Tanglewood has organizational plans to staff open store associate positions on an ongoing, continuous basis. The first stage staffing plans must take into consideration is recruiting from the labor market. Tanglewood management team must clearly consider the different methods available as well as the associated cost benefits of each. This case study will provide Tanglewood with a recruitment guide for its open store associate position, describe the best targets for its recruitment, estimate the yields and costs of each method, and finally offer proposed recruiting messages. The organizational date provided was used to determine what Tanglewood’s best method for recruiting are.
Recruitment Guide for Tanglewood Store Associate
Position: Store Associate
Reports to: Director of Retail
Qualifications: High School Diploma; Some college preferred; 6 months experience in retail; strong interpersonal skills.
Relevant labor market: Washington and Oregon
Activities to undertake to source well-qualified candidates:
Regional print, radio, and television advertising
Request employee referrals
Administer and facilitate kiosk-recruiting operations
Coordinate state job services
Contact staffing agency
Staff members involved:
HR Recruiting Manager
V.P. Human Resources
Potential peers and direct reports
Budget: $2,500-$4,500 per hire
Considering the open Store Associate position and the organizational context of Tanglewood, the best target group for its recruiting efforts is the passive job seekers or noncandidates. Tanglewood’s organizational culture encourages employee participation and development. A proven benefit of job seekers is that they typically are happier in their positions of employment (recruitips). Employees content with their position are more likely to get involved than an employee that is discontented. In addition, passive employees are open to new learning opportunities (recruitips), improving Tanglewood’s development programs. Ultimately, recruiting passive employees can identify and provide qualified candidates that no one else has contacted or even considered contacting (Active). Overall, employees who are happy and are open to new learning opportunities will best align with Tanglewood’s organizational culture.
Methods of Recruiting
Media advertising involves typical media sources such as newspaper, radio, and television. This method of recruiting should be considered as an open method of recruiting, as this form of advertising isn’t targeted but rather open for all people. Media advertising will provide Tanglewood with a large pool of untargeted applicants.
Referrals are considered a targeted method of recruitment. Employees providing the referrals are familiar with the business requirements and will make referrals to those they know are qualified for such a position. This recruitment effort targets applicants who are familiar and capable of performing in the retail industry. While referrals are targeted recruiting they can sometimes result in open recruitment if the referrals are based on anything other than the business requirements and position qualifications.
Kiosks should be considered an open method of recruiting. All potential applicants can submit an application using a kiosk. Kiosks will accept applications from anyone in search of an open position, whether they qualify for the position or not. Kiosks can only provide the details of an open position and not engage in any specific targeting strategy. Similar to media advertising, Tanglewood can expect a large pool of untargeted applicants when utilizing kiosks for recruitment.
State Job Services
State Job Services should be considered a targeted recruiting method. Tanglewood will provide a set of qualifications required for the open store associate position to the state job services. This method of recruitment will be targeting high school graduates who have worked in the retail business industry for a minimum of 6 months and possess strong interpersonal skills. Tanglewood can expect a smaller, yet more qualified pool of applicants using this method as opposed to media advertising or a kiosk for recruitment.
Similar to the state job services, utilizing a staffing agency is a targeted recruitment effort. Essentially, Tanglewood would be outsourcing it recruitment process to the staffing agency. This type of recruitment would target applicants that specialize in the retail industry. A benefit to outsourcing it is that the employees provided are temporary, allowing Tanglewood to hire permanently only those that best fit the organization. A staffing agency would provide Tanglewood with a smaller, specialized, pool of applicants.
The Western Washington Division utilizes media advertising, referrals, kiosk, and job service recruitment methods. The referral efforts are producing the best results for this division of Tanglewood. The cost per fire for referrals is second only to job services. However job services returns a 22% less hiring rate than referrals, a difference of 670 employee hires. The 6-month retention between referrals and job services is almost equal at 80% with a slightly lower 1-yr retention rate difference of just 7%. After referrals, kiosks lead the way in the number of hires. However, the cost per hire for kiosks are the highest of the four methods used. Overall, referrals provide the Western Washington division the most hires and the second highest 1-yr retention all with the second lowest cost per hire.
The Eastern Washington Division uses only three recruiting methods. The methods used are media advertising, referrals and kiosk. In the Eastern Washington Division, referrals reign supreme. Referrals provide the most hire, retains the highest 6-mo and 1-yr employee retention, with the lowest cost per hire. While media advertising is Eastern Washington’s is its most common method, it returns 340 less hires with 23% less of a 1-yr retention rate. In addition, the cost per hire is hirer for media advertising than for referrals. Overall, referrals are the best recruiting method for Tanglewood’s Eastern Washington Division.
Tanglewood’s Northern Oregon Division utilizes three methods of recruitment. This division uses media advertising, kiosk, and a staffing agency as part of their recruitment effort. While the media advertising method is less costly, the hiring rate and retention rate is also lower than the other two methods. Kiosks provide an increase in both the retention rate and cost per hire. The higher cost per hire can be attributed to the high cost of set up as well as the popularity of the kiosk. In comparison to media advertising and staffing agency, kiosks receive 1,200 and 2,600 more applications respectively. The staffing agency provides Tanglewood’s Northern Oregon the highest hiring and retention rate. While the cost of the set up is higher than the kiosk, its nearly 40% hiring rate greatly reduces its cost per hire. The staffing agency provides the division the best chance at reducing it’s overall recruiting costs as well as turnover rate.
The Southern Oregon Division of Tanglewood uses referrals, kiosks, and staffing agency methods of recruiting. Similar to the other division, kiosks continue to return the highest cost per hire with the lowest overall hiring rate. In addition, the high cost of kiosk set up is second only to using a staffing agency. The staffing agency reports the highest hiring and retention rates of the three methods. However, the hiring and retention rates of referrals are a close second with an average of 8% difference (hiring rate -6%, 6-mo -5%, 1-yr -13%). Referrals continually return a lower cost per hire than the staffing agency as well. Considering the similarities in the hire and retention rates, along with lower costs per hire and equal number of hires (392 vs. 396), referrals are the best method of recruiting for Southern Oregon.
Northern Oregon has suggested that the other division of Tanglewood forgo the touchy-feely referral method and opt for kiosks and staffing agencies. The Northern Oregon Division has a point in that while the referral method seems beneficial in the short-term, the potential for long-term issues exist. The clear positive of Tanglewood referrals has been the increased hiring and retention rate, as well as the lower cost per hire (short-term). However, referrals can produce some negative indirect cost issues (long-term). For instance, an employee referral reward program can cause employees to indiscriminately recommend unqualified candidates, concerning themselves with the reward rather than the organizational fit and/or qualifications of the position. As a result, Tanglewood will need to recruit more candidates and spend time and money on training the new employees. In addition, such reliance on referrals can strip an organization of its organizational diversity.
Employees tend to refer those who are most like them, usually family or close friends. This issue can compound as it also provides an environment of nepotism and favoritism (smallenterprisinindia.com). The aforementioned referral related issues could cost Tanglewood much more money in the long run in the form of a discrimination lawsuit. It would be prudent for Tanglewood to set some clear strategies and objectives for its referral program. While it is evident that Tanglewood has potential issues utilizing the referral program, they have proven successful to the other divisions in regards to cost.
Under the referral method, the other divisions are keeping their costs per hire to a minimum while increasing its hiring and retention rates. Converting to kiosks and staffing agencies will result in higher recruitment cost for the other divisions. The cost per hire of kiosks and staffing agencies would almost certainly increase, which in turn would increase the overall business costs. Such increases will eventually have the effect of fewer hires being made. The success of a referral program hinges on its conception, execution, and maintenance (smallenterprisinindia.com). It is not recommended that Tanglewood replace its internal hiring program with a strictly external one. A mix of recruiting methods is preferable, capitalizing on the benefits both internal and external hiring brings.
Improving the customer service quality of Tanglewood should not be limited to the cost and retention of hires. Other measures are available to measure employee performance. Operation and training costs could be increased as to better prepare new hires for their position. Simply relying on their qualifications and minimal training can lead to unsatisfactory performance. The results of less operation and training costs can skew the overall recruitment costs as employees are released due to lack of performance. Likewise, increased operation and training costs could improve the overall recruitment costs as more employees remain with Tanglewood. Enhancing employee satisfaction through proper training and development will return quality customer service.
The alternative consideration of increasing operation and training costs would be aligned with the managerial focus groups concerns. It is management’s directive that cost alone not be the determining factor in improving customer service. When given the proper training, employees will have the skills to provide quality customer service. In addition, skilled employees are more likely to stick around, reducing employee turnover. A decreased turnover rate will equate to greater employee customer service qualities.
Tanglewood’s management team and HR department should create a message that makes known its corporate mission and culture. Additionally, the message needs to target high school graduates and college students with retail experience. Highly educated people place a high importance on a company’s mission and culture (Executives). The target message will need to identify the specific KSAO’s required for the store associate position. For example, a targeted message indicating the need for strong interpersonal skills will ensure hires have the ability to contribute to Tanglewood’s improving customer service.
Tanglewood’s message must indicate its preference to promote within, as college students are attracted to these types of organizations. Applicants looking for full time work often place heavy emphasis on long-term benefits and growth opportunities when searching for a job (Executives). Tanglewood’s compensation structure should be included in the targeted message as a means of further attracting college students (Link). Lastly, Tanglewood’s message should disclose the preference for those that have retail experience. Overall, Tanglewood’s recruitment message will target high school graduate/college students with retail experience who are looking to work for a company that offers a great organizational culture, benefits, and opportunities for growth.
Unlike the targeted message, Tanglewood should not convey the message that they think applicants want to hear. A realistic message will portray the organization and open position as they really are. While the message should continue to describe itself and the position in a positive manner, it must also disclose the roles and responsibilities that will be expected of the position. Both the positive and negative attributes of the position should be disclosed. The required skills and qualifications should also be realistically described. A realistic message will reduce the overall number of applicants as they consider first of all if they qualify and secondly if the position is even worth the duties required of them. This type of message can be advantageous for Tanglewood in that realistic recruiting messages tend to reduce early employee turnover (Social).
Tanglewood’s branded message should promote Tanglewood as an organization, promoting its position in the industry. The branded message should first of all be honest (Login). It would is not advantageous to paint an unrealistic picture of the organization. Tanglewood’s messages must communicate its mission statement, divulge its organizational culture, and explain its benefits, in effort to convince applicants that Tanglewood is the ideal place to be employed. The overall goal of the message should be to create a persuasive and distinctive view of Tanglewood the organization. Developing a branded recruiting message would most definitely increase the number of applicants for Tanglewood.
Realistic Recruiting Policy Arguments
Traditional arguments can be made for realistic recruiting policies. Realistic recruiting messages provide higher job satisfaction results. Employees are made aware up-front of the downside of the job and therefore aren’t chased off as a result. Realistic messages also create a lower turnover rate of employees. By explaining the negatives in a realistic message, applicants can make a better decision as to apply or not. Not applying for the job is preferable to an employee quitting shortly after being hired due to dissatisfaction. Of course, realistic messages are not without its negatives. One of the biggest negatives to realistic recruiting messages is the difficulty in hiring high-quality applicants. Applicants with high-quality skills possess a leverage that affords them to avoid potentially negative job offers. In the end, realistic messages will produce fewer applicants to choose from.
As Tanglewood continues its effort in recruiting for its open store associate position, it now has a clear understanding of how to best approach its recruitment. The creation of its recruitment guide has established a plan and course of its targeted applicants. While recruiting methods may change from division to division, Tanglewood as a whole has established its potential hiring base. No matter the method used, Tanglewood’s culture and customer service should better align with its mission and culture statements.
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