Giving Toolstation the right tools to attract talent

Toolstation are a fantastic retail success story. With roughly one store opening in the UK each week, it has seen phenomenal growth and success supplying the DIY market with great value tools and materials to get DIY jobs done. But upscaling recruitment was proving challenging in a competitive market where demand outstrips supply. This, combined with a general nervousness around the future of UK high-street Retailing, had served to make recruiting staff a tough task.

Working with our partners at That Little Agency, our job was to dig deep to understand exactly what made Toolstation a fantastic place to work and to help bring the proposition alive with high-impact creative design.

The Research

Our first job was to research and develop the Toolstation Employer Value Proposition (EVP). We travelled the length and breadth of the country carrying out focus groups across the whole business – including Stores, Distribution Centres, Contact Centres and in Head Office. These in-depth conversations gave us a really clear, honest and authentic view of Toolstation life. We augmented the Research with a series of Executive-level interviews to ensure that we were incorporating the strategic vision and values for the business into our thinking as well as digesting a wealth of internal engagement data. Finally, we made sure that we were equipped to position Toolstation as a unique employer by conducting a comprehensive audit of their key competitor’s core propositions and employer brand activities.

The findings revealed a number of facets that were unique to the Toolstation employment experience. These became our trusted EVP pillars and playback across the business confirmed that they were seen as authentic, credible and attractive.

  • We want to do our best for our people
  • Our future is full of opportunity
  • Our teams are positive and supportive
  • We encourage you to be yourself

The pillars were underpinned with a core strapline that brought together the sense of unity and focus that prevailed across the business. Together we’ll get the job done.

Our message matrix exercise then helped us to plot the importance of each of our pillars against the specific talent audiences we were trying to attract, ensuring that all subsequent recruitment marketing content would focus the most pertinent messages towards the audiences segments we were speaking to.

Creative development

Armed with our detailed Research, we developed a creative brief for That Little Agency that focused on bringing the true culture of the business to life. Our Research had highlighted that it was an informal business, full of personality and vibrancy with a noticeable lack of corporate stuffiness. TLA reflected this with a creative style that showed Toolstation people at their best – full of humour, unafraid to be themselves and showing passion for the products and services they sold. The copy style developed was informal and conversational, which adds to a sense of a down-to-earth business full of people who enjoy their work. Overall, the brand truly captures the spirit of the business and successfully differentiates Toolstation from other retail employers.

The brand is now in roll-out phase with an internal launch complete and new career site now live.

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