How Strategic Approach to Recruitment and Selection Creates Competitive Advantage
Coca-Cola Company was founded in Atlanta, Georgia in 1886 by John Pemberton who was working as a pharmacist in the city. Coca-Cola is the world’s largest manufacturer, distributor and marketer of non-alcoholic beverage concentrates and syrups. The Company sells concentrated forms of its beverages to bottlers who produce and sell the finished juices and beverages to the retailers. The company was formed in 1886 with nine servings of the soft drink being sold each day which generated annual revenue of about US $ 50. The company has operations in more than two hundred countries. Currently, coca-cola has more than five hundred products in its product portfolio and operates in all the continents. The operating groups of the company include the North America market, the North Asia, Eurasia, Middle East, the African group, the European Union group, the Southeast Asia and the Pacific Rim group. The company offers fountain syrups, syrups and concentrates for making carbonated drinks. The company also manufactures carbonated water and other flavored waters together with energy and sports drinks (Brigham & Ehrhardt, 2011, pp. 46-53). The middle level managers are those people who have skills in some particular area and thus their hiring is done so that the company can help advance their goals and strategies. This paper seeks to establish how strategic approach to recruitment and selection of middle level managers and how this helps the Coca-Cola Company to gain and maintain its competitive advantage.
Human resource management refers to what the managers in a company do so that they can attract and be able to retain employees who will be able to advance the companies objectives. The HRM contain such functions as selection and recruitment, development of the employees, appraisal of employees, employee remuneration, feedback systems and industrial relationship. Strategic Human Resource Management refers to how the intricate relationship between the various components of the HRM works together towards the realization of the organizations goals (Nankervis, Compton, Baird & Coffey 2011, pp. 32-45; Bernardin 2003, pp. 23-47)
All organizations have their own ways of how they attract and retain employees so that they can achieve the objectives and goals of the company. The Coca-Cola Company being an organization that is conscious of the need for the right employees who are capable of advancing the goals of the company has invested greatly in the Human Resource Department. The department conducts such activities as recruitment and selection, the analysis of the requirement of the different jobs, appraisals of how the employees perform remuneration and other benefits which may include compensation for the employees. The department is also involved in the training and personal and professional development of the people whom they have hired. The industrial and labor relations between the employees and the company are also looked into seriously. Finally, there are other benefits which are also considered for the company for instance medical and the welfare of the different employees (Brigham & Ehrhardt, 2011, pp. 52-56).
To begin with is the job analysis, this involves the determination of the skills and duties that the employees are going to be involved in. after the skill requirement has been set, the kind of person that is needed to fill the position becomes the next step. Coca-Cola Company has often looked for people to fill positions before the vacancies arise so that there can be seamless transitions in the company. Due to the remuneration policy and good working environment, thee employees who have been absorbed by the company are always very reluctant since they will find almost no employer willing to go to the lengths achieved by Coke. The company carries out job analysis which involves what the holder of the position will do in specific terms for instance the tasks that the managers are going to do, their responsibilities and duties when they finally land the job. It also considers the level of skill and knowledge base of the individuals who are being considered for the position. Finally, the personal abilities of the prospective employees are also considered (Zurkuhlen & Meeker 1987, 13-34). At Coca-Cola Company the job description for the account managers are responsible for all the customer complaints, selling of new products, they also act as the face of the company in their area of jurisdiction, signing of sales contracts, they write orders and also ensure customer satisfaction. The job specifications are holders of a bachelor degree with good managerial skills. The holders of the jobs are also required to be those with strong personalities, in that they are able to withstand high stress levels.
The recruitment process at the company begins by the placement of adverts in newspapers in the countries where the vacancy is expected to arise. Adverts are also placed in the company’s website and in the notice boards of the company offices in the region where the vacancy is about to arise or has arisen. The prospective employees are told to submit their academic documents and curriculum vitae for the recruitment process to begin. The candidates whose profiles fit the job description and specifications are invited for an interview whose aim is to reveal more about the employee’s personality and experiences. The interviewees also have a chance at this stage so that the roles can be explained to them further. After the interview, the employees are exposed to group exercises so that the level of their group synergy can be established. Thirdly are presentations by each of the interested parties to determine their communication levels. Forth, are the exercises which are timed and are meant to ascertain the abilities of the potential employees. The tests may be used to test the personality of the employees but this they are told in advance. Finally the prospective employees are taken through a simulated process and they are gauged on how they can react to different situations in the company (Institute of Personnel and Development 1995, pp. 12-13)
The selection and recruitment process at Coca-Cola Company is a clear reflection of the requirements that staffing theory requires. The job openings are advertised in a transparent way so that all those who are interested and qualified can apply for consideration. Since the company puts the adverts in the regions where the vacancy arises, they can target that group of people without any extra costs on the company. It should also be noted that the position, the position of accounts manager, can be filled by the people who reside in the areas where the people live thus this supports the rationale of the company to put the adverts in the notice boards of the company and in the local media (Cascio 2003, pp. 265-268).
The requirement that the applications should have the documents of the respective applicants for instance their academic certificates and curriculum vitae are meant to ensure that the job specifications are met. This prevents the firm from hiring based on prejudice or other biases which may hamper the firm’s realization of its strategic goals. The ascertaining of the authenticity of the documents is also done so that the organization is satisfied that it’s getting people to advance eth organization. The short listing is only done after the different applicants strengths and weaknesses have been considered so that only people who fit the profile that was being looked for are given a chance to attend the interviews. At this stage according to the theory of staffing, the firm does not request for any personal information relating to the employee. If this information was given at this stage, it would create some barriers towards the firm employing the right person (Cascio 2003, pp. 265-268, Institute of Personnel and Development 1995, pp. 12-13).
The next process in the staffing theory is the invitation of the shortlisted candidates for an interview. The firm also has this process and this is the first stage where they interact with the prospective future employees. The interviewers are given an opportunity to learn things about the traits about the employees which they could not ascertain from the papers they had submitted for instance attitude. The applicant can at this stage explain why they think they are the right candidate. The candidates lobby for the position at this stage and the recruiting agency has the chance to probe the employees to dig out data that may be important for the final decision. The employees are also given the personal liberties to ask the recruiters more about the firm and its operations. The detailed explanation of the job details to the employees is also done at this stage.
The exposure to group exercises prepares the employees for the tasks that await them when they finally are hired. Since the job of accounts manager at Coca-Cola Company entails being in –charge of other employees but at the micro level, the person to fill the vacancy must have the requisite skills of group synergy so that there can be no cases of communication breakdowns the subordinates. The presentations that the employees are told to undergo are very necessary in preparing them for the task of being the ‘face of the company’. Once employed, they will have so many explanations to do as they will be dealing directly with the complaints of the customers and also all the contracts that the firm enters into will b done by them. As such the interview process is supposed to expose them to be good negotiators early in the process (Cascio 2003, pp. 265-268)The final part of the interview where the prospective employees simulate situations is also very important in the hiring process. Since managers are faced with changing environments in the work place, no one strategy can be the solution to all the problems that may be faced. The interviews are supposed to be those that think quickly so that they can react to the situations before they get out of hand. After this, the firm will be sure to have had the best that there was to choose from.
Coke has been able to maintain its competitive advantage over its rival using a number of key strategies. First, the remuneration and other reward systems created by the company are those aimed at encouraging the employees to work even harder in the realization of the goals of the company which are increased profitability and efficiency. The salaries of employees are better than those which are offered by the competitors so the employee commitment and retention level is high. Those with skills can be retained so that the quality to the customer is always at the best. The policy of promotion from within also encourages the employees to work hard as they one day hope they will be given the positions that they often desire to hold. The policy works well as it is the greatest morale booster. There is clear reward system for achievers. These promotions are based on appraisals of the employees work. Thirdly, the company is also involved in massive training and indoctrination of the employees. Their skills are continuously being improved by the addition of more knowledge to what they already have. These trainings ensure that the employees are well suited to the jobs that they do presently and in the future regardless of the challenges brought about by technology and new work environments (Aswathappa & Dash 2008, pp. 20-21)
The company also has a near excellent way of dealing with industrial relations. The firm concentrates its energy on the needs of the employees as they are considered the most important factor of production in the firm. Finally the employees of Coke are encouraged to act in their locality but to base their thinking in the global sense and the global market. They should be aware of the changes that take place in the wider business environment. However, they are encouraged to base their actins in their surrounding for instance their recognition that their business exists because of the customers and thus they should be served well (Kaufman, Beaumont & Helfgott 2003, pp.66-69).
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