Timpsons: the company that recruits Mr Men characters

UK shoe repair and key-cutting business Timpson recruits new staff solely according to which Mr Men characters their personalities resemble, according to the BBC.

UK shoe repair and key-cutting business Timpson recruits new staff solely according to which Mr Men characters their personalities resemble, according to the BBC.

The company uses the famous cartoon characters created by Roger Hargreaves as a basis for its talent acquisition, a procedure that has proved successful to the companies growth.

“We purely interview for personality,” says Mr Timpson.

“We’re not bothered by qualifications or CVs. We just look at the candidate and work out who they are, are they Mr Grumpy, Mr Slow, Mr Happy?

“If they tick all the right boxes then we put them in the shop for half the day. That’s it, I dreamt that up years ago.”

The business also uses what Mr Timpson calls an “upside-down management approach”, which gives the 1,325 branches a vast amount of autonomy and freedom.

Timpson, who has the chairman role, says:

“You can’t train for great service, it’s not by issuing rules or notices in the back of the staffroom.

“You only get great people when you give them the freedom, so we let them [staff] charge what they want. Here you can’t tell people [the workers] what to do.

“So very often if a customer doesn’t have the money, they can say ‘don’t worry, give us the money next time’.”

All Timpson’s staff also get a weekly bonus depending on how their shop is doing.

Another key policy at Timpson is to hire people who have a criminal record, with 10 per cent of its 4,700 employees having served time in prison.

The first Timpson shop opened in Oldham in Greater Manchester in 1865. The firm has since gone on to diversify from purely offering a shoe repairs service to key cutting, watch repairs and selling house signs. It has also bought photography businesses Max Spielmann and Snappy Snaps, and the dry cleaning division of Johnson Services.

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