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Walgreens launches loyalty program with online sweepstakes

BY Staff Writer

Deerfield, Ill. — Walgreens said that customers can begin online enrollment into its new customer loyalty program, Balance Rewards. Customers who join online before the official program launch on Sept. 16 will have a chance to enter the chain’s 10 Million Point Giveaway sweepstakes.

“We are initially opening enrollment in one of the most important programs in Walgreens history through online and mobile technology as a testament to the company’s legacy of innovation,” said Graham Atkinson, Walgreens senior VP and chief experience officer.

During the online enrollment period, Sept. 6 – Sept. 15, customers who join Balance Rewards will have a chance to enter into the sweepstakes. Customers can earn additional entries into the sweepstakes by referring friends and family to the program.

A key component to the online enrollment period is the release of the new Balance Rewards mobile card as part of the Walgreens mobile app.

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Kronos: More people applying for jobs, getting hired in the retail industry

BY Katherine Boccaccio

Chelmsford, Mass. — A report released Thursday by workforce management solution-provider Kronos Inc. found that retail experienced gains in job applications and hiring during the month of August.

The Kronos Retail Labor Index, which characterizes the current state of the demand and supply sides of the labor market within the U.S. retail sector, revealed that the index declined two-tenths to 3.9% in August. (This index is defined as the ratio of hires to applications within a given month, expressed as a percentage. A level of 3.0% means that for every 100 applications received, three hires occurred).

The retailers representing 18,362 distributed locations across the U.S. that make up the Kronos data sample made 34,776 hires (seasonally adjusted) in August 2012, partially reversing declines over the previous two months. While hiring has improved since the lows reached following the recession, with total hires so far this year of 280,940 up 6.5% from the same period last year, it remains well below levels seen prior to the recession, when firms hired an average of nearly 55,000 workers per month.


The number of applications received by retailers included in the Kronos sample rose 8.8% to 881,517 in August 2012 from a level in July that was revised substantially higher, all on a seasonally adjusted basis.

“While this was the second monthly gain in applications, the downward trend appears intact, suggesting less competition for those seeking retail positions than at this time last year,” said Chris Varvares, senior managing director and co-founder, Macroeconomic Advisers, which conducted the survey for Kronos. 
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“Until a strong, sustained recovery in consumer spending emerges, retailers are likely to remain cautious about hiring decisions."
 


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Real Mex Restaurants chooses PeopleAnswers for employee screening

BY Staff Writer

Dallas — PeopleAnswers and Real Mex Restaurants said Thursday the pair has executed a software licensing agreement that will bring the PeopleAnswers HR solution to Real Mex for pre-screening, selecting and hiring managers.

“PeopleAnswers is a proven technology in our industry that will automate a paper-based process while helping us find and select management candidates who will be energized leaders for each of our core brands and help us strengthen our position as the industry leader in Mexican casual dining,”

said Steven Wallace, executive VP and chief people officer for Real Mex Restaurants.

The web-based PeopleAnswers assessment test will evaluate candidates as needed, 24/7, and identify the Behavioral DNA of existing staff to allow Real Mex to focus on management candidates with traits similar to its most successful management team members. After candidates complete the PeopleAnswers assessment test, customized, behaviorally based Performance Profiles will identify the candidates with existing qualities and tendencies that best match with Real Mex management positions.

Real Mex will also use PeopleAnswers as a guide for interview content and to assist in succession planning, as well as employee development. PeopleAnswers will integrate with the applicant tracking system Real Mex currently uses to create a seamless and automated recruitment process.

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