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Human resource practices at tesco


"Every Little Helps"

At Tesco, the philosophy behind Every Little Helps is at the very heart of everything they do. It's not just a marketing slogan; it's what makes Tesco different. Tesco talk about Every Little Helps a lot, but it's not just a catch phrase, it represents everything it stands for. For their staff, their products and services and most important their customers, it's how they run their businesses. Tesco is seen as a market leader in retail sector and it has achieved this by doing the little things that really matter customers and staff. This indicated its human resource strategy is in line with its marketing strategy. Tesco believes in treating each other with respect, giving everyone an equal opportunity. Tesco believes" It's our people that make the difference every day - helping us create value for our customers and earning their loyalty for life". (Tesco Careers)

Task I

Personnel Management and Human Resource Management:

As a company Tesco has grown, so has the importance of Every Little Helps. Over time, Tesco has gone from a company simply selling groceries to providing a variety of products and services; anything from loans to mobile phones. By setting out in all these new directions, the dimension of recruitment has changed. This enormous growth has had major impact on its recruitment style and process. But still the Human resource practice has relied on Every Little Helps more and more over the years. These act as a common philosophy to bind the business and its staff all together.

Tesco ensures that each and every employee has the opportunity to understand his or her individual role in contributing to the Tesco core purpose and values. Everyone who works at Tesco is encouraged to broaden their experience and work in different areas of the company. As a company want its people to progress and it encourage them to do so. As part of Every Little Helps its commitment to its staff is "We will give them the opportunity to get on so that they are able to get the training and support they need to do their job and to develop their careers at Tesco. There are a number of ways our people can achieve this, through participating on an Options Development Programme, training for an Apprenticeship or studying for a qualification whilst at work." (Tesco Careers)

As a Human Resource practitioners the role is to

  1. Look for people who are :
    • Passionate about retail.
    • Focusing on the customer and striving to understand them better than anyone.
    • Driven to achieve results through determination and commitment.
    • Committed to treating people in a fair and consistent way.
    • Willing to roll their sleeves up to get things done.
    • Determined to respond energetically to customer feedback.
    • Motivated to work in partnership with others to achieve individual and team objectives.
    • Adaptable and flexible to thrive in a 24/7 business.
    • Devoted to seeking feedback on their performance and investing time in their own development. (Tesco Careers)
    • Multilingual staff
  2. Hiring the right person for the right at the right price: To hire people who posses above qualities and are suitable for that particular area, as its aim "is to reflect the communities we serve and mirror the workforce that we recruit from. We try and make sure everyone can work in a way that suits their circumstances".
  3. Employing according to need of growing business: The role is to identify the needs of the growing business i.e. opening of new stores, expansion of existing business, seasonal labour needs (Christmas and New Year).
  4. Train the workforce to maintain competitiveness of the organization.
  5. Develop and communicate industrial policies and procedures in line with legislation.
  6. Involvement in grievance and disciplinary hearings.
  7. Lead negotiations.
  8. Implement termination and hiring procedures.
  9. Assessment and management of organisational climate and employees relations.
  10. Liaison with trade unions.
  11. Implementation of outcomes of collective bargaining and negotiation.
  12. Develop compensation strategies and polices in line with legislation and the organization's business strategy.
  13. Attach meaningful monetary values to posts in the organization ensuring that the organization's compensation is in line with market forces.
  14. Develop appropriate compensation systems for the organization.
  15. Manage overall labour costs.
  16. Provide current information regarding employees to be used in the decision-making process and measurement of HRM's contribution to the organization.(Ivy thesis)

Tesco seeks to fill many vacancies from within the company. It recognises the importance of motivating its staff to progress their careers with the company. Tesco practises what it calls 'talent planning'. This encourages people to work their way through and up the organisation. Through an annual appraisal scheme, individuals can apply for 'bigger' jobs. Employees identify roles in which they would like to develop their careers with Tesco. Their manager sets out the technical skills, competencies and behaviours necessary for these roles, what training this will require and how long it will take the person to be ready to do the job. This helps Tesco to achieve its business objectives and employees to achieve their personal and career objectives. Tesco use Talent Planning to identify and fill vacancies, with over 12,000 of its managers have annual discussions regarding their development and potential of the staff. Over 80% of its management positions are recruited from within. Thus it s indicated that the manager at Tesco play an important role in human resource planning and development. Example: Sir Terry Leahy, current Chief Executive joined as a management trainee back in 1979.

Task II

Recruitment and Selection:

Workforce planning: is the process of analysing an organisation likely future needs for people in terms of numbers, skills and locations. It allows the organisation to plan how those needs can be met through recruitment and training. It is vital for a company like Tesco to plan ahead. Because the company is growing, Tesco needs to recruit on a regular basis for both the food and non-food parts of the business. The planning process is a five step process. These steps are mentioned below.

  1. Designing the Human Resource Management System: The most important aspect of human resource planning that there is a proper human resource management system is in place to handle the process. The overall aim to have human resources goals in line of organisational goals. The system is in charge of human resource plans, policies, procedures and best practices. ( Sarkissian)
  2. Environmental Analysis: This is the first step in the HR planning process. The process is to understand the context of human resource management. It is very important that Human resource managers understand both internal and external environments of an organisation. External environment include the general status of the economy, industry, technology and competition; labour market regulations and trends; unemployment rate; skills available and the age and sex distribution of the labour force. Internal environment include short- and long-term organisational plans and strategies and the current status of the organisation's human resources. ( Sarkissian)
  3. Forecasting Human Resource Demand: The aim of forecasting is to determine the number and type of employees needed in the future. Forecasting should consider the past and the present requirements as well as the future organizational directions. ( Sarkissian)
  4. Analyzing Supply: Organisations can hire personnel from internal and external sources. There are various methods to keeping track of internal supply. A forecast of the supply of employees projected to join the organization from outside sources, given current recruitment activities, is also necessary. ( Sarkissian)
  5. Reconciliation and Planning: The final step in human resource planning is design an action plans. This plans should be acceptable to both top management and employees. Plans should be prioritised and key players and barriers to success needs to be identified. Some of these plans are employee utilisation plan, appraisal plan, training and management development plan and human resource supply plan.( Sarkissian)

Impact of planning:

These Steps will have positive impact on the organisation's recruitment and selection methods. This will help the HR Planner to identify important element in HR planning. The important element in HR planning is to have clear job descriptions and person specifications. (The Times 100)

A job description sets out:

  • The title of the job
  • To whom the job holder is responsible
  • For whom the job holder is responsible
  • A simple description of roles and responsibilities.

A person specification sets out the skills, characteristics and attributes that a person needs to do a particular job.

Together, job descriptions and person specifications provide the basis for job advertisements. They help job applicants and post-holders to know what is expected of them. As they are sent to anyone applying for jobs, they should:

  • Contain enough information to attract suitable people
  • Act as a checking device to make sure that applicants with the right skills are chosen for interview
  • set the targets and standards for job performance.( The Times 100)
  • It will increase the accuracy and effectively of the human resource development. These methods will help to identify the right candidate for the job. If an individual is promoted from within the organisation it will motivate the promoted employee and other employees to perform better. It will help in better management of labour cost.
  • The practice at Tesco is one of the best. These are indicated in Task I of this assignment, where Tesco is looking to fill in higher positions in the company form within the company rather than hiring from outside. The recruitment process adheres to the legal frame work (Appendix 1).

Task III

Monitoring and Rewarding Employees:

Job Evaluation: Job evaluation can be defined as 'a method of determining on a systematic basis the relative importance of a number of different jobs'.1

Job evaluation is often used when:

  • determining pay and grading structures
  • ensuring a fair and equal pay system
  • deciding on benefits provision - for example, bonuses and cars
  • comparing rates against the external market
  • undergoing organisational development in times of change
  • undertaking career management and succession planning
  • reviewing all jobs post-large-scale change, especially if roles have also changed.

It is essential to have clear, detailed and up-to-date job descriptions on which to base the job evaluation. (CIPD)

Types of job evaluation

As mentioned by CIPD, there are two main types of job evaluation: analytical schemes, where jobs are broken down into their core components, and non-analytical schemes, where jobs are viewed as a whole.

Analytical schemes:

These offer greater objectivity in assessment as the jobs are broken down in detail, and are the ones most often used by organisations. Examples of analytical schemes include Points Rating and Factor Comparison.

A).Points Rating:

The key elements of each job, which are known as 'factors', are identified by the organisation and then broken down into components. Each factor is assessed separately and points allocated according to the level needed for the job. The more demanding the job, the higher the point's value.

B).Factor Comparison:

: Factor Comparison is similar to Points Rating, being based on an assessment of factors, though no points are allocated. (CIPD)

Non-analytical schemes

These are less objective than analytical schemes, but are often simpler and cheaper to introduce. Methods include job ranking, paired comparisons and job classification.

A).Job ranking:

This is the simplest form of job evaluation. It is done by putting the jobs in an organisation in order of their importance, or the level of difficulty involved in performing them, or their value to the organisation.

B).Job classification:

This method is also known as job grading. Before classification, an agreed number of grades are determined, usually between four and eight, based on tasks performed, skills, competencies, experience, initiative and responsibility. Clear distinctions are made between grades. (CIPD)

Tesco uses Non Analytic type of job evaluation. To be specific it uses job classification to pay and reward it employees. This was conclusion is drawn from the Tesco website. At Tesco every job is graded. This grading is carried out on the basis of the job specification. This job specification includes the skills, competences and experience required for that particular job. The level of responsibility attached to a particular job for example a duty manager at Tesco is responsible to run the shift at the shop and not involve in stacking shelves, where as in contrast to that a customer service assistant will only be required to stack shelves, assist customers and not be involved in running of the business unit. This clearly indicates Tesco is using Job Classification system for job evaluated. On this basis Tesco has devised its pay and reward structure.

Reward System at Tesco:

Below mentioned are some of the employee rewarding systems deployed at Tesco.

  1. Share our Success: Tesco runs 3 Share Schemes
    1. Shares in Success: employees receive shares in business after completing 1 year of service and at the end of financial year.
    2. Save as you earn: Employees get a chance to save £50 every 4 weeks for 3-5 years after one year of service. This money can we redeemed as tax free bonus after the completion of period or can use the cash whenever they want.c
    3. Buy as you earn: Employees can buy shares at market price which helps in saving tax and national insurance.
  2. Staff Privilege Card: Staff loyalty card that gives 10% discount and Clubcard points on most Tesco products.
  3. Pension: pension provision and life assurance scheme that will provide financial protection for family.
  4. Leisure Time: Tesco have negotiated discounts and special offers that are available exclusively to Tesco staff. There are discounts on theme parks, holidays and gym membership that are available all year round.(Tesco Careers)

This reward system at Tesco is a highly motivating reward system. Most of its employees have a sense of belonging. It gives them a feeling that the company cares about them. The share scheme is the top of the rewarding system as it gives employees share in the business, thus employees know that if they perform better the company make profit and if the company makes profit they get higher dividends. Thus in turn they are motivated to perform better. This Type of motivation is called Incentive type of motivation.

The incentive theory of motivation: The basic concept behind the incentive theory is goals. When a goal is present, the person attempts to reach that goal. Incentives may be tangible or intangible. An intangible incentive may involve feeling good about oneself, while a tangible one may involve awards or something to give public recognition. Intangible incentives are also known as intrinsic rewards, while tangible incentives are also known as extrinsic rewards. Sometimes, one type of reward is replaced with the other. This usually happens when an intrinsic reward is replaced with an extrinsic reward. For instance, consider someone who becomes a doctor. At first, the person may have become a doctor because he or she enjoys being able to help people (intrinsic); later on, however, the reason for being a doctor may change to money (extrinsic).( Anonymous)

Monitoring performance:

Performance management is the systematic process by which an organisation involves its employees, as individuals and members of a group, in improving organisational effectiveness in the accomplishment of organisational mission and goals.

Employee performance management includes:

  • Planning work and setting expectations,
  • Continually monitoring performance,
  • Developing the capacity to perform,
  • Periodically rating performance in a summary fashion, and
  • Rewarding good performance.

Task IV

Exit from the Organisation:

Employee exit procedure

This procedure applies to all employees leaving the organisation on a permanent basis apart from those who have been dismissed after disciplinary action and agency staff (temps). After the notification of intention to leave or resign, Tesco follows following steps or techniques before the employees leave the organisation.

  1. Retaining methods: Giving leave options, offering a better compensation.
  2. Exit interview: If the employee wishes to leave even after the managements retention offer the employee will have an exit interview with store manager and then personal manager.
  3. Understanding the reason of leaving.
  4. Checking work stress.
  5. Referencing: Giving him all the required documents and reference letter for the next job.
  6. Payment In lieu of notice: having his dues cleared in full but if any share options given to him.
  7. Return of property: Employee need to return all the Uniforms and Personnel protection equipment (PPE) given to him by the company.
  8. Pension arrangements on leaving: if employee is entitled for this he receives it

The Exit procedures followed by Tesco could be rated as standard exit procedure. The analysis of the exit process shows that Tesco is following all the necessary steps required to retain staff if possible or make the exit a well documented and easy process. On comparison with the guidelines for exit procedure available online, it could be concluded that the process is the standard process followed by all big multinational companies.

The criteria organisation adopts in declaring an employee redundant:

Redundancy could be caused in business because of:

  • business stops operating
  • business relocates
  • employees carry out work that is no longer necessary, e.g. due to the introduction of new technology

Redundancy could be classified in to two main categories:

  1. 1. Compulsory: It is a situation where the organisation has no options of saving jobs. While selecting employees in this category the organisation must be objective, non-discriminatory and applied consistently. The different types of criteria that can be used to select employees for redundancy are:
    • Skills, qualifications and aptitude - these can help keep a balanced workforce.
    • Standard of work performance - with this method, the organisation uses performance appraisal system
    • Adaptability - it may be important for your business that employees accept different types of work as needs change.
    • Attendance/disciplinary record – An organisation or company needs to maintain this on a continues basis. This help in taking redundancy decisions. (Business Link)
  2. 2. Non-Compulsory: In this criteria the organisation will submit a proposal with it employees to take redundancy. In order to lower cost. This could be in the form of following.
    • Voluntary redundancy: Employees are asked if they are willing to volunteer for redundancy and then select those to be made redundant from the resulting list.
    • Early retirement: Employees who are above the age of 50 -55 are asked if they are willing to take and early retirement option with the company offering some compensation for the remaining years plus the retirement benefits. (Business Link)


  1. Anonymous (April, 2009). Strategy HRM: Tesco. Strategy HRM: Tesco. Ivy thesis. Retrieved 20th January 2010 from (
  2. Anonymous (n.d.). Recruitment and selection at Tesco. The Times 100(Time online). Retrieved 20th January 2010 from (
  3. Anonymous (n.d.). The legal framework for Recruitment and Selection. University of Glasgow. Retrieved 20th January 2010 from (
  4. Anonymous (n.d.). Performance management. Retrieved 20th January 2010 from (
  5. Anonymous (n.d.). Making an employee redundant. Business Link. Retrieved 23th January 2010 from (
  6. Anonymous (n.d.). The incentive theory of motivation. Retrieved 22th January 2010 from (
  7. CIPD (November 2009).Chartered Institute Of Personnel Management. Retrieved 22th January 2010 from (
  8. Sarkissian, Alfred (n.d.) Steps in Human Resource planning process in the organisation. Retrieved 20th January 2010 from (
  9. Tesco (n.d). Tesco careers. Retrieved 18th January 2010 from (

Appendix: I

The legal framework for Recruitment and Selection

The contents of this section include:

  • Data protection and freedom of information legislation
  • Equality legislation
  • Types of discrimination – direct and indirect
  • 'Lawful' discrimination
  • Liability
  • What you can and can't ask candidates
  • Equality and Diversity policy
  • Individual merit principle
  • Good practice guide for interviewing (personal questions)

Data protection and freedom of information legislation

Data protection and freedom of information legislation are important considerations during the recruitment and selection process. Generally, personal data is only to be obtained for specified and lawful purposes (such as obtaining information for selection purposes) and relevant to employment.

All information is to be confidentially maintained (e.g. Appointing Committee members must not discuss with anyone other than HR and other Committee members any candidate details).

Appointing Committee members should be aware that all documentation (hard copies and electronic copies) about a candidate is potentially disclosable at their request (i.e. application to the University's Data Protection and Freedom of Information Office). This includes:

  • Short listing notes
  • interview notes
  • notes on tests
  • references

It is, however, important that notes have sufficient detail so that decisions are fully transparent. This is both in the interests of candidates (who are increasingly seeking feedback on why they were rejected) and of the Appointment Committee members in the event there is a complaint. It is difficult, if not impossible, to recall specific details of a specific candidate months later in the event that accusations of unfair treatment are made.

Equality legislation

There are a number of pieces of legislation impacting the recruitment and selection process. They include:

  • Equal Pay Act 1970
  • Sex Discrimination Act 1975
  • Race Relations Act 1976 / Amendment Act 2000
  • Parental Leave Regulations 1999
  • The Disability Discrimination Act 1996, 2005, 2006
  • EU Directive 1000/78/EC on Equal Treatment in Employment
  • Equality Act 2006
  • Work and Families Act 2006

Collectively these Acts prohibit discrimination in employment (including the recruitment and selection process) on any of the following grounds:

  • gender
  • marital status
  • family status
  • disability
  • colour
  • race
  • nationality, national or ethnic origin
  • religion or beliefs
  • sexual orientation
  • age

Types of discrimination – direct and indirect

Direct Discrimination

Direct discrimination is where an individual is treated less favourably than another because of sex, marital status, colour, nation origin, disability etc. An example would be rejecting all women candidates for positions traditionally held by men (e.g. security), or advertising for 'young researchers' (rather than 'early career researchers').

Indirect Discrimination

Indirect discrimination is where everyone is treated the same but there are requirements that disproportionately impact members of a group protected from discrimination (e.g. women, members of a particular religion or race). An example would be height or weight or strength requirements that discriminate against women but cannot be demonstrated to be related to the ability to competently perform the job in question.

Indirect discrimination is the most common form of discrimination though often inadvertent and unintentional. However, the legality of the recruitment and selection process does not rest on good intentions and cannot be used as a defence to a complaint.

'Lawful' discrimination

In certain rare and limited circumstances, discrimination may be lawful:

  • where there is a genuine occupational requirement (GOR)
  • particular physiology for authenticity
  • nature of establishment caters for persons of a particular sex
  • where it is impractical to provide separate accommodation where employees must live on site
  • where it reflects compliance with a statutory provision (e.g. maternity leave)

The responsibility to justify a genuine occupational requirement lies with the employer.


If direct or indirect discrimination occurs during the recruitment and selection process, both the employing body and named individuals may be sued. Employers are liable for acts of employees in course of employment unless they took reasonably practicable steps to prevent the employee from doing that act (such as having an Equality and Diversity policy and ensuring all members of Appointing Committees have appropriate training).

What you can and can't ask candidates

What you can ask

Generally you can ask anything related to a recorded KQSE (Knowledge, Qualifications, Skills and Experience) essential or desirable criterion:

  • as long as it is clearly job-related and relevant to ability to do the job
  • as long as it doesn't somehow relate to a prohibited ground of discrimination (with limited exceptions such as the possible need to discuss how a disability might be accommodated)

If in doubt, check with Human Resources.

What you can't ask

Generally you can't ask anything that:

  • • relates to a prohibited ground of discrimination
    • o there are limited exceptions (e.g. how to accommodate a disclosed disability)
  • • is not related to a recorded KQSE
    • o such information cannot be used to assess the candidate
    • o non-job related questions may result in an appeal

If in doubt, check with Human Resources.

Equality and Diversity policy

The University's Equality and Diversity policy includes a commitment to equality of opportunity in employment.

Good practice includes:

  • promoting good recruitment and selection practice
  • treating all individuals on basis of merit and ability
  • not discriminating on any unfair or unlawful grounds

Responsibility for ensuring correct procedures are followed rest with the department manager responsible for recruitment, though all involved in the process are expected to adhere to these good practices.

Individual merit principle

The general philosophy of equality legislation is that individuals are not to be judged on the basis of external characteristics such as age and gender but on individual merit; that is the general rule and violation of it constitutes discrimination. Equality legislation does not prevent selection on the basis of merit.

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