H&M is stepping up to help job applicants fulfill their dreams.
On Thursday, the retailer launched One/Second/Suit, a program that allows anyone attending a job interview to borrow one of the retailer’s suits for 24 hours. What’s more, the program is free, it said, allowing prospective employees to look and feel their best without committing to buy.
The program’s U.K. launch took place in April, and One/Second/Suit will run for run for a test period of three months on both continents before H&M analyzes its efficacy and decides on whether to expand its efforts.
According to Gustav Carpner, the creative lead of men’s marketing, suits can be rented from three U.S. stores, including H&M’s Fifth Avenue and Soho locations in New York City, as well as its Beachwood store in Ohio. “We’ll be evaluating the demand of the pilot and determine whether this is an initiative we’d like to continue with moving forward or add additional locations,” he said.
One/Second/Suit has launched with a single suit style from H&M’s core assortment, he added. Blazers range in size from 34 regular to 58 regular, while slacks come in sizes 30-42. Additionally, renters can borrow button-down shirts in sizes XS-XXL. It was important to provide job applicants with access to suiting, he said, because many may not have these items in their everyday wardrobes.
“Research reveals what we wear influences how we others perceive us,” he added. “The signals our clothes send out mean a potential employer can get an impression of an interview candidate’s competence—rightly or wrongly—in less than one second.”
The campaign seeks to ensure that interviewees’ “real potential inside” is seen, superseding their wardrobe choices. “Lending a suit helps make the first impression that opens doors,” Carpner said.
To take advantage of the program, consumers must first book their suit rentals on H&M’s website. They can make an appointment to pick up their garments in store, or choose to have them delivered to their homes. Each parcel includes a pre-printed shipping label for easy returns, Carpner said. Once the items are received by H&M, they are steam-cleaned for the next renter.
“Job interviews can be a nerve-racking experience, but we believe nothing should hold you back—least of all, what you wear,” Sara Spannar, H&M’s head of marketing and communications, said. “The One/Second/Suit is ready-to-wear confidence, a signal to the world that you’ve got what it takes.”