Recruitment and selection have become fundamentally essential concerns for worldwide employers due in large part to significant transformations in emerging technology, the nature of the labor market, sources of recruitment, job expectations, modern work ethic, and market competitiveness, among other things (White & Escobar, 2008). Increased specialization and the advent of multinational companies have exacerbated the situation, increasing the necessity for employers to acquire the best people on the market in order to maintain a competitive advantage. Employers must create successful recruitment, selection, and retention strategies if they are to effectively compete with rivals for qualified candidates.
While many organizations have realized that productivity and efficiency are proportional to the quality of their existing workforce, a significant number continue to struggle with recruiting and selecting employees who can be trusted to align their human capital capacity with essential business objectives and outcomes.
There is compelling evidence that an average organization's employee cost in terms of remuneration and other related benefits exceeds 25 percent of its generated revenue (Searle, 2003). However, the value of this enormous cost may never be justified, at least in terms of productivity, if the organization does not get recruitment and selection right. Many organizations have devised and used a variety of recruitment and selection processes in an effort to create an atmosphere conducive to sourcing and recruiting the best people on the market in order to combat this predicament. The goal of this article is to explain how workforce planning and proactive recruitment and selection methods implemented by Tesco have helped to tackle the persistent problem of finding the right individuals for the firm.
Explanation of Terms
Bernthal (n.d.) explains that "…recruitment is the process of identifying and attracting a group of potential candidates from within and outside the organization to evaluate for employment" (p. 1). The selection process, on the other hand, typically comprises gathering, identifying, and analyzing crucial information regarding candidates' academic and professional credentials and skills in relation to the stated jobs. According to Bernthal, organizations invest an average of 33 percent of their HR expenditure to recruitment, while approximately 18 percent is allocated to selection. As a result of the expenditures associated with conducting these processes, it is of utmost importance for the firm to select candidates with the appropriate skills and talents.
Workforce planning is the continuous evaluation of an organization's anticipated human capital needs in terms of numbers, competencies, skills, and locations (Tesco, n.d.). This approach is crucial because it provides businesses with the ability to plan how stated needs can be optimally satisfied through recruitment, selection, and training procedures.
Tesco is no exception to the trend of adapting standard recruitment processes to the requirements of individual positions, as many firms do. In recent years, however, Tesco has engaged in what can be referred to as proactive recruitment, which entails recognizing that searches are expensive for the organization because they require significant resources and, as such, must be conducted in an active manner that reflects the mission and identity of the organization, including providing information on opportunities for career advancement, diversity commitment, mentoring, and succession planning (Searle, 2003).
A Brief Summary of Tesco
Tesco is the largest private sector employer in the United Kingdom (UK) and the market leader in the grocery sector based on sales and market share. The corporation has more than 360,000 employees worldwide (Tesco, n.d.). Tesco has expanded its product offerings from food and grocery commerce to include clothes, consumer electronics, internet and telecommunications, and financial services. The company's business plan is comprised of four main components: core UK operations, retailing, international expansion, and non-food businesses. Tesco operates in 12 countries outside the United Kingdom, including Thailand, Japan, the United States, China, and Turkey.
The organization has an ongoing demand for human capital across a vast spectrum of store-based and non-store employment. In particular, Tesco is always seeking cashiers, stock handlers, experts such as pharmacists and bakers, supervisors, stock managers, logisticians, marketers, attorneys, human resource professionals, property managers, and information technology specialists, among other job categories. Therefore, it is imperative to design and sustain successful and robust recruitment and selection procedures.
Workforce Planning and Proactive Recruitment and Selection Methodologies at Tesco
Tesco's overarching purpose in human resource management is to guarantee that all jobs work cohesively to advance its business goals and outcomes. The organization must ensure that "…it has the appropriate number of people in the appropriate positions at the appropriate time" (Tesco, n.d. p. 145). Tesco has built a disciplined recruitment and selection procedure to attract qualified applicants for managerial, operational, and frontline positions, an accomplishment that has eluded many firms. The purpose of this part is to analyze critically the company's use of workforce planning and proactive recruitment and selection processes to attract the appropriate types of employees.
Tesco's human resource department has recognized the need to plan ahead in order to fulfill the company's human resource needs, primarily due to the company's continual growth and consequent need to recruit on a regular basis for both its food and non-food core sectors. Due to its UK and international expansion strategy, personnel turnover, promotions, and retirements, as well as changes in its processes and technologies, the company has the ability to create a variety of job roles.
The organization uses a workforce planning table to determine the anticipated demand for new workers in both managerial and non-management positions in order to effectively fill growing openings (Tesco, n.d.). During the 2008/2009 fiscal year, for instance, the corporation estimated that it required approximately 4,000 new managers to effectively implement its growth and expansion goals. Tesco's annual personnel planning process begins in the final week of February and includes quarterly assessments and revisions in May, August, and November.
Literature indicates that there is no single preferred model or theoretical framework for labor planning, nor is it a mechanical or static development (Searle, 2003). Fundamentally, it entails examining the current employees of an organization and then expanding that analysis to determine the future skills and competences that are unquestionably necessary to deliver new and enhanced services, so enabling the corporation in achieving its business objectives. According to Hawley and Taylor (2006), workforce planning is predicated on the idea that an organization can be staffed more effectively if it acquires the ability to foresee its human resource demands and the actual amount of human capital that is or will be available.
Workforce planning has helped Tesco to not only alter worker levels and execute recruiting as necessary, but also provides the corporation with sufficient time and flexibility to efficiently satisfy its demands for people, such as expansion and maintaining customer service standards (Tesco, n.d.). This indicates that workforce planning facilitates the alignment of Tesco's human capital requirements with crucial business outcomes, a fundamental indicator of efficient human resource management.
Human resource theorists concur that workforce planning not only provides a framework for organizations to comprehend the skills and capabilities required for the future, but also aids in the management of employment costs by anticipating changes and ensures that employees receive adequate training and development (Hawley & Taylor, 2006). In addition, workforce planning enables firms to improve services by tying together core business strategy and people plans, without mentioning that it also facilitates the successful implementation of diversity programs.
Tesco utilizes the Talent Screener program to combat the issue of integrating unsuitable individuals in its human capital pool as part of its workforce planning initiative, particularly pertaining to graduate recruitment. According to Chubb (2007), the program examines the applicants' fitness for a given post and rates them on a traffic-light scale, with red representing 'not suited' and green representing 'well suited.' This categorization reduces time wasted in subsequent recruitment and selection procedures by matching individuals' qualifications to the requirements of posted positions or future job opportunities.
According to Angela, the company's graduate recruiting manager, "…the color rating helped Tesco identify more precisely what it was looking for and what it was not" (Chubb, 2007 p. 12). In addition, the color rating persuaded Tesco to keep individuals who, while somewhat unsuitable for the post applied for, could fit elsewhere according to the labor plan. For instance, a candidate with a rating of amber may be invited to an interview for a different position that is a good fit for his or her qualifications and talents. This not only ensures that the organization has the proper number of individuals with the right skills, but it also saves a substantial amount of money on advertising costs.
Proactive Selection and Recruitment Procedures
Tesco understands that the primary goal of recruitment is to attract the most productive and valuable people for the role. Despite the fact that there are numerous suitable candidates on the market, as has already been established, many organizations struggle to fill open positions and consistently hire the incorrect individuals (Searle, 2003).
Having recognized this difficulty, Tesco has established proactive techniques for the recruitment of essential personnel, such as managers and other highly-ranked professionals, by "selling themselves" in a variety of ways to possible applicants. Additionally, the corporation uses the internet, intranet, newspapers, and television to promote the professional progression options available to Tesco employees. However, this is only done when the corporation lacks an employee with the necessary skills and abilities for the role (Tesco, n.d.).
In the aforementioned background, Tesco's emphasis on internal recruitment and selection processes is evident. Its "talent planning" strategy emphasizes the essential importance of encouraging people to advance their careers inside the organization, and hence encourages staff members to advance through the ranks. Specifically, the organization has developed an annual evaluation system in which managers cultivate the technical skills, capabilities, and behaviors required for certain positions, and existing employees are encouraged to apply based on their qualities (Tesco, n.d.). This arrangement is proactive since it not only helps the corporation achieve its business objectives, but also helps people realize their personal and professional aspirations.
According to Hawley and Taylor (2003), an in-house recruitment strategy provides the obvious benefit of cost and time savings in terms of training requirements, as personnel with inside knowledge of the company's operations require shorter training periods. Additionally, internal promotion serves as an incentive for all employees to perform harder for the organization and provides the organization with the opportunity to evaluate the strengths and flaws of an insider as opposed to an outsider (The Times 100, 2010). However, the strategy is criticized for failing to infuse the organization with new creative and innovative ideas, without stating that companies must replace the employee who has been promoted (Shittu & Omar, 2006).
In external recruitment, which is mostly used to fill senior jobs, the company uses its website and other media such as radio and television to actively advertise the vacancies (Tesco, n.d.). Although the organization constantly pursues the most cost-efficient method for obtaining qualified individuals, it is aware that an effective recruitment strategy must reach a wide audience and attract a big number of eligible candidates. Analysts of human resources believe that "the larger the applicant pool, the more selective the department can be when making hiring decisions" (White & Escobar, 2008). External recruitment is a costly and time-consuming procedure, but the organization is able to find the ideal candidate for a particular role.
Tesco proactively screens candidates using their curriculum vitae (CV), which enables management to determine whether a candidate's qualifications and competencies align with the position's person specification (Tesco, n.d.). Additionally, the organization is proactive in providing a 'job type match' tool on its official website to weed out people who may like to apply but lack the necessary qualifications, as well as allowing potential applicants to see where they would fit prior to submitting their applications.
Candidates who pass the preliminary screening are invited to the assessment centre, where they participate in a series of practical tasks designed to evaluate their aptitude, teamwork skills, and problem-solving ability. The applicants recommended by the internal assessment centres are then scheduled for interviews with line managers and HR personnel to ensure that the best candidates are chosen based on specific job requirements (Tesco, n.d.). This proactive selection methodology recognizes the need to promote special considerations in order to recruit minority and female candidates. Moreover, the approach enables Tesco to have the appropriate types of people resources in the appropriate jobs and places.
Workforce planning and proactive recruitment and selection procedures are essential for a business to satisfy its present and future staffing requirements. This article demonstrates how these methods have helped Tesco to successfully attract individuals with the qualifications, behaviors, and skills necessary to support its growth and development (Tesco, n.d.).
In addition, the discussion has showed that similar tactics can be copied by other businesses in order to assist them in avoiding the persistent difficulty of acquiring the wrong type of individuals to advance company objectives. The cost element has been thoroughly studied to demonstrate how these tactics have enabled Tesco to reduce costs while attracting the most talented individuals to drive its growth ambitions. Moreover, the methods have shown that it is not always expensive to find the proper people on the market; strategy is the most crucial aspect.
List of Citations
Bernthal, Paul R. (n.d.). Development Dimensions International web page on recruitment and selection.
Chubb, L (2007). Why "Go" means "Green" for Tesco. People Management, Vol. 13, Issue 25, pp 12-12.
Hawley, J.D., and J.C. Taylor (2006). Human Resource Development Implications of How Business Associations Use Inter-Organizational Networks to Achieve Workforce Development Objectives. Human Resource Development International, Volume 9, Number 4, Pages 485 to 508
R Searle (2003). A Critical Text on Selection and Recruiting London: Palgrave Macmillan.
Shittu, O., & Omar, O. (2006). Evaluation of part-time supermarket labor in London, United Kingdom. American Academy of Business Journal, Volume 9, Issue 2, Pages 93-98.
Tesco (n.d.). Selection and Recruitment at Tesco. Web.
Times Top 100 (2010). Website for Recruitment, Selection, and Training.
White, M.D., & Escobar, G (2008). Emerging Issues for the Effective Recruitment, Selection, and Training of Police in the United States and Abroad International Review of Law & Technology, Volume 22, Numbers 1-2, Pages 119 to 134.