How we put the social into recruiting…engagement for Paul UK

The third in our week of blogs about the ‘socialness’ of recruitment – inspired by our shortlist inclusions at the RAD Awards 2011:

Employee engagement in retail can be seen as the Holy Grail. How do you involve and communicate to a workforce who aren’t sat at a desk and tied to a computer? Engendering a positive feeling when the recession has slowed any planned expansion (and possible career progression/satisfaction). That was the brief from Paul UK – the French bakery and patisserie brand who are renowned for their premium, quality bread, sandwiches and cakes across London.

Our answer, after much research and feedback from employees, was an internal comms strategy that represented the Paul ‘way’ to a tee – Quality takes Time. Encompassing the overall philosophy and culture of the company – where every sandwich, loaf and pastry is lovingly, hand-made in each store every day and the customer experience is the traditional, personal kind that reflects the old-fashioned service values of yesteryear.

The communications needed to create discussion and interest amongst everyone who worked there – in the stores, the kitchens and head office. So ‘social media’ was out, as we wanted this to happen at work, not at home on a laptop.


The launch answer was the Paul Rubiks cube. The perfect representation of all six sides of the six Paul values and, literally, a hands-on demonstration of how Quality takes Time – literally.

How could it not be talked about? Even if it was just to complain that it couldn’t be completed? Which of course it could – but like ‘quality’ it just ‘takes time’. So it started discussions about, and around, the business and reminded everyone why they had joined the company in the first place. And, more importantly, why it still offered a truly, worthwhile career.

This RAD Entry made the shortlist for Employee Communications and, of course, our “Not a RADs Nomination but we like it, Uh Uh” list.

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