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Earlier this month, at an analyst day held for Wall Street in New York, Gap announced that it plans to use analytics and machine learning to attract younger consumers to get the best yield out of a promotional retail environment. Tom Bloomfield, the Talent Acquisition Manager at Gap tells FashionUnited how he began his career at the company first as a seasonal sales associate in retail, then advancing to management roles and finding his passion in working with people. Not only does Gap help their employees develop the skills they need to advance their careers while encouraging internal mobility, Bloomfield says that the organization's culture, diversity and philanthropy makes him proud to work for Gap.
What does being the Talent Acquisition Manager at Gap entail?
My role at Gap is broad and that’s why I love it! Ultimately, it’s my job to bring amazing people to Gap. I’m accountable for recruiting for all management levels in our stores in the UK and Ireland. I also own headquarter recruitment across all functions working with various business partners. I’m part of an awesome HR team regularly heading up project work and playing an active part in delivering our overall HR strategy.
What does your workday look like?
I generally begin my day by managing my email. Headphones in and coffee ready! Next, I’ll prioritise which roles to work on then do what I love most-get out there and start talking to people. I use my commute on the way in to build my network and keep my finger on the pulse of the retail world. I like to plan with my hiring managers and schedule regular touch-base meetings to update them on the open roles I’m working on filling.
Can you tell us about your professional background, how did you break into the retail industry?
I began my retail career at Gap when I was 19 years old as a seasonal sales associate during the holidays. I worked my way up through the management positions (Supervisor, Assistant Manager, Store Manager) at various locations across London. My last in-store role was as a Market Manager managing two locations. As I progressed, I found my real passion was working with people. I took on various stretch roles working with many different functional leaders building relationships and this really began my journey to my current role. I led my district in Learning & Development, Employee Relations and Recruitment.
Two years ago, I transitioned from stores and began working at headquarters as a Training Manager leading onboarding for all new managers in the UK. This was an amazing role where I was able to leverage my real-life experience as a Store Manager to set people up for success as they joined the company. Last year I took an amazing opportunity to join the talent acquisition team and was promoted to my current role as a Talent Acquisition Manager for Gap in April.
You have been working at Gap for most of your career, can you tell us what you enjoy the most as an employee of the company?
My favourite part about working at Gap is our culture. Our founders, Don and Doris Fisher had a mantra of “do more than sell clothes.” I see it lived and breathed here every single day. I enjoy working within such a diverse group and always being encouraged to bring ideas to the table.
Our community work is a great example, we do incredible work serving our communities in the areas we do business. We have a wonderful partnership with The Prince’s Trust getting young people into work. I can honestly say I am so proud to work for a company that does so much. I am incredibly privileged to be able to share that story as part of my role.
Currently, what are the most sought-after job positions at Gap and what do you think will be the most popular in the coming months?
We have so many different roles across technology, marketing and finance, and we always have a big candidate pool to choose from when a position opens up. Our Store Manager positions are very highly sought after, and I am relishing speaking to the amazing talent that is out there.
What is your advice for people who would like to work for Gap?
You do you! Working for Gap is all about individualism and being yourself. Be honest about what your opportunities are and celebrate what makes you, you.
What is your go-to outfit?
White oxford shirt, navy blazer and of course my Gap dark blue jeans. A classic Gap look I’ve always relied upon.
Photos: The Gap Inc., courtesy of Tom Bloomfield