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Sainsbury: Company Profile

Discuss about online recruitment strategy of sainsbury?

The project focuses on the assessment of online recruitment system of Sainsbury and how they aim to align their process of talent management with their organizational goal. The objective of this project is to highlight on the recruitment process, the strategic human resource management of Sainsbury and how they manage to achieve their target through talent management. The work also concentrates on the working environment and how through various ways they retain their employee.

The company was established during 1869. Today Sainsbury had more than 1,200 supermarkets employing a total number of 161,000 employees. The present market share is 16.7% in the market and their total revenue is £23.949 (, 2014). The goal of Sainsbury is to make the lives of their customer easier for every day by presenting superior service and quality in a fair price. Their prime aim is to establish themselves as the most reliable retailer for their customers.

Five different questions were highlighted by Wright, Purcell and Boxall (2007) which comprises the answer for effectively recruiting employees for an organization so that they could pursue success and their survival level. They are mainly about who are the appropriate people for recruiting, where will they be recruited, what information should be disseminated about the recruitment, when recruitment is required and the sources that should be used for recruiting.

According to Micheal et al (1979) when the effectiveness is compared with efficiency the effectiveness of recruitment process becomes easy. Efficiency measures are important to see whether the short term targets are met by the organizations. Here in recruitment there should be fairness and corruption should be avoided. According to Treisman (2000) he mentioned corruption to be a phenomenon which is complex that requires comprehending through different viewpoint. It is a contributory factor for the developing nations where several researches has demonstrated that it weakens the institutional foundation to which the national recruitment policies get influenced. 

The human capital theory states that the collective experience, abilities and skills of people along with their personality, energy and behavior makes the human capital. The created value is from the skill and knowledge of the people for which the prime focus should be developing, retaining and attracting talents. In Sainsbury sufficient strategies and initiatives should be used so that they could attract the talent pool for which their organization can efficiently utilize their human capital.

Literature Review

There are various sources of recruitment in an organization; they are mainly divided into two categories. They are internal and external sources. The internal sources includes performance appraisal, reference and skill inventory and the most new form is the online job portals of Sainsbury. The external sources include consultancies, recruitment agencies, job centers, personal reference and government training schemes. The website is a more effective source of recruitment, it is because there is no biasness involved and transparency is well maintained. There are many advantages and disadvantages of this form of recruitment strategy, they are as explained below:

  • Transparency of selection process,
  • There will be no interference of intermediaries,
  • Smooth and timely running of recruitment process.
  • Possibility of selecting the appropriate candidate.
  • The access on online is 24*7, hence a candidate may provide his or her application or fill up the form whenever he or she is free.
  • The website provides every required data that the applicant should know.
  • Every application is welcomed.
  • Checking and screening the mapping of skill and genuineness of all those resumes is time consuming and problematic activity for the company.
  • No face to face interaction on what the organization wants
  • Once the company selects the applicants the rest applicants cannot apply for the second time.
  • There can be a problem on error in operating the system.
  • The reliability is a big question so selection error may occur.

This theory assumes that the applicants do not behaves rationally but they mainly respond to the psychological and social needs (like affiliation, security, and achievement). Thus the company by highlighting only those job securities like promotion, reward system, incentives can attract the attention of the candidates.

This theory assumes that applicants acts rationally in decision making for the job selection. Hence following this theory the necessary information that would make the candidate select the job are: (benefit, Salary, Working condition). A good number of applicants gets attracted to this type of benefits

This theory states that the applicant more relies on the recruiter than any other factor. this can be due to the behavior of the recruiter, the follow up calls, the promptness, the warmth and the sincerity. Many recruiters who keep a follow up with the applicants gets a good number of candidates participating in their interview session.

The recruitment process for graduates is done through online website form fill up (Wilton, 2012). The application process begins in the end of august and there is no specified closing date but the centers of assessment runs during January and November. The team can process almost 6,000 applications during the season of recruitment. Sainsbury accepts only one application per candidate and for this they have a selection tool to check. There are in general five stages in the process of application. They are:

While applying for Sainsbury’s the applicant must remember what he had written in his application because later questions are asked from them. What Sainsbury’s look for in this stage is the background, and provide answers to questions based on position of responsibility and why the candidate have chosen the organization. There are also questionnaires to find the motivational skills of the candidates. There are also questions which are based on situational judgment that helps in determining the decision making skills of the applicant.


In this stage a test is taken in the online official website of Sainsbury’s. It comprises of aptitude test based on which the quantitative, logical reasoning and verbal along with data analysis skills are evaluated (Practice Aptitude Tests | FREE Online Aptitude Tests, 2014). In order to make good results the applicant needs to be good at those verbal as well an analytical skills.

This is done by the member of HR, form HR department. The process of this interview lasts to 30 minutes. After completion of this stage and qualifying this stage the candidates are generally asked for completing the questionnaire on personality and then proceed for the assessment processes.

This is designed in such a way so as to find whether the applicant suits the job profile and whether he can adjust with the working environment of Sainsbury’s. here the applicants need to answer with full honesty so that the company may understand whether he would also contribute in the healthy organizational culture.

At this stage exercise for role play, group activities, presentation and Interviews are taken. The dress code for this session is formal and the duration for this session is about one and a half day. After this stage the deserving candidates are selected.

Sainsbury’s policy of recruitment is considered as the Investigation of prospective employees, encouraging and stimulating them in order to apply for the job in the company. Sainsbury offers a large number of job opportunities in different stores (Abbott, 2015). Their prime search is for people who possess a good quality of servicing their customers. They recruit almost 100 graduates from academic institutions every year and hire more than 70 works from the store itself. Sainsbury’s generally conducts their recruitment process through online recruitment (Wilton, 2012).

According to the E-recruitment strategy of Sainsbury the objective theories applies to a great extent. This is because candidates are given a god overview of the salary, and the working condition information. Here though the subjective theory also applies if provided but for critical contact for E-recruitment there is no face to face interaction to judge the behavior. The website provides a thorough knowledge as well as they have provided a chat option to the administrator of the application.

The value that has been placed on the department of human resource depicts the level of commitment from the top management of the company to train their employees (Bluen, 2013). Sainsbury maintains the development and training needs of their employees (Truss, Mankin and Kelliher, 2012). They emphasize on training of their staffs and integrating the process of learning for the constant training of the new employees to attain a productive and effective work from them. This begins with the post recruitment process, where the new employees are provided with orientation training. Here the company tries to build a sense of trust with their employees and provide them a clear vision of their objective (Snell and Bohlander, 2013). In order to build efficient talent the company provides sufficient training. The management of Sainsbury considers providing a good work environment is a corporate responsibility that they should follow. Being one of the largest employers in the local level they understand the value of an engaged workforce. For this they have implemented various schemes of engaging their employees (Taylor and Taylor, 2010).


In order to run their operations successfully Sainsbury, constantly evaluate their talent programs because they understand the significance of their colleagues for having further development whether in terms of transition into new roles or promotions. They generally don’t over-rely over technology for any of their programs on development because many people don’t have easy access over certain technological things (Truss, Mankin and Kelliher, 2012).

In the site of Sainsbury online recruitment, the image that they have established is about a very practical oriented organization that are not looking for people who would be just innovative but also about people who would be able to act according to situation. Sainsbury doesn’t states that they wants the best but they assures that if an applicant joins this organization then he or she will have a prosperous career (Ordanini and Silvestri, 2008). Their emphasis was more on encouraging employees to join their organization depending on their interest. It depends upon the applicants whether they feel themselves to be deserving candidate. They want employees who would be thrilled to see their created product in the shelves and the brand has already been a trusted one so having that kind of potential is the gateway to Sainsbury.

The site helps the organization in many ways. It helps the organization to receive a good number of applications. It boosts the process of recruitment and the communication process becomes easier as the candidate gets immediate feedback (Palethorpe, 2010). The process continues for one and a half day to which the candidates don’t have to waste their time. Hence it saves the valuable time of both the recruitment manager and the candidates (Rausch, Sheta and Ayesh, 2013).

Organizational culture: the uniform of the staff of Sainsbury depicts that a discipline is maintained in the organization (Singh, 2011). The uniform is not meant for branding the company but implanting a sense of equality among their employees. There is diversity in the members and Sainsbury encourages diversity in their organization.  The layout and labelling of Sainsbury bears a different personality for impressing their customers.

Induction socialization and employer branding are the two factors that also creates the climate of the organization (Kunerth and Mosley, 2011). The company has been one of the leader in employer branding as it gets almost million of application through online portal. Though the interest of graduate students in retail market is very low yet Sainsbury receives a good number of applications. Moreover it encourages promotion of employees and career development through learning and training programs. The induction and socialization process the new hired employees are made acquainted with the norms and regulations of the company (Lussier and Hendon, 2013). This process is also known as the onboarding of the employees.

E-Recruitment and theories

Sainsbury seriously focus on their employees benefits and understands the significance of engaging their employees. The process of recruitment of Sainsbury merely doesn’t ends at the selection of the candidate. It is the duty to provide training and overview about the organization continues after the selection (Carbery and Cross, n.d.). A company is not only judges by its product but also by the employee turnover. Sainsbury often confronts a turnover of a good number of employees and for this the management needs to establish a proper leadership style and employee engagement programs (Gold, Thorpe and Mumford, 2010). The management should consider the work stress, level of motivation, absenteeism and career opportunities of the employees. Following the two factor theory of Herzberg the company can make a strategy to motivate their employees, by comprehending the factors of dissatisfaction and satisfaction (Bratton and Gold, 2012).

Sainsbury in their official website provides a tag for applicants that they give a world of opportunities to applicants. They give a thorough insight of what they are looking for and how Sainsbury can be the best destination for a candidate for their future development. They help the candidate to discover about their supermarket, store management, store support centre, local market, logistics, pharmacy, about bank and graduates. in order to apply the candidate have to register or login. Their process throughout is easy to be followed and with thorough guidance. But too much of option makes a candidate become unsure about what to do. In fact most of the time it may happen that the candidate wished to apply for something and instead applied for something. Online application is not a prominent step. It perplexes the applicants.


Being one of the leading companies in retail sector in UK, Sainsbury values their employees and focuses highly on their human resource section so as to increase their level of efficiency and productivity. The process of recruitment is very much important for the company because the labor turnover is high in the company and the employees seem to be highly dissatisfied. Online recruitment may lead to a good number of applications but the real challenge is maintaining the number of employees or the employee retention. Leadership style and performance appraisal plays a big role in this process. A company that provides good salary package, better employee benefit and perquisites build its own employer brand. But today, other factors like job satisfaction and work environment has also become an important criteria.

Recruitment process


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Carbery, R. and Cross, C. (n.d.). Human resource development.

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