item 12 - Margaret Hofbeck interview, 1987 January 16

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Margaret Hofbeck interview, 1987 January 16


  • 1987 January 16 (Creation)

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  • AOH58_01:MPEG file: 64.4 MiB; 46 minutes, 53 seconds. Original Media Format: Cassette.
  • AOH58_02: MPEG file: 3.44 MiB; 2 minutes, 30 seconds. Original Media Format: Cassette.
  • Paper and PDF/A digitized transcript

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Bloomingdale's Vice President of Executive Recruitment and Development, Margaret Hofbeck started working at Bloomingdale's in 1972. Before Bloomingdale's, Hofbeck worked in advertising and then briefly for a brokerage firm. Hofbeck started at Bloomingdale's working in labor relations and union negotiations. Her job quickly expanded to include executive recruitment and employee training.

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As Bloomingdale's VP of Executive Recruitment and Development at the time of this interview, Margaret Hofbeck describes the department store's lengthy training program and how it affects the staffing at higher levels. Hofbeck details the steps that a new hire must take to grow in merchandising and she credits the immediate hands-on training to be what sets Bloomingdale's apart from other stores, in regards to training. Hofbeck talks about her earlier work in advertising and how she was hired at Bloomingdale's to work in labor relations, a position that was created exclusively for her. In regards to Bloomingdale's CEO Marvin S. Traub, Hofbeck credits him as being a pace setter and trend setter. Through Bloomingdale's, Traub has created an entire lifestyle that attracts both customers as well as strong merchandisers. As the one who oversees the recruitment, hiring, and training of all of Bloomingdale's employees, Hofbeck speaks from experience when she describes Traub's ideal employee to be a strong, creative entrepreneur with excellent taste as well as business sense. Hofbeck speaks to the vital balance between the creative side and the business side of Bloomingdale's and argues that the industry, at the time of the interview, needed people with a stronger business sense. This interview was conducted by Estelle Ellis, founder of Business, Inc., a business market research firm.

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Recording is pretty quiet, with a fair amount of 'air noise' when turned up to a more audible level.


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