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Boots will recruit staff for a number of reasons, which include:
* The growth of the business
* Changing roles within the business
* Filling vacancies created by resignation, retirement or dismissal
* Internal promotion
The growth of the business
When Boots grows in size it will probably need more people to carry out existing jobs and new jobs. When existing jobs are being expanded, human resource specialists simply need to copy existing practice on a larger scale. In creating new jobs more detailed thought is required; particularly if the jobs are quite different from those that already exist within the company.
Changing job roles within the business
In recent years most British businesses such as Boots have changed their job structure. In particular, the country has seen the decline of many routine, standardised jobs. Increasingly, employers have sought to develop new jobs involving information and communications technology, and which involve ground-level employees taking more responsibility for decision-making through empowerment. Developing new jobs requires considerable research, often by examining best practice in an industry or by looking at the development of new jobs in other countries.
Filling vacancies created by resignation, retirement or dismissal
In many organisations people move on and also employees in Boots move on as well. People get older, they hand in their notice or they are dismissed. In most cases it is necessary to replace the employee. However, the manager responsible for recruitment has to decide whether the firm wants a carbon copy of the previous job holder or whether the job has moved on, requiring new skills and competences.
In Boots there will be opportunities for internal promotion. Internal promotion gives an employee something to aim for in the organisation, rather than looking elsewhere. When one person is promoted, it is often necessary to replace him or her.
Getting the recruitment process right
The recruitment process can be very costly. It takes a great deal of time to set up an effective recruitment process. This involves deciding on what the jobs that are to be recruited for will entail, advertising, sifting through applications, checking which applications best meet the criteria set down for the post, interviewing candidates and, finally, selecting the best candidate for the post.
Waste and inefficiency can be very costly to any organisation. If Boots were to advertise a job for a retail assistant and managed to get 100 applicants, by sifting through the application forms they may be in danger of choosing the wrong employee. The personnel of Boots would probably cut the 100 applicant forms down to 10 by eliminating, from their point of view, the most unsuitable employees for the job. But by doing this Boots could eliminate the best applicant, therefore, it is possible that the personnel may have to do the whole process all over again if that the applicant they do choose for the job is unsuitable.
Procedures for attracting and recruiting applicants
An organisation’s most valuable resource is its workforce; managers therefore need to give careful thought to the needs of employees.
The advantages of recruiting from within are as follows:
* Considerable savings can be made. Individuals with inside knowledge of how the business operates will need shorter periods of training
* Internal promotion acts as an incentive to all staff to work harder within the organisation.
The disadvantages of recruiting from within are as follows:
* You will have to replace the person who has been promoted
* An insider may be less likely to make the essential criticisms required to get the company working more effectively.
The Boots company strategy in recruiting employees
The Boots Company offers recruitment programmes for general entrance, and schemes focused on school leavers and graduates. The company looks for various qualities in potential Boots employees. In addition to academic ability, we look for people with extra-curricular competencies such as interpersonal ability and team-working skills.
In addition to the requirements of individual positions, the boot’s graduate scheme also requires applicants to fulfil three key criteria:
* Leading the thinking
See the big picture no matter how complex; offer and stimulate new ideas and turn complex issues into clear strategies.
o When have you looked for and found solutions beyond the obvious?
o How radical have you been?
o In what ways have you challenged received wisdom?
o When have you identified clear solutions to complex problems?
o How do you manage ambiguity?
o How logical are you in your approach?
* Leading the pace
Understand and focus on the important, drive to deliver better performance and be decisive in a crisis.
o Can you prioritise, focusing on the important issues and dispensing with others?
o Do you regularly achieve standards that you set and which are beyond those expected by others?
o When do other rely upon you to make things happen?
* Leading the team
Act as a catalyst driving for results and restlessly seeking to win.
o Do people enjoy working with you, do you create a buzz?
o How do you influence others even when the cause looks lost?
o Have you been able to get good results from difficult people? How did you manage it?
The selection process
Below are the most vital aspects that the HRM of Boots have to analyse when recruiting and selecting a sales assistant or any other employee in any other organisation:
* Job Analysis
* Job descriptions
* Person Specification
* Job advert
* Letter of application
* Curriculum Vitae
* Job Evaluation
This is the first stage for recruiting an employee. Information may be gathered by the managers of Boots by questioning the job holder or observing the job holder at work. The information gathered is carefully recorded and analysed. Further information might be obtained through discussions with the job holder’s manager or supervisor. The job analyst compiles a description of the main responsibilities of the job by asking:
* What are the main tasks of the job and how often do they need to be completed?
* Are any specialist technological skills required to do the job?
* What mental processes are required to do the job?
* Is the job holder required to take decisions and use initiative?
* What are the limits of the job holder’s authority?
* Is the output from the job a part or a whole?
* Does the job holder have to work with others, or control the work of others?
* What are the required performance standards and how are they measured?
When the job analyst has gathered all the information from the job analysis then he/she can put it into a summary report setting out what the job entails. This summary report is usually known as a job description. It contains two types of information; it describes the tasks of the job and it describes the behaviour necessary to actually do these tasks satisfactorily.
A job description usually consists of:
* Job title
* General information
* Position within the business
* Job summary
* Job content information
* Purpose of tasks
* Working conditions
An example of a job description can be found in the appendix.
Sometimes known as a personnel profile – the person specification describes all of the attributes and skills required to do the job in hand to the satisfactory standards. For example, in Boots’ mission to require a part-time sales assistant, the HRM would need to specify clearly in the person specification whether or not the employee had to have special ICT qualifications in order to work a till.
Job advertisements form an important part of the recruitment process. Boots is able to communicate job vacancies to a selected audience by this means. Most job adverts are written by the personnel department, task involving the same skill as marketing a product. Adverts must reach those people who have the qualities to fill the vacancy.
The nature of the advert will depend on the following:
* Who the target audience is – potential managing director, supervisor, operatives etc
* Where the advert will be placed – on a noticeboard within the workplace, in the Financial Times, at the local job centre etc
Job advertisements therefore take many forms, according to current requirements. Good adverts contain at least the following information:
Job title: This should form the main heading, possibly in bold print.
Job description: This should highlight the major requirements of the job in a concise format.
Organisational activities and marketplace: There should be a brief description of the environment in which the organisation operates.
Location: Applicants need to know the location of the organisation and the location of the job.
Salary expectation: Figures are not always necessary, but an indication of the salary level should always be given.
Address and contact: This should appear, with a telephone number if appropriate.
Qualifications: Certain jobs require a minimum entrance qualification, which should be clearly stated.
Experience: This should be quantified, as it will have a bearing on the expected salary level.
Fringe benefits: The advertiser may wish to mention a company car, a health insurance scheme and so on.
Organisational identity: This may be in the form of a logo (or simply the name of the organisation).
A good job advert, while providing prospective candidates with helpful information, also helps to discourage applications from people who do not have the required qualifications for the job. The presentation of the advert is very important as it gives prospective employees a first impression of the organisation.
Letter of application
The title pretty much speaks for itself when describing what a letter of application is. Basically, a letter of application is a letter that an applicant would send to an organisation when interested in a job on offer. In this case, the applicants for the part-time sales assistant would send their letters to Boots after seeing the advert for the job. Along with the letter of application the employees would send their Curriculum Vitae (CV).
An example of a letter of application can be found in the appendix.
A Curriculum Vitae (CV) shows a person’s achievements, hobbies, interests and past-times. A CV is a vital ingredient to recruiting the best employee – in this case the best part-time sales assistant. Below shows an example of a CV that could be sent with the letter of application to Boot’s HRM sent by an applicant enquiring about the job of a part-time sales assistant on offer.
Once Boot’s HRM have evaluated the letter of application of the applicant they can decide whether or not he/she is suitable for the job. If they are then a letter of an invitation to an interview will be sent to him. If he/she isn’t then a letter of consolation is sent by Boots’ HRM. But in this case let’s say the applicant does qualify for an interview, this is the next stage of the recruitment process.
An example of a CV can be found in the appendix.
Interview is the most vital stage of the recruitment process for Boots and the potential employee. This short time of contact with Boots can give the business representatives a lot of information about how the potential employee looks, behaves, talks and basically how well he or she comes across as a person. That’s why it is so important for the potential employee to dress appropriately and talk with confidence when answering any questions set to him/her by the interviewer(s).
Most people have had at least one experience of being interviewed prior to employment. Few people enjoy interviews often this is because the interviewer comes across as being more interested in finding faults with you than finding out the good things. This is sometimes to see if the interviewee is sharp, intelligent and someone who can cope with pressure.
Some of the interviewing techniques (used by the interviewer) will show which applicant is the most strong minded out of all the potential employees. For example, the interviewer may decide to ask the applicant to take a message from a person on the phone pretending to be a business consultant of the company or an upset customer. This sort of technique can indicate to the interviewer how well spoken or articulate the interviewee is, how well he/she copes under pressure and whether he/she deals with the “phone call” in the appropriate manner expected by the organisations standards.
The personnel department of Boots is usually involved in interviewing, both in carrying them out and helping managers to adopt good interview practice. By following certain guidelines, the business hopes to employ the ‘right’ person for the job. It also aims to carry out the interview in a way that is fair to all candidates. These guidelines might include the following:
The interview should allow information to be collected from candidates, which can be used to predict whether they can perform the job. This can be done by comparing replies with the criteria that successful applicants should have.
Boots should give candidates full details about the job and the organisation. This will help them decide whether the job would suit them.
The interview should be conducted so that the candidates can say that they have had a fair hearing. The interview, has however, been criticised as not always being an effective ‘tool’. Some of the main criticisms are:
* Interviewers often decide to accept or reject a candidate within the first three or four minutes of the interview, and then spend the rest of the time finding evidence to confirm their decision.
* Interviews seldom change the initial opinion formed by the interviewer seeing the application form and the appearance of the candidate.
* Interviewers place more stress on evidence that is unfavourable than the evidence that is favourable.
* When the interviewers have made up their minds on the candidate very early in the interview then their behaviour betrays their decision to the candidate.
* The problems with these criticisms are that they do not solve the problems, only identify them. No matter what other means of selection there may be, the interview is crucial. If it is thought to be unreliable, it should not be discarded. Boots must simply make sure they carry it out properly.
Carrying out the interview
There are a number of factors, which would be taken into account when carrying out the interview. The interview should be conducted around a simple plan and be based on a number of questions against which all candidates will be assessed. It is also considered good practice to prepare suitable place for the interview, such as a warm, quiet, ventilated room. The interviewer should also ensure that the candidates have a friendly reception and are informed of what is expected of them.
The average interview usually takes around thirty minutes. The interview plan organises the time to cover the important aspects in assessing applicants. The plan must be flexible enough to allow the interviewer to explore areas that may come up during the interview.
Boots can follow a simple strategy of what the interviewer should do and what the interviewer shouldn’t do before and during the interview. The interviewer should always try and make the applicant comfortable by maybe asking him/her whether they had an easy journey to the building or whether they are warm enough in the interview room. This sort of behaviour can put the interviewee at ease in order of seeing the real side of them.
Listed below are some of the things that an interviewer representing Boots should do:
* Introduce yourself to the candidate
* Adopt a suitable manner, show respect to the interviewee and be friendly
* Make sure the interview is not interrupted
* Conduct the interview at an unhurried pace
* Have a list of questions that need to be asked
* Encourage the candidate to talk by using ‘open’ questions such as;
* “Tell me about your present or past job”
* “Do you believe that………”
* Concentrate on those areas not fully covered by the letter of application
* Be alert for clues in the candidate’s answer, problem where necessary, and be more specific in the questioning if you are not satisfied
* When the interview has ended, make sure the candidate ha no further questions and let the candidate know when the decision will be made
* Write up your assessment notes as soon as the interview has finished whilst the information is still ‘fresh’ in your mind
* Prepare for the next interview
The interviewer will have gained a great deal of information from the interview. It will help the interviewer to have an interview assessment form so he/she can decide if that they suitable for the job. An interview assessment form can be found in the appendix.
This is the part where Boots HRM will evaluate each and every one of the job applicants. It will evaluate how well the applicant spoke, dressed and came across in the job interview. Also letters of application and Curriculum Vitae’s (CVs) will be evaluated on how well the applicant can write and by looking at the CV the HRM can see which applicant has the best qualifications and most ideal interests, hobbies, and past-times for the job.
Boots would be able to tell whether the chosen candidate for the job was the correct selection by assessing whether the company’s aim had been achieved. However, selection can be very costly to Boots. For example, if Boots were to send out application forms to candidates the cost of postage has to be paid for and Boots may have to pay for travel expenses for candidates’ journeys to interviews.
Staff will also have to give up time to carry out the interviews. For example, if 10 people were interviewed for three posts by Boots, but only one applicant was suitable, selection may not have been effective. In this case Boots would have to re-advertise and interview other candidates as two posts would be unfilled. Boots’ Human resource department’s role would be to check all stages of selection to find out where problems had arisen. For example, when short-listing, a suitable candidate may have been ‘left out’. At an interview a possible candidate may have been rushed, so he/she was not given the chance to do their best.
It is now illegal for Boots or any other organisation to specify sex, marital status, colour, race, nationality or disability in any job advertisement. These laws were brought in by the government due to the Sex Discrimination Act (1975 and 1986), the Race Relations Act (1970), and the Disability Discrimination Act (1995). An Industrial Tribunal is available for people who feel that they have been discriminated against by any organisation, for example, during an interview. This Industrial Tribunal can award damages if it feels that a person has a fair case of being discriminated against by an organisation.
Another “Act” that can be looked upon as discrimination by an organisation is the Equal Pay Act (1970). This implies that men and women must receive equal pay if the work that they do is the same or similar.
Boots have always followed the laws of the Sex, Race Relations, Equal Pay, and Disability Discrimination Act’s so not to cause a confrontation between the company itself, the person(s) discriminated against and the Industrial Tribunal. They always deploy a system where by such discrimination acts are followed.