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Employee Review of H&M - Check out more reviews of working at H&M

3.9Rating Details
Job Security5
Work/Life Balance4
Career Growth5
Work Environment4

From Strongsville, Ohio — 09/13/2010

A little disclaimer; If you've never worked retail before please realize that your work experience is STRONGLY based on your coworkers and management team which will be different at every store. Some will be great, others will be hell. This was just my experience having worked for H&M for half a year (and going) now as a part time sales associate.

Pay- Pay is good all things considered. I started at $8.76 an hour. I have been working retail for years and they have the highest starting pay of any chain apparel retailer I know. Raises don't come as quickly as I would like though. You're up for review/a raise once a year as opposed to my other jobs which were done quarterly or twice a year.

Respect- I feel like I'm very respected by my management team and coworkers. They always listen to what I have to say and treat me with dignity. They always give me the benefit of the doubt and trust my judgment. The coworkers are generally pretty respectful too. I have heard horror stories though about managers (who have since been transferred) who would sneak up on you and spy on you, things of that sort so it really depends on your management team. I'm not fond of company "walk out" policies but understand that that is corporate rules, not my managers personal rules. I don't understand why you can be trusted with the safe codes but your purse needs to be searched before leaving (cutting into your break time). You also have to sign a disclaimer of sorts promising to never talk about the company to the press, never write about the company, and it even insinuates that you shouldn't identify yourself as working for the company. Is this retail or the CIA? As far as respect from customers...half are assholes, frankly. They are short with you, take out their frustration on you, etc. Expect catty comments and backhanded remarks from them, but that is just part of retail and working with the public. Just don't take it personally. They want you to get mad or sad, so don't give them the satisfaction. It is frustrating having to clean up garbage and messes left by adults who should know better. But the other half are sweet and respectful. This also depends on the area you work. I work in a yuppie area.

Benefits- Benefits, as a sales associate, were very disappointing to me. They were the most expensive and the skimpiest of any place I have ever worked. It pretty much only covers you if you go into an asylum or take psych meds, seriously. Short of that you would be better off putting the money you WOULD be spending on the insurance and placing it into an account to only be used for medical expenses. There are a lot better plans you can buy on your own for the same price. There is no eye or dental for sales associates. Manager benefits are probably better.

Job Security- I've never had an issue with job security. It actually seems difficult to be fired. I've never been or felt threatened by my place there. In fact several people who would/should have been fired anywhere else weren't at H&M. They say if you are late, even by a minute, you are written up. Three write ups means termination. I was (severely) late once with good reason and wasn't written up or even made to feel guilty. Just depend son the managers I guess.

Work/Life Balance- Again, I've never had a problem in this department. I get called in A LOT because we are very under staffed but it is entirely up to you whether or not you want to take the hours. Of course it is brownie points if you do. I've never been denied requested time off and when I had to call off sick (tonight in fact) I wasn't given a hard time about it. If you can get another employee to cover your shift you can pretty much take off whenever you need to. I am told maternity leave there is generous.

Career Potential/Growth- They seem to deeply prefer to hire/promote from within which is great. I recently told my managers that I would like to become a Visual Merchandiser and instead of getting an, "Aww! That's cute." they listened to me and immediately started to assign me more visual work so that I can get the experience needed to promote. Unfortunately the "travel opportunities" and classes they frequently talk about aren't as easy as it sounds to get into or be a part of. In fact they are kind of rare. You cannot transfer either. You are free to apply at other locations but not to directly transfer. There really isn't a good reason not to transfer.

Location- There aren't nearly as many H&M's in my area as I wish there were and work is a far drive for me. They often assign short shifts, 4 hours or so, which makes it hardly worth the gas to drive in at times. I really wish there were one closer to my town.

Co-worker Competence- The majority of my coworkers are very competent and responsible but there is always a revolving cast of young kids who really don't know what it means to work and quit after a month. You kind of have to work around them and they never seem to be fired or reprimanded, they just keep calling off until they eventually quit. Most everyone else has been there for a year or more though.

Work Environment- Is usually very fast paced and often times under staffed. The good thing is you get a lot of exercise and aren't bored. I wish they wouldn't play the obnoxious music everywhere. It is in the break room and even the bathroom. It is loud and you can't escape it. It makes me feel like I am working in a bar. I also wish our store had windows. Typical mall environment. Shoplifters are everywhere but we do have a store detective some days and they don't seem to blame shoplifting on the employees or take it out on us.
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