Inside view from head of human resources Sonia Sharples.

What makes the ideal employee?

“Someone who enjoys working at pace, is able to make decisions quickly, but also maintains a good sense of humour. People passionate about our products.”

As a workplace, what sets Poundland apart from its rivals?

“We have a massive amount of fun, but we are completely focused on the job at hand. We see ourselves as a retailer selling single-priced goods and not a pound retailer.”

How do you strive to retain staff?

“By delivering good people practice, fair remuneration and benefits, and giving colleagues responsibility.”

How do you ensure employees have a good work/life balance?

“Retail can mean working long hours. However, we try and take a common sense approach to work/life balance. I wouldn’t say we have a long hours culture, but people work hard within the working hours.”

Founded 1990

Based Willenhall, west Midlands

Number of staff 6,740

Number of stores 233

Number of days’ leave 28 plus statutory holidays

Employee benefits Include pension, a suggestion scheme, refer a friend, access to NVQs, a bonus, plus many voluntary benefits

Work ethos Colleagues find Poundland a little like Marmite, you love it or hate it. Colleagues who love it, find Poundland energising but challenging