Karyn Maynard, recruiting director for The Container Store, says her company has 4,000 recruiters.
Maynard, who has spent the majority of her professional career with The Container Store, admits she is joking.
“Here in the home office, we have three people in the recruiting department,” she says.
“But we do tell people it is part of everyone’s job to be recruiters for the company. I really think of our recruiting department as 4,000 people. Perhaps not on the phone or reviewing the resumes, but they are an extension of the company. Whether in the store or on the soccer field, they can express why they love working there. That begins that recruiting conversation,” Maynard explains.
And Maynard should know better than anyone how a company’s brand can influence appealing to top talent.
As a high-school student growing up near Dallas, she found the store a lot of fun and recognized that the organization matched her passions.
Immediately after obtaining a college degree in dance, she applied at The Container Store in Austin, but they were not hiring. So Maynard moved to New York City, where she worked in the textile industry.
After about three years, she yearned to return to her Texas roots.
“This was at the dawn of the Internet, and I was excited to find that The Container Store had a two-page website. So I called the corporate office and told them that I wanted to work there,” she says.
The receptionist suggested that she apply through an in-store application instead. So with a passion to work for the organizational mecca, she moved back and applied once again at the Austin store.
“My story is a little fantastical, but it’s true and honest,” she says.
But just as before, the Austin store informed her that they had no positions open.
“That’s great, but I just moved across the country,” she remembers thinking at the time.
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Luckily, the store called back the same afternoon, telling her that they had found one part-time position. This twice-a-week merchandising position, from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m., was her foot in the door.
Maynard accepted the position, and the company was quick to inquire about her career path. “They said, ‘we can’t promise you anything, but as a company, we value our employees and do everything we can to help great people have a great career’,” adds Maynard.
“Not everyone is able to start working part-time, but for me, I had that trust and belief in the company. I grew with the company, picked up some shifts, and about four months later, I got full-time,” she says.
Within one year, she was promoted to a sales trainer position based out of Dallas, and she started traveling every other week for the company.
“A lot of people here have very non-traditional career paths, and we are known for that. I was in the stores as a sales person, sales trainer, came to the office for about a year to help support the training department, went back to the stores in a sales capacity in Dallas, became regional manager, then four years ago, I was asked to join the recruiting department,” she says.
Maynard’s current position as recruiting director involves supporting store managers, leading new store recruiting efforts, and overseeing employee development programs.
And just how successful is her recruiting department?
In case anyone doubted the power of brand image, choosing employees with the utmost care, or letting employees have fun, The Container Store proves all of that wrong. Maybe that’s why Fortune magazine consistently includes the company on its list of great companies. In 2007, it earned the #4 spot of best companies to work for.
To learn the details of how Maynard helps keep the company at the top of Fortune‘s list of best employers, pick up a copy of the April edition of the Journal of Corporate Recruiting Leadership.