Sephora - A first-rate Talent Acquisition solution promotes an exceptional employer brand

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Published: 15th September 2010
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Business Challenge:

Faced with an increase in recruitment requirements Sephora decided to focus its recruitment efforts around its strong employer brand. In the context of rapid growth and accelerated globalisation Sephora's priority was to attract the best candidates in the market.


To promote its employer brand Sephora embarked on a campaign that was based principally on an innovative, candidate-friendly recruitment website. To take advantage of the Sephora brand's identity, the Group wanted to ensure the site would reflect its core values of customer satisfaction and innovation.


Since rolling out StepStone's Talent Acquisition Solution Sephora is saving over €250,000 a year on recruitment costs. A significant increase in the volume and range of applications it receives means it can now be more selective in its recruitment.

Solution: Talent Acquisition

Industry: Cosmetics and Perfumery

Country: Worldwide

Number of

Employees: 7,000

"The flexibility of the StepStone solution has enabled us to meet our objective of creating a truly innovative recruitment site. Our top priority is customer satisfaction and in this case our candidates are our customers. Because the StepStone solution is completely reliable, and can send fast, customized responses to candidates as well as handling contact follow-up, it has had a very positive impact on our employer brand."

Sophie Mouhieddine,

HR Development Manager,Sephora

The Business:

A subsidiary of the world's leading luxury brand group LVMH (Moët Hennessy - Louis Vuitton) Sephora is a major perfume and cosmetics retail chain whose strategy is based on growth and innovation. The company has almost 4,000 employees in France and over 1,000 shops and points of sale throughout the world.

A selective perfumery retailer since 1970, Sephora differentiates itself from its competitors through its unique ability to transform shopping into pleasure. Its 'Entertaining Shopping Experience'concept is supported by constant innovation based on a distinctive proposition; amazing sales events; attractive, educational merchandising; and unprecedented loyalty programmes and services.

The Challenge:

To meet its recruitment requirements in terms of both quality and quantity Sephora needed to implement a tailored recruitment tool that would enable line managers and regional directors to manage recruitment locally. It was also vital that the selected tool could live up to the Sephora brand characteristics of innovation, excellence and customer satisfaction.

To help attract and retain the best applicants in the market the company decided to enhance its employer brand - a key aspect of its overall brand image - with a unique recruitment website that would provide candidates with an 'Entertaining Employment Experience'. "Our top priority is customer satisfaction and in this case the candidates are our customers," explains Sophie Mouhieddine, HR Development Manager at Sephora.

The Solution:

Sephora is using StepStone's Talent Acquisition Solution to manage external recruitment and internal mobility. Following a pilot in France, the solution has been rolled out to other countries including Spain, Poland and Italy.

The careers section is accessed via the HR portal at, which the company uses to communicate its values and the roles on offer. It does this using video testimonials by existing employees and an HR blog that facilitates dialogue with candidates. Transparency, innovation and customer satisfaction are fundamental to all internal and external communications.

"Information transparency was a priority when we redesigned our HR portal. Giving our employees a voice was a deliberate decision to avoid appearing too institutional, which would have gone against Sephora's spirit of innovation. It also enables us to give candidates a realistic impression of what it's like to work at Sephora," says Mouhieddine.

The Results:

StepStone's Talent Acquisition Solution enables many tasks to be carried out online such as targeted mailings and web chats with candidates. The screening questions make it easier for the HR team to qualify CVs and create pools of potential candidates. Everything has been designed to build and maintain a strong relationship with candidates.

"The flexibility of the StepStone solution has enabled us to meet our objective of creating a truly innovative recruitment site," states Mouhieddine. "Because the StepStone solution is completely reliable, and can send fast, customised responses to candidates as well as handling contact follow-up, it has had a very positive impact on our employer brand."

Rolling out the e-recruitment solution has increased the volume of applications Sephora receives, which have jumped from 50,000 to 150,000 in just two years. "We can now be more selective in our recruitment and we are saving over €250,000 a year on recruitment costs," explains Mouhieddine.

"Previously we relied on expensive recruitment advertising in the press. Now we can communicate in a different way, over the long term, using the internet, blogs and opinion pieces in the press - all of which help to reinforce our reputation as an interactive employer that is here to stay," says Mouhieddine.

"Since we started publicising the wealth of careers available in retail we have been receiving applications from business school graduates who would previously have been interested in head office functions only," continues Mouhieddine. "Through interactive and transparent communication with candidates and by emphasising internal development opportunities, we have managed to reassert the value of careers in sales and retail."

About StepStone Solutions:

StepStone Solutions helps businesses get increased performance from their people, helps them build and develop global talent pools, and helps people find new jobs that match their talents. Across the world thousands of organisations rely on StepStone every day to improve their business performance and talent development strategies while millions of people rely on StepStone to improve their careers. StepStone delivers world class technology and services for finding, recruiting, retaining, managing and developing talented people.

StepStone provides a complete set of Total Talent Management solutions. StepStone's on-demand (SaaS) software and services enable organisations to implement efficient processes, including; attraction and hiring, post-hire talent management, performance management, compensation management, skills and competency management, career and succession planning, training and development management.

StepStone is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Germany-based publishing and media company Axel Springer AG. At the end of December 2009 more than 1,400 organisations, including many of the world's leading businesses, use StepStone Solutions' software and services. It operates in 17 countries and employs around 800 people. Its global customers include Aviva, Deloitte, Deutsche Telekom, Lufthansa, McDonald's, PUMA, ThyssenKrupp and Volkswagen.


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USA +1 866 708 47 60


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