World-class planners are an integral part of any successful retailer – the Cotton On Group included. But according to the Group’s careers team, there is also a shortage of these talented individuals in the retail industry. So in a bid to further grow the planning team already in place at the Geelong head office, the company is approaching recruiting in a new way; developing their planning talent through a dedicated graduate program.
Every Monday, new faces come through the Cotton On Group’s Geelong head office doors to take part in a weekly induction session. Recently the group was a little bigger, with the team also welcoming 13 people as part of the very first Cotton On Group graduate program – a specialised 15-month career development initiative within the in-house planning team.
Over their time with the Cotton On Group, the grads will undergo training and have the support they need to develop their skills in the planning field; learning how to effectively forecast sales and manage stock, in order to maximise sales and profit for their business area. Full time opportunities will also become available at the end of the program.
Lauren Ogden, a member of the Group’s learning and development team and the main driver of the graduate program, has been working with the company for almost nine years and is excited to see this group of planners excel.
“Launching a graduate program means we’re able to approach recruiting for planners in a different way, as it allows us to hand-pick planning talent and teach them while on the job. As a former planner myself, I am truly excited that our first ever graduate program is focused on planning, and I look forward to sharing my knowledge and seeing our next generation of world-class planners develop and progress,” she said.
The program doubles as an opportunity to further develop and grow people already working with the business; of the 13 graduates joining the team some have come from Cotton On Group retail stores, including a number who have relocated from interstate.
Over the course of the program, the graduates will be active members of the planning team, learning and taking part in tasks relevant to the function. All learning activities have been scheduled to compliment the activities currently happening in each of the Group’s brands, meaning they will be gaining experience through a real-time, hands-on approach.
All learning content available to the graduates throughout the 15 months will also be accessible to the Group’s existing planning team, assisting team members in terms of career development and increasing their industry knowledge.
Following a successful program, graduate initiatives will be introduced across the Group’s other departments, allowing the company to take the reins in finding and developing talented people to join the team in future.
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