Randall April has worked in retail for many years in his native country of South Africa. Two years ago, he went to an H&M job fair and listened to a presentation about the values and leadership at H&M. Inspired by that first meeting, Randall joined H&M and today he is a Country HR and holds presentations about the values and leadership in the H&M group at job fairs like the one he first attended.
Randall April, H&M
Name: Randall April
Title: Country HR
Years in H&M group (Years as Leader): 2 (2)
Previous roles: From department manager to assistant store manager and then store manager.
“I’ve been in retail for 16 years and seeing that H&M was a totally new company in South Africa made me interested to learn more,” he said. “I thought it would be interesting to have an opportunity to have an impact on a brand-new team; a team from different backgrounds. In the previous company I worked for, you never had an opportunity to form your own team and to see how your team could grow and develop. When I heard that I could at H&M, I thought: Wow! I want to be a part of this exciting journey.”
Feedback important for constant improvement
“What we have experienced here at H&M in South Africa is that feedback is so important and we have to really let people know that we are looking for constant improvement and that we need that feedback to get better. That is what set us apart.”
Randall believes that allowing people to be themselves and express themselves is an additional factor in why working at H&M is so unique as a workplace.
Here at H&M you can bring your ideas and make suggestions. Your input is really valued.
Working as a Country HR allows Randall to interact with team members on different levels across the organisation. He remembers how his career started at H&M and enjoys coaching and mentoring team members. “I remember how I felt when people believed in me,” he says.
We believe in people is one of our values and it really is something I think about often. It is so rewarding when you can see how you can assist in people’s development.
Randall says that as a leader he will do what it takes to help the team reach a goal. “If that means rolling up my sleeves and assisting with a delivery, so be it.”
What advice would you give to a new leader in the H&M group on their first day?
“I would tell a new leader on their first day not to be afraid to make a mistake. I would also say dare to explore new ways of doing things that you might not have tried before.”