Belk grows its e-commerce business with a flexible HCM system.

“Workday has solved a number of critical issues for Belk. Getting everybody into Workday and onto a common talent management process was a huge win for us.” – Senior Manager, HRIS

Effective learning and skills development resources

Real-time progress reporting on seasonal hiring

Mobile capabilities for all associates on their preferred devices

Non-disruptive change management in retail and staffing models

As Belk pursues growth outside of its roots in the southern U.S., it also wants to satisfy customers’ increasing preference for online shopping. The company aims for a balance of in-store and online sales, which means generating substantially more revenue from e-commerce. Belk wants to remain a business that treats customers and employees well and contributes to its communities.

Managing e-commerce and seasonal hiring.

As Belk expands and modernises, human capital management (HCM) must support the changes the company wants to realise. For example, retail locations will provide e-commerce fulfilment, requiring different skills from store teams. Belk will continue to hire as many as 10,000 additional, temporary employees for the year-end holidays, increasing headcount by about 40 percent. 

Legacy technology lacked the flexibility and transparency to support change and efficiency. Jessica Reynolds, Senior Manager of HRIS at Belk, explains, “We used disparate business systems to manage HR processes. They were hard to use and did not provide us with all the data needed to develop and grow the workforce. Hiring managers in 300 stores used standalone spreadsheets to manage job candidates and teams.”

Thriving through retail industry turbulence.

At Belk, Workday Human Capital Management makes it possible to meet the company’s near-term goals for seasonal hiring, and at the same time pursue dramatic changes in how the retail locations operate. Workday enables Belk’s business and hiring managers to recruit and develop talent efficiently and consistently, so that HCM activities at corporate offices and in each store can be complementary. Reynolds says, “Our ways of managing people and skills have to evolve with Belk’s business model, and we also want to remain competitive in a quickly changing industry. Workday makes our lives easier and helps us benefit from change.”

Results that focus on the people.

The private-equity firm that acquired Belk in 2015 enabled business transformation by investing in retail and infrastructural technologies – including human capital management. Reynolds says, “Workday is a key element in our progress toward being a modern, multichannel retail company. It enables us to grow and manage change, while allowing us to keep the focus on people and communities that has always been critical for our success.” 

  • HCM that’s more efficient and aligned with company goals. 
  • With visibility and control, Belk can confidently pursue retail transformation. 
  • Simplifying HCM processes and supporting employees’ skills development help Belk remain a highly desirable employer.

Greater control and visibility in HCM.

Across Belk’s operations, Workday gives managers, HR and company leadership the ability to drive seasonal recruiting and workforce development, efficiently and transparently. Leaders and HR in stores use Workday on mobile devices to manage hiring, onboarding and training. Everyone involved with talent management can rely on Workday to review the status of their activities. “We’ve heard fantastic feedback about the mobile Workday capabilities and the improvements we introduced to make hiring and talent management in the stores less cumbersome”, says Reynolds.

Seasonal hiring once involved standard job requisitions in the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. With thousands of people managers and multiple employee types per store, that became a complex endeavour. Following the Workday deployment, Belk streamlined the effort for thousands of people managers. “By integrating Workday with our HCM portal, we can transition to more centralised talent management”, says Reynolds. “Workday enables the right balance between corporate consistency and managerial autonomy in the stores. We assign requisition templates for sales, support and cosmetics sales roles to each store, and HR and hiring managers can easily create actual requisitions and hire people.”

Both at a corporate level and in the stores, we no longer have to dig through recruiting data by requisition to assess our recruiting and hiring. We run reports in Workday and can see our seasonal-hiring progress.

Senior Manager, HRIS

Managing change efficiently and without disruption.

Belk is realigning retail associates and processes to support e-commerce fulfilment and provide excellent customer experiences. The change management involved in this effort requires frequent, detailed communications to make sure employees understand how they can grow and be successful in their expanded roles. Reynolds says, “As we transition to an operations team approach, as opposed to people working in the silos of individual teams, the Workday system helps us keep the effort efficient and on track. That includes such details as making sure that the support associates responsible for fulfilment are scheduled when the stores are open.” With limited visibility, managing such operational changes used to be challenging. “When we were more decentralised, we struggled with getting all the stores aligned with our corporate direction, and blended staffing made things more difficult”, Reynolds says. “Workday gives us enhanced reporting transparency. Everybody in corporate leadership and retail management has full visibility into store operations. We no longer have to gather information from spreadsheets and consolidate it for our budgeting and planning.”

Winning the race for talent.

By enabling professional growth, Belk hopes to remain an employer where people invest their loyalty. Although the industry finds it difficult to recruit and retain talent, many seasonal Belk hires return year after year and permanent employees build their careers at the company. Enabling employees to grow professionally contributes to this. Reynolds says, “With Workday, we maintain what people loved about our culture when we were a family-owned company. Workday Recruiting and Workday Learning let us grow and empower a multigenerational workforce. Employees can log in to Workday, see what skills and courses would benefit them, and become ever more proficient.”

It has become much easier to identify and onboard candidates. “In our legacy system, you had to know who to ask and how to find information”, says Reynolds. “Workday is integrated with our HCM portal, we can guide hiring managers through all the steps they need to take. The Workday system is very intuitive and provides immediate access to information they need. Without Workday, seasonal and permanent hiring, let alone change management, would be much more difficult and time-consuming.”

By using Workday, we can ensure that all employees can advance their careers by gaining the right skills for what their roles and goals demand.

Senior Manager, HRIS

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