals by turning team members into brand ambassadors. More than 80% of RaceTrac employees would recommend a job with the company, according to its own numbers, and its internal recommendation program is one of the company’s most effective recruiting tools, says Nichole Upshaw, executive director of human resources for the Atlanta-based chain.

“As a society, we’ve become very reliant on the feedback and opinions of those that have tried the product and reviewed it,” Upshaw says. “So we’re using this societal trend to our advantage.”

Family Express’ No. 1 recruiting strategy is across-the-counter interactions with associates, according to Alex Olympidis, president of operations for the Valparaiso, Ind.-based chain. Who’s the chain’s ideal employee? Believe it or not, someone who’s already employed elsewhere. “We say to the person making $13 an hour, ‘Come take a chance with us, because we promote almost exclusively from within,’ ” he said. “So you’re making $13, $14 or $15 somewhere else. You may take a step back to take two steps forward with Family Express.”

Source: Technomic’s Winning the War for Talent Report, sponsored by DirecTV 

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