Business Essays - Recruitment Retail Company

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Recruitment Retail Company

How does recruitment and selection amount to the success of any retail company. A study based on WH smith.



1.1 Overview

People are at the Very heart of every retail company. Whether its giants like Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury,

Whsmith or mid sized ones like iceland, lidl etc. Every day millions of people flow into each of these retail stores. The customers and the people who work in the environment are equally important. The customers are given initial importance because every company primarily targets on maximum profit. The people who work in the company are the second most important factor because they are the ones who provide services to the customers who visit the outlets day in and day out.

The second target of these companies are to provide excellent customer service which makes the Man power in every outlet the most important thing within every company. Working in any retail chain in tough and demanding but can be enjoyed if the person has the potential to find customer service as a fun filled job.

Customers should like the atmosphere in every shop and should find the people in there friendly and approachable. Most of the staff selected for these tough and demanding job should have already demonstrated their necessary skills in working with people and should understand customers needs.

Millions of customers flow into the retail shops, its the job of the people within the shop or the people on the shop floor of any retail outlet to make sure that every single customer is served well and enjoys their trip to these stores. Customers generally take a lot of time scrolling through the stands in any stores but find little time for making payment.

Most of them gets restless when they find themselves in a long queue. All the customers should be able pay quickly. They should find the people within any stores resourceful and helpful. Many people tend to avoid their local grocer and visit the local supermarket chain like Tesco,Asda or one like them only because of the atmosphere in these stores and the friendly nature of the staff. It is essential that for a sustained amount of sales and retail success the basic point of recruitment and selection is a key area.

1.2 Objectives

The objectives of this dissertation are :

  • To gain an in depth knowledge of the seletion and recruitment process which differs from one company to another.

A wide range of academic literature will be used for the review and analysis of this point.

  • To Find out how this selection and recruitment proves worthy for these retail company or any company.

This point will be reviewed and analysed by academic literature and research methods.

1.3 Structure

Chapter 2 : Provides an Indepth analysis of recruitment and selection process .

Chapter 3 : WHsmith, their expectations when recruiting a person and the basic structure.

Chapter 4: Cases related to recruitment and selection , a reality check.

Chapter 5 : Conclusion.

Chapter 2

Examining the Scenario

2.1 The Outline

  • The vacancy
  • Review Job description
  • Prepare personnel specification
  • Advertise
  • Prepare information pack for applicants
  • Get response from applicants
  • Shortlist
  • Seek reference
  • Interview preparation

  • Interview
  • Appoint the successful candidate

    (source – Best practice recruitment and selection page 2)

2.2 The Million-Dollar word-”Work”

The clarity and meaningfulness of the goals of the organisation,the selection in which the post-holder is to be located, the boss's requirements,and the definition of the fundamental to effective performance. If the reasons for doing the job are unclear,the chances of the post holder achieving the desired result,obtaining a sense of a job well done or achieving any personal satisfaction are slim.The tasks to be carried out are bundled together into a 'job' or the 'work'. Someone is appointed to do them with little if any consideration being given to whether these tasks fit together.

It is possible to break a job or role into two separate but complimentary parts, The technical aspects of any job are those that concern the tools and techniques used to carry out the tasks,which require knowledge and skills for their effective use. The procedural aspects are the internal arrangements used by a particular organization, Such as administrative rules and internal processes.

For example the task of decision making can involve the use of tools such as the Delphi technique or decision trees. The skills needed to use these would be common regardless of the organization in which the individual was employed. The procedural aspects however would require knowledge of the organization's structure and who is responsible for a particular decision.

All such components built into a job or a combined role,will have a direct effect on the ability and willingness of the individual to perform it to the desired standard. However performance at work is not found in isolation. The context and conditions under which the individual is required to work also have some impact, as do the relationships developed during the working day.

2.3 The Relationships

Both the quality of the woking relationships and the nature of work affect the will to work. A number of theories on motivation and job satisfaction emphazize the importance of the relationship between the post holder and other people are significant.Those who are significant can include peers,managers and subordinates, people in other parts of the organization, and even those who work for other organizations with whom the individual or the individuals employer has a relationship.

These other people and their expectations can influence the way in which indivduals carry out their work. People are also influenced by the culture of the work group,its norms, accepted standards,and the informal groupings and friendships that grow up between group members.

The management should analyse these factors whether the job is designed well and whether the atmosphere would suit someone who starts fresh and with no early assumptions.

2.4 The Procedure

2.4.1 Vacancy-the key word.

Vacancy is obviously the key word because no retail positions are supposed to be kept void . All positions carry a lot of work and responsibilities. It is the duty of the concerned manager to identify the vacant position and create a job specification. Most managers try to replace the hours of work by dividing it to the existing staff.

But if that possibility goes out of the window then the next step is to assess the vacancy and find out whether that position needs a fresher or an existing,experienced staff. If they decide to cash in on a new person then comes a whole lot of procedures which need to be followed .

2.4.2 The Old Boy Network

The OBN can be very risky and it will nearly always be slow. It is unlikely to produce more than one candidate at a time and, therefore, gives no real choice. There can be no harm in letting it be known round the golf club or similar points of contact that there is a job going. It is always possible that some one will have a relative who is ‘just what you want’. Nevertheless, it has to be recognized that the individual ‘who looks good socially’ can be quite impossible to work with in business.

If the OBN produces a name or suggestion, make sure that the first approach is by an applicant (however tentative) and not the other way round. An accusation of ‘poaching’ by a competitor or neighbouring firm can be embarrassing. In any case, it is not for you to ask a person if he or she is interested in working for your company. That is a very different matter from telling someone that a job is vacant and saying that you are open to receive applicants.

The sensible reaction, when approached , is to hand over an abbreviated job specification (may be a copy of an advertisement) saying that if the contact is interested, you will be prepared to have a chat. This indicates that you r willing to consider an application. No more than two promise should be given:

1.To explain what the job is all about (ie; go through the job specification)

2. To give all due consideration to that person’s qualifications and experience.

It is perfectly reasonable to ask such a candidate to be patient until you have other people to consider. It is also perfectly reasonable to give a polite, bit firm, rejection on the spot to the obvious misfit.

The OBN can be a good preliminary step in planning for a coming retirement. It can be a move in advance of advertising or the use of other source. To spread the word six months or even a year ahead of a need to recruit can produce a number of applicants worth seeing when the time for an appointment actually comes. The OBN can put one at risk of offending one’s friends. The regular bridge partner who ‘knows about’ your business from what you have told him in the past may be a little put out when you find that his nephew or niece is little more than a fool.

2.4.3 The Money makers-”Agencies”

The agency, unlike the consultant, will charge only when an appointment has been made. There is , therefore, no commitment to the client’s part in letting a number of agencies have sight of the job specification. The modern one will almost certainly have a computer into which the requirements will be fed. It can, therefore, make sense to discuss the parameters so as to make sure that they have not been drawn too tightly. It has been known for, for instance, for a specified lower age of 30 to exclude a ‘paragon’ of 29 ½ simply because the computer had no imagination.

The agency put forward only those people who have registered with it and who are actually seeking new jobs. It offers no prospect of finding the man or woman who is working happily elsewhere, but who would jump a chance of a new challenge if only it had been known to exist.The management of agency will probably have carried out a form of interview with all those on its register and there will, therefore, be an assessment in the print-out form of computer.

But this will be general and have no reference at all to the vacancy. Thus, from the agency will come details which might be thought to be just a little better than letters in response to an advertisement.If the agency can provide a good short list and choice, this is fine. Only in the particular circumstances at the time can a decision be made as to whether this source of recruits is right one.

Which agency should be chosen? The yellow pages are full of names and, usually, give an indication of any speciality. Obviously, a firm which shows a learning towards secretarial and clerical jobs will be unlikely to offer production managers, but others will. It will cost no more than a few telephone calls to find the right one (or two or three).

Finally, if that all-important job specification is lacking in any way, do not blame the agency for putting forward unsuitable candidates.

2.4.4 The Executive selection consultants

It can be said that the job of the agency is to find jobs for people. The task of the selection consultant is to find people for jobs. At the same time, the aim is to provide the client with a good choice, based on detailed consideration of the client’s needs, he job itself, and a full assessment of how closely each person on the short list meets the job specification.

Like the agency, the consultant will have a register of candidates, but it will usually be made up of people who have responded to previous assignments. There is little reason to believe that the man or woman you want has applied for another firm’s vacancy. It can happen, but not often.

Consultants may be thought expensive. They are, unless one thinks about true cost of time needed to do the job oneself. There can also be compensating advantages relevant to particular circumstances. From the outset, a good consultant will be prepared to help with preparation of that all-important job specification. He or she will know that the assignment will not succeed unless full information has been provided about every aspect of the vacancy and the firm.

To the end, the consultation will involve very searching questions. Some of them will give the client cause for thought and may even change ideas. Nevertheless, there is never any question of the consultant knowing better than client. It is his or her job, at this stage, to be able to answer any questions which may be posed during the preliminary interviews.Once the client has approved the job specification and, probably, drafts of advertisements, the assignment proper can begin.

When a response to an advertisement arrives, a secretary will send the personal details form out at once. It is probable that the consultant sees applications only when there is a pile of forms. They can then be checked against the client’s requirements. All those which approach a ‘match’ will be called to a personal meeting.

An interview by a good consultant will always be lengthy and detailed. A most careful assessment will also be written before any other person is seen. It is from the assessments that the short list is prepared. At no time , however, will a recommendation for an appointment be made or any attempt to ‘sell’ one candidate against others. The choice is always for the client to make alone.

As to timing, it is possible that, unless there are special circumstances, from consultation to short-list interview will take about six weeks. Much will depend on the particular job and, perhaps, the media used for any advertising.

Some clients object to the idea of the consultant producing only a short list. They want to see all the applicants. They are fully entitled to do this so long as it is understood that there may be some withdrawals at first interview and those names must be withheld. It is indeed, by no means unusual for a consultant to visit the client for a discussion about the assignment before a short list is drawn up.

Most firms of consultants today fix their fees as a percentage of the first year’s salary attached to the job. Some potential clients find this objectionable. It is almost commercially unsound. A job to be filled at 25,000 a year at a company in the same town as the consultant’s office must surely cost him less in time and travel than one a hundred miles away. For the reason, it makes sense to get a fixed quotation before giving an assignment.

It is also worth while asking to see some specimen of recent job advertisements. This will not only indicate the type and level of assignments which have been worked, but it also makes it possible to avoid the firm which tends to use media for self-advertisement. Nor should any copy appear to be ‘selling’ a job. Details given should be adequately factual and the display cost effective.

The price of space in the press will be added to the fee so it is worth while discussing the question of media selection before giving instructions. There is no point in full display in, say, the Sunday times when semi-display in the Bolton evening news will be adequate - or even better. The consultant is , nevertheless, entitled to justify his advice from past experience.

2.4.5 The Specialists - ”Executive search consultants”

The popular name or the search consultants is ‘headhunter’. Executive search is unlikely to be of service to the majority of smaller companies. It operates , usually in a field where candidates are unlikely to respond to advertising or to put their names on agency lists. They probably never read the ‘sits vac’ anyway. Like the selection consultant, the headhunter charges a percentage of salary – but more so. At first sight, the fee may sound horrific but, of course, there is no advertising cost.

Once the job specification is drawn up and agreed, the headhunter starts to seek out possible candidates whom he can approach. He will do this from office research and from suggestions put to him by those he may think are ‘in the know’. Once he has a ‘target’ he will probably make a telephone call saying who he is and seeking a meeting.

It may be that he will be quite open in asking if the ‘target’ is interested in the job or, depending on the personality involved, he may be more oblique saying he is seeking help and advice about whom to approach. Either way, if there is interest, the target is then asked to apply – in confidence, of course. After that, the process is just the same as with the selection consultant.

As can be imagined, candidates for most of the jobs handled in this way are the rarer kind. They are also difficult to approach and tie down. It can, therefore, often take a long time for the short list to be presented.

2.4.6 One important question -- How to choose a consultant?

In deciding to use a consultant (selection or search) one should use three criteria:

1.Can he show evidence of success in your kind of assignment?

2.Is the individual consultant(not the firm)acceptable to you?

3.In selection, is there evidence of cost-effective advertising?

Finally, one should always insist on the consultant appearing when you meet the short list. There should be a ready willingness to face the moment of truth. Something may go wrong. If it is his or her fault, he or she should be there to recognize it so that it can be put right. Perhaps the fault is yours (have you changed the job specification without telling anyone?).

If so, the consultant should be present so that you can be shown what has happened. It is also worth noting that no sensible firm of consultants will be prepared to take on an assignment without any hope of success. It is not easy to reject business, but so much depends upon future recommendation by satisfied clients that undue risk will never be taken.

Such a refusal can give the prospective client food for thought and, at least, cause fresh consideration of what now appears as a management structure or other problems which must be solved before recruitment begins. Some organisations tend to follow the usual trend, to advertise the vacancy and find the “right” person. To an extent they find it fruitful,but at times they find themselves at the firing point of a 7mm air pistol because of the sole reason that it is not the easiest of ways.

2.4.7 Advertising

Recruitment and advertising seems to go together in most people’s minds. At one time, advertising was the most common way of proceeding. It is a very big subject. Copy prepared with care and skill and placed in the right medium can produce excellent results. But one should always seek quality in replies than in quantity. A big response can suggest that the copy had room for improvement.

Someone once said that a correctly worded advertisement placed in the right publication should produce only one application – from the man or the woman for the job. At least, that conveys an idea. Loose wording in the wrong place tends to bring too many letters which are utterly useless.Space in the press today is expensive. There is no sense wasting money, yet so many firms just do that.

2.4.8 Two Factors to be analysed when advertising a vacancy:

1. When and where to put the Advertisement.

When, where and how the post is advertised determines who is likely to see them and respond. Many firms place AD's in certain papers or in the housing press on certain days. This may not reach all qualified people for the job. All important the management should make sure that the news reaches the minority-ethnic groups as well.

2. What to put in the Advertisement.

The language of the advert should be clear and unambiguous with no off-puffing jargon. The advert must relate to the job description and the personnel specification and should concentrate on the minimum essential requirements that are central to the main tasks of the post. The advert should not be misleading and confusing. Mention any terms and conditions that would make the post particularly attractive to people who face discrimination in employment, for example, flexitime, core hours, jobsharing, carers leave etc.

2.4.9 What if no one Applies?

This does happen even when all the possible agencies have been trawled and a fortune spent on advertising in a wide range of media. All too often it is assumed that there is a scarcity of people with the right qualifications or experience unless ridiculously high salaries are offered. There could only be two possible reasons for this scenario :

  • There really is a shortage of people with the background the firm need.
  • There is something wrong(or thought to be wrong)with the firm or let it be said the person who is advertising.

2.5 The Internet is the new face of recruitment and selection?

There is no denying the revolutionary impact that the Internet has on the job market. While it has not replaced the traditional and other creative recruitment methods, online recruiting is being used by 96 percent of all U.S employers and 81 percent by all U.K employers.

Electronic recruitment sources allow employers to post openings and or collect resumes from general or specialised job sites. More than a third of all US companies have their own websites or web based listings. For companies that already have web pages,adding job opportunities section is relatively simple and inexpensive. Starting a web page from scratch may require the help of a consultant who can provide expertise on content, design, organization, upkeep, and exposure.