Friday, February 01, 2008

Red Hook #1: Ikea Seeking 500 Members for Its "Swedish Family"

Ikea Lights On

Ikea sent press releases out everywhere yesterday "announcing" that it is accepting applications from the general public. The release said that Ikea "has begun the general recruitment process for its 1st New York City store, set to open Summer 2008 in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Red Hook." Ikea had previously announced that it would only be accepting from Red Hook residents through February 4. Jobs for Red Hook residents were one of the retailer's big selling points in generating community support for the controversial development, which generated some bitter opposition within Red Hook. The release noted that Ikea is filling 500 positions in the massive Red Hook store. A press release said that "Prospective coworkers are welcome to apply for the nearly 500 diverse positions in: home furnishings sales, interior decoration, customer service, safety and security, cashiers, maintenance, goods flow, receiving, warehouse and stock replenishment. Also, setting itself apart from other retailers in the area, IKEA Brooklyn will offer – among the 500 total positions to be hired for the store – approximately 80 food service opportunities in its Restaurant, Swedish Foodmarket, Café Bistro and coworker cafeteria." The release was headlined "IKEA Seeking 500 to Join Swedish Family in Red Hook." Here is some of what employees get:
IKEA places value and emphasis on coworkers’ personal lives and the importance of a work/life balance. Drawing from the company’s Swedish heritage, IKEA is committed to a flexible workplace that emphasizes a work/life balance and provides professional opportunities to people from all life situations. If an IKEA coworker needs to take time off to find a nursing home for an aging parent, be home to kiss their child before bed or have flexible scheduling to best juggle caring for a newborn, one can do so without worrying about risking their career aspirations. IKEA offers other family-friendly initiatives and diverse workplace benefits including full medical/dental insurance to coworkers working 20 hours or more per week with eligibility for domestic partners and children.
The full text of the press release can be found here. All of the feel good talk, and wisecracks about "family" aside, the proof of the firm's value to Red Hook will be directly related to the number of residents they hire. We look forward to learning how many Red Hook residents are on their payroll and how many total Brooklynites are hired.

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