Formulating a selection strategy: meister software uk


Recruiting a good staff is vital to the success of a business. One must attract the right calibre of employees using the most time effective and cost effective strategies and methods to do so, which shown in the case of Meister Software has proven to be difficult. One must also ask themselves questions before hiring any new staff such as: is it more beneficial and cheaper to hire staff at a lower level as promotions can act as an incentive to motivate employees to work harder, is there is a call for this position? With technology growing more and more every day there are more ways than ever to recruit people, even using the latest phenomenon of social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and My Space. When it comes to hiring new staff it can be time-consuming and expensive to differentiate truly creative people from among your applicant selection. So the most elaborate strategies should be left for the more momentous hires. "It's most important when it's going to cost you a lot of money if the new hire makes a mistake." According to Wenaell Williams, managing director for and an employee assessment consultant in Marietta, Georgia.

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In the case study of Meister Software UK they are in need of a sales staff that is capable for the highly pressured and results focused work that is required of them. Whoever takes on the job will need strong presentation and negotiation skills especially due to the current economic climate which in return is making the market more competitive. They need someone who has an ability to deal sensitively with potential customers, being human while at the same time professional. I think they need someone who is non-threatening and non-arrogant but also challenging when the opportunity presents itself. There is also the need to make decisions in a complex manner. The sales staff will be expected to absorb large amounts of information and to be able to use it, often simultaneously to indentify patterns and develop several possible alternative actions. They need to use their initiative and take control. Skills such as tolerance for uncertainty and a capacity to empathise with prospective customers are required. Most importantly there is a highlighted need for peer respect and team players rather than n individualist, but at the same time not someone who depends on others to do the work and is capable to work alone and be self motivating.

There are many ways to go about finding the right person for the job and several strategies that are involved. Even just to attract people to the position there are many measures that can be taken by simply posting notices outside your premises which is inexpensive and reasonable in supply. The use of job centres using job description and person specification which then will be matched against registered job-seekers such as Liaisons with other institutions are also popular for example work placement in a company through a university can result in finding the perfect employee. The most effective technique is advertising. This can be done at a low level by using regional papers for scarce skills and lower management and national publications for higher management. But when attracting candidates especially through advertising you must understand what motivates people to apply for a particular job, such as the prospect of promotion and salaries. According to Philip Schofield "One must remember that people choose jobs rather than companies therefore it is a waste of money and resources promoting the firm. In the advert avoid exaggeration or fake enthusiasm as it can be off putting but do not over specify because as a consequence you may end up with overqualified and dissatisfied staff and also accusations of unfair discrimination from unsuccessful applicants." (Works Management,2000, Angling For The Right people).

The job description that I would put forward to Meister Software UK is:

Job Title:

Sales Representative

F/T or P/T:

Full time

Contract Worth:

In excess of £0.5 million


Dunphy Business Park,



Salary Range:

£35,242 - £39,042

Reports To:

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Sales Manager


Meister Software UK is the British subsidiary branch of a German owned worldwide network of software companies. Meister software is the generic name for a range of software modules that provide a total information solution for manufacturing companies with an annual turnover of at least £50 million. The British branch is growing rapidly and during the past year the number of employees has increased from 78 to 108.

Purpose of post and duties


The purpose of the sales representative is to be responsible for all sales activities in assigned accounts or regions. Manage quality and reliability of product and service delivery.

 Duties and Responsibilities

Present and sell company products and services to existing and potential clients.

Prepare action plans and schedules to identify specific targets and to project the number of contacts to be made.

Follow up on new leads and referrals resulting from field activity.

Make out sales projection and contact these and other accounts as assigned.

Prepare presentations, proposals and sales contracts.

Develop and maintain sales materials and present product knowledge.

Set up and maintain current client and potential client relationships.

Prepare paperwork to activate and maintain contract services.

Manage account services through quality checks and other follow-up.

Acknowledge and resolve client concerns.

Put in order a variety of status reports, including activity, closings, follow-up, and faithfulness to goals.

Correspond new product and service opportunities, special developments, information, or feedback gathered through field activity to suitable company staff.

Bring together company staff to accomplish the work required to close sales.

Develop and put into practice special sales activities to reduce stock.

The person specification that i would put forward to Meister Software UK is:

Person specification

Desirable Requirements

Essential Requirements

Educational Achievements

1. 5 O-levels, GCSEs at

Grade A-C, or equivalent

2. Good general education

1. Level 3 or above office

administration or

business related


Skills and Abilities

3. Ability to work under

pressure on own

initiative, to deadlines

and without close


4. Ability to work as part of

a team

5. Good written

communication skills

6. Good telephone manner

7. Confident user of

Microsoft Word and

Excel, or equivalent

8. Confident user of email

and the World Wide Web

9. Ability to learn new ICT

skills quickly

10. Ability to work flexible

hours to attend

occasional events (e.g.

annual conference)

2.UK Driving licence


11. Experience of general

office duties such as

filing, banking, minute

taking, etc

12. Event organisation


13. Experience in a sales background.

3. Bookkeeping, purchasing

and invoicing experience

4. Desktop publishing


5. Experience of working

within education

My course of action of Meister Software UK to find a new sales representative is to start with the most effective strategy for sourcing which is to think not only about candidates themselves but also about people who may know the best ones. Rather than waste your time calling too many irrelevant prospects, talk to individuals who are likely to suggest several high-quality candidates right off the bat. This technique has proven to be successful as current employees would know what is expected for the position and would not suggest someone unless they felt the potential employee was up to scratch, for if they got it wrong it would reflect badly on their judgement. To motivate staff to carefully choose the right candidate for the job the firm could reward the current staff for each hiring. But also place out an advert in local/national papers as a common pitfall of companies that they depend on only method to attract people to the job. There are advantages to the combination to both techniques as they are both cost effective and proven to show results. Word of mouth is a good way to attract the right type of clients. Another pitfall is depending on the internet to show results. "According to a new survey by the Institute of Personnel and Development, 47 per cent if employers use the internet to recruit staff. But only one per cent of recruiters for professional positions view it as useful, and only two per cent of those recruiting for managerial or skilled positions think it more effective than other ways of recruiting." (Works Management,2000, Angling For The Right people).

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The next step is to narrow down the numbers of candidates received. Several techniques can be used in this process. The newest craze with employers is using social networks such as Facebook, My Space and Twitter to get an insight to see what the future employee is like in their personal life and if that reflects on their professional life i.e. If they are out on a continuous basis socialising and as a result not showing up to work "pulling a sicky". "Facebook, the fastest growing international social network with more than 150 million users is truly a worldwide phenomenon. It is not surprising that nearly 22% of employers check "Facebook-Profile" When they are looking to hire candidate to see if the prospective are drinking too much, doing drugs, trashing former employers or letting out trade secrets on their profiles."(Advances in Management, 2010, Vol.3(1)). But it can be argued that the use of social networks in terms of recruitment is breaching the Privacy Act of 1988. "The first principle references the manner and collection of personal information. The principle states: "Personal information shall not be collected by a collector for inclusion in a record or in a generally available publication unless:

(a) The information is collected for a purpose that is a lawful purpose directly related to a function or activity of the collector and

(b) The collection of the information is necessary for or directly related to that purpose (Information Privacy Principles)".

Facebook would fall under this principle as a generally available publication and the problem arises in the fact that the collection of the information that is available is not necessary or directly related to the purpose of hiring an employee. An employee could argue that the information available on Face book includes activities and relationships the person holds outside of the work environment." (Advances in Management, 2010, Vol.3(1)).

The more common and preferred means of narrowing the selection is through an interview. It maybe time consuming but is more beneficial as it prevents costly selection disasters. In order to reduce the numbers for the interview stage, to reduce time consumption, psychometric tests can be used. Psychometric tests "can predict future performance better than interviews alone, but their choice, administration and interpretation should only be carried out by specialists trained to British Psychological Society standards" (Works Management,2000, Angling For The Right people). After this process is conducted there will be fewer candidates in the running for the position and the interviewing process can begin so the company can see how the prospective employees react under pressure. The choice of interviewer is crucial as choosing someone who is unqualified for the position can result in the hiring of the wrong employee which in turn can be quite costly to Meister Software UK and also the possibility of rejecting the candidate suitable for the job. The person interviewing the candidates should be high ranking in the company typically the hire's prospective boss, the boss's boss and or the top HR manager. These people would be appropriate as they know want is required of the person for the position. "The best interviewers are deeply familiar with the range of experience and skills the position requires and are sufficiently self-confident to look for the best possible candidates, even those they may deem more talented than themselves. They possess a high level of emotional intelligence and the ability to decode nonverbal behaviour." (Harvard Business Review, 2009, The Definitive Guide to Recruiting in Good Times and Bad p74). The most effective type of interview is a "Behavioural Event Interview". In doing this you will get a better insight to the future employee's reactions to situations that they are likely to encounter while working in for Meister Software UK. You can ask questions like "Describe a time when you needed to work under an intense deadline, "or "Tell me about a situation in which you managed conflicting interests among your colleagues,". It is the interviewer's job to assess the information they receive from these questions to see how the candidate will react to situations in the future. The candidate is not allowed to use hypothetical scenarios during this or vague statements such as "we did...". The objective of this activity is to assess whether the candidates individual's past shows the precise competencies you're looking for. The best way to assess the information with the other interviewers is to score the candidates on a system of attributes in order to avoid getting distracted by how the first impression everyone had of the candidates. They then put into a table the data and collect to review their combined ratings, look at differences in their judgments, and arrive at an agreement on which candidates should be finalists. The step I would then recommend is to contract the referees from the finalist's curriculum vitae. A boss in a former job can confirm to how well a candidate can think tactically or get results. Former peers can talk about the candidate's ability to persuade and collaborate. And former direct reports can divulge leadership traits. Again, ask about precise things the candidate did, particular approach chosen, and actual results achieved, so you can put his or her attributes and achievements into a day-to-day environment.

In their longing to close the deal, many managers present only the optimistic aspects of the job. This is a blunder, for research shows that a realistic arrangement of both the opportunities and the challenges of a forthcoming position results in higher offer-acceptance rates, improved post-employment job satisfaction, and lower turnover. Once the position has been filled the recruitment course doesn't end, although most companies think it does. Our study shows that many firms take no steps at all to make certain that new employees are included into the company's culture. "We found that 40% of new C-level hires who departed within two years did so because of integration difficulties." (Harvard Business Review, 2009, The Definitive Guide to Recruiting in Good Times and Bad p74). I recommend assigning the new employee a mentor, usually a recognised celebrity in the organisation. An experienced person of the company's culture that can serve as an important reality check until the newcomer becomes fully ethnically literate. Then about a year later it is best to review the new employee to see how they are getting on and to determine if the right choice was made.