Vans is one of the most popular brand of apparel, with shoes favored by skaters. Its ties with the skate culture is so strong that it has built skate parks and sponsored sports teams and events, like the Vans Warped Tour, Vans Pier Classic, Vans Downtown Showdown, Pro-tec Pool Party and Maloof Money Cup,
The name evokes feelings of cool and hip. Not surprisingly, the work environment lives up to its reputation, making it a popular choice for those seeking entry-level jobs. Vans’ presence all over the world with official stores, outlet stores, and authorized resellers make a career highly possible. Below we discuss Vans career opportunities and how you can ace your Vans application.
Employment at Vans
Vans is a US-based manufacturer of shoes and other fashion apparel like shirts, hoodies, socks, hats, and backpacks. Vans is known for its deck shoes, also called “Authentic,” and its strong support of the skate and sport culture, often sponsoring skateboard, surf, snow, BMX, and Moto X teams.
Vans was founded in 1966 in Anaheim, California. It was originally called The Van Doren Rubber Company, after two of the founders, who are brothers. On the opening of their store in E. Broadway, the store only had display models in three styles.
Twelve customers bought shoes, and were asked to return in the afternoon while the factory manufactured the selected designs. However, the founders did not have money to provide change, so they asked the customers to return the following day to make their payments. Fortunately, all 12 customers returned to pay for their purchases.
This humble beginning has expanded to the global empire Vans is today, with Forbes recognizing the brand as one of “America’s Best Small Companies.” It is also present in 70 countries, in over 250 official stores, outlet stores, and authorized dealers.
The company is popular among skaters because of its rugged look and its non-slip bottom, making it conducive for a better grip. The Vans #95, which became known as the Era, was designed by skateboarders Tony Alva and Stacy Peralta.
Today, the company’s custom feature on the website makes it available for users to design their own pair of slip-ons, mid-cuts, high-tops, Era, Authentic, Authentic Lo-Pro, Old Skool and 106 Vulcanized. The company is also known for its free skate parks.
Apply to Vans Online
Applying to Vans can be done online on the careers page of the official website. You may begin by selecting whether you want a corporate job, a distribution job, or a stores job. These are further divided into USA, Mexico, and Canada.
After selecting a career and a country, you will see a list of regions with the number of openings. You can select and apply for the position that suits your qualifications and skills, and the recruiting team will search through each position via zip code. You can create a profile to save your resume and edit it when necessary.
Working at Vans
Each store is composed of five positions: the store manager, assistant store manager, floor supervisor, stockroom supervisor, and sales associate. Back to school and holiday seasons require a temporary sales associate to assist the volume of customers. Skateparks are normally manned by a general manager and co-general manager.
Vans offers a great working environment with a high creative culture for those who enjoy extreme sports and customer service. At the same time, Vans respects talent and personal growth opportunities, as well as talent, innovation, creativity, hard work, and the importance of a fun work environment.
The original motto was “Tell a friend about Vans,” and the motto remains the same after decades of providing quality footwear and apparel, and customer service. The founding Van Doren family credits three ingredients to its success: quality, value, and superior customer service.
Vans is an edgy label, so the corporate culture is just as relaxed and laid back. The company believes it is important to work hard and play hard. At corporate headquarters, it’s not unusual to see wetsuits being hanged to dry, or associates skating in the hallways on their way to meetings.
Employee events are also frequent, like summer events (like beach days or boat cruises), a softball team, Halloween parties, holiday celebrations, kids days, and an Employee Appreciation Day.
The Company headquarters also offers a ‘fun at work’ atmosphere with a pool table, ping-pong table, skate ramp, casual dress policy, and a family setting.
Minimum Age for Employment at Vans
The minimum age for a career is 18. If you are aged 18 or above, and have excellent customer service skills, click here to search for a job opening.
Hours of Operation at Vans
Standard operating hours are 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM from Mondays to Saturdays and 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Sundays.
Skateboarding is huge around the world, and Vans has capitalized on this sport, by creating all kinds of apparel for skaters. They have branched out to build skate parks as well. Working in one of their many stores will provide you with an inside look at how this element of sports culture works and how the apparel sells. If you like the urban culture, apply to Hot Topic as well. In addition, PacSun is a great option because they offer a balance between modern fashion and classic looks. These kinds of edgy apparel stores are great to work at, especially if you are passionate in the field of modern urban fashion.
Available Vans Career Opportunities
Vans must fill job openings from around the world. The fashion brand is present in over 70 countries with official Vans stores, outlet stores, and authorized resellers. Vans stores are open for entry-level jobs, corporate jobs, and management jobs. For all three, it is ideal to be familiar with the brand, its products, and the lifestyle it represents.
If you feel you are passionate enough about the brand, you may apply to Vans by clicking here.
- Sales Associate
- Stock Room Associate
- Floor Supervisor
- Assistant Manager
- Store Manager
Aside from these, Vans job openings also extend to corporate headquarters, with openings in IT, marketing, human resources, accounting, legal, and distribution.
Vans Job Descriptions
Sales Associate – sales associates provides customer service by assisting customers and ringing up purchases. Vans sales associates must be energetic, attentive, and polite. Sales associates normally earn minimum wage.
Stock Room Associate – stock room associates organize shelves, handle shipments, and maintain store cleanliness. Stock room associates must be efficient and reliable since they will be directly handling the products. Stock room associates usually earn $7 to $9 an hour.
Management – management positions include floor supervisor, assistant store manager, and store manager. They should have strong leadership and management skills, and be able to maintain professionalism in their stores. Floor supervisors start at $9, while assistant store managers earn $22,000 to $32,000 a year and store managers earn up to $55,000 a year.
Vans Application and Interview Tips
Like the alternative lifestyle it empowers, the hiring process is slightly different from other retail jobs. The process begins with a group interview of five to 10 applicants. The interview starts out with casual questions such as “What do you like most about the Vans culture?” and “If you had $1,000 to spend in the store, what would you get?”
However, it is important to keep in mind that these questions test your knowledge on the store and its products, and specific answers will add points to your candidacy.
After this, the interviewer may shift on situational questions where you will be asked to react to made-up situations like “How would you handle an angry customer?”, “How would you handle a situation where a number of people need your assistance?”, and “What do you do when customers aren’t in the store?”
Those who pass the group interview would be invited to a one-on-one interview where more in-depth questions would be asked such as personal details and employment history. Here, you may be asked to “sell” a product.
Your interviewer would take the following into consideration:
- Relevant work experience in the area of the position being applied for
- Duration of employment
- Scope of responsibilities
- Job level
Managerial hopefuls would also have to undergo a series of interviews, though his would all be one-on-one. Like entry-level applicants, the interview would begin with the company’s history and products sold. Therefore it is important to be a fan, or at least knowledgeable about the line of products.
The interview would also focus on managerial style and employment history. Samples questions would be:
- What was the most difficult challenge you have faced and how did you do to overcome it?
- How would you increase sales?
- What can you bring to this company?
- How would you motivate a team?
While it may sound fun and interactive to be part of a group interview, the challenge is standing out amongst the other hopefuls. To make a good impression and outshine the other candidates, it is a good idea to be enthusiastic, cheerful, and passionate.
Make sure your answers are more than just ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Say how dedicated and hardworking you are and back it up with stories or situations. If you have prior retail experience, highlight that in your answers. Vans is looking for those who have sales skills. When you have nine other candidates vying for the same position, your goal would be to be the number one choice.
If you are familiar with skate culture, or Vans products, showing your knowledge would greatly impress the interviewer. Don’t just say “You guys have cool shoes.” Say “You guys have cool shoes because…”
The company is all about the active lifestyle so if you can represent that, your odds are going to be good. It would also be advisable to do research and visit a store to prepare.
Because Vans is a youth-oriented brand focused on skate culture, the interviews are not as formal as most jobs. For entry-level positions, wear something that would fit in with the signature look. You don’t need to wear a suit or a tie, but you still need to appear polished and smart.
It might be a good idea to wear something from Vans to send the message that you are passionate about the brand. After all, the best employees are those who genuinely patronize the products. For those applying for management positions, the choices are more conservative but business suits are not required.
Benefits of Working at Vans
Vans offers competitive pay and a rewarding work experience with career growth potential allowing for promotions. The company also offers the following benefits for employees:
- Medical health plans
- Dental health plans
- Vision plans
- Life insurance and AD&D
- Long-term disability insurance
- Paid leave (vacation time, company holidays, sick time, short-term disability)
- Flexible work schedule
- 401(k) retirement plans
- Company retirement contribution feature
- Flexible spending accounts (health and dependent care)
- Pension plans
Employees also enjoy the following perks:
- Up to 50% off on Vans shoes and apparel
- Discounts on special events sponsored by Vans
- Seasonal friends and family discount
- Employee events like holiday parties and company-sponsored outings
- Vendor discounts on cell phone service, computer purchases, and gym memberships
- Employee assistance program
- Tobacco cessation programs
- Access to flu shots
- Access to a health and wellness fair
- Sole and service awards
- Education assistance program
- Personal development planning