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Recruitment and selection

Discuss about the Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent.

Human resource management is an approach that allows business organisations in managing their workforce in order to optimise their performance levels. The approach of managing the human resources of a company was started in the industrial revolution and has greatly evolved since then (Hendry, 2012). The present day human resource managers are held responsible for employee training and development, performance management, career management, recruitment and selection and for some other non-core functions like attracting and retaining employees, employee motivation, etc. Human resource management is considered to be one of the most important departments of the present day business organisations (Armstrong & Taylor, 2014).

Recruitment and selection is one of the most important core functions in the management of human resources and basically deals with advertisement of job openings, inviting applications for jobs and selecting the right candidates for the right job within the right time period (Spurgeon, Davies, & Chapman, 2015). Recruitment and selection is one of the first tasks on the priority list of an organisation and human resource managers as it can be of a great value when trying to align the human resource management strategies with the overall organisational strategies.

Retail business is one of the oldest forms of business and has greatly evolved with the passage of time. Retail industry basically operates by offering goods and services to the customers in a physical setup, such as a brick and mortar shop. From traditional brick and mortar shops, the retail industry has grown to huge supermarkets that offer almost everything that a customer can require under a single roof. Retailers like Tesco and Walmart have emerged as global leaders in the industry and are offering millions of products to their customers. The retail industry also offers employment opportunities to millions of people and also forms a significant portion of the global GDP.

The fact that the global retail industry is one of the largest industry and requires a lot of workforce to carry out its operations makes it more vulnerable to human resource management practices. Recruitment and selection in the retail industry is one of the most complicated functions that the managers of retail companies have to perform in order to fulfil the human resource demands of the workplace. This report is prepared to gain a deeper insight into the issues related to recruitment and selection in the retail industry and providing recommendations that can help in dealing with the issues.

Recruitment and selection issues in retail industry

The retail industry is one of the most complicated industries for the human resource managers because the profitability of a company and the quality of customer care services is directly dependent on the number of employees that a company has. Further, there are certain conditions that are experienced in the retail industry, which makes the management of human resources even more difficult. Some of the recruitment and selection issues in the retail industry are given below:

First of all, the retail industry experiences a huge fluctuation in its human resource demand and supply patterns. The companies that are operating in the retail industry require human resources for restocking the shelves and to attend the customers that visit the retail outlets for shopping. The number of employees required in a retail outlet can vary from time to time (Brunot, n.d.). For example, retail outlets experience heavy footfall in holiday and festive seasons, such as Christmas, Halloween, etc. and the human resource demand during such seasons can rise significantly. On the other hand, in normal days, a manager working in a retail outlet might experience surplus workforce due to reduced footfall in the outlets.

Furthermore, the retail companies also experience very high turnover rates as compared to any other industry. The employees working in retail outlets generally consider it as a part time job and will leave their jobs as soon as they get a better proposition. High employee turnover rates along with fluctuations in human resource demand and supply patterns can cause a lot of trouble to the retail outlet managers as it becomes difficult to predict the human resource demand of an outlet and use the information in recruitment and selection process (Careerbuilder, n.d.). It also forces human resource managers working in the retail outlets to carry on recruitment and selection programs as a continuous process as they can experience jobs going vacant in real time.

Secondly, in the retail industry, most of the hiring process is done by the retail outlet managers themselves, who are not professionals in the field of human resource management. In general, the retail companies experience candidates walking into the stores and getting in touch with the store manager for a job. Because the qualifications required to work in a retail store are less and the stores are always on a hunt for new employees, it becomes easier for the managers as well as for the employees to carry out the recruitment process using walk-in interviews (Barrett, 2016). Walk-in interviews limit the pool of candidates that can be screened by the managers to find the right fit for the right job. Further, the managers do not even assess the candidates on the basis of certain tests and are not able to identify their personalities and behaviour aspects. Therefore, the chance of finding the right fir for the right job is very less in the retail industry.

Recommendations to improve recruitment and selection in retail industry

Thirdly, retail industry received millions of job applications every year and the applicants belong to diverse cultural backgrounds, age groups, religion, etc. Because the educational qualifications required to work in a retail company are not high, almost every candidate is eligible for being selected to work in a company (Singh & Mishra, 2008). As a result, it can become difficult for the store managers to assess the candidates properly and the result is a diverse workforce in the workplace. Even though diversity is considered to be positive for enhancing the performance of a workplace but it requires a competent manager to bring out the best of it using various management practices (Kokemuller, n.d.). As already discussed, retail store managers are not experts in the management of human resources and can face a lot of difficulties in managing a diverse workforce.

Fourthly, retail companies are required to behave very carefully towards the applicants who fill up job applications to work in their companies. In a retail business setup, it is highly possible that the employees working in a retail store are also the customers of the business. Candidates are attracted to work in retail outlets from which they purchase goods and services, which makes it important that the managers should deal with the candidates properly because an unethical or a rude refusal can have an effect on their customer base and can also have a negative impact on their market reputation. Therefore, it is very important for the retail companies to carefully carry out their recruitment and selection process so that they do not end up offending the candidates, who are also their customers.

Recruitment and selection is one of the most important part of a human resource managerial system and business organisations should try to strengthen their recruitment process because it can be of great benefits in the long run. Some recommendations that can be used by companies that are operating in the retail industry, to strengthen their recruitment and selection programs are given below:

First of all, retail companies should try to establish dedicated human resource management departments that can look after the management of their workforce. Having a dedicated human resource management team will allow the company to have a competent team looking after various human resource managerial functions and strengthening them. A dedicated human resource department will be able to handle the recruitment and selection process of a company more efficiently and using practices that will help in inviting talented pool of candidates that will be able to fit in the business setup and perform better. They will also be able to design job descriptions and job specifications, which will help them in filtering through the job applications that they receive.

Secondly, the retail companies should start planning their workforce as soon as possible. Workforce planning is a concept that allows companies to forecast the human resource demands of their workplace and finding out ways that can be used to fulfil the demand. Workforce planning will also help retail companies in using some important factors that govern the human resource demand of a workplace, such as employee turnover rates, seasonal demand, etc. Involving these factors in the planning of recruitment and selection will also allow retail companies to deal with the fluctuations in human resource demand and supply (ERC, 2011). Workforce planning will also help the company in identifying different sources, such as internal sources and external resources, that can be used to fulfil the human resource demands.

Thirdly, the companies operating in the retail industry should try to implement strategies that would help them in retaining and attracting a talented pool of employees. Attracting and retaining talented employees is very important to strengthen a recruitment and selection process because it helps in decreasing the cost of recruitment and increase the return on the resources invested in the recruitment process (Mayhew, n.d.). The companies operating in the retail industry can offer a positive working environment to the employees along with better compensations and benefits. Further, the companies that are operating 24*7 should also try to provide a flexible work arrangement to the employees, which will help them in maintaining a healthier work life balance. Such strategies can greatly help retail companies in strengthening their recruitment and selection process as it would help them in bringing down the employee turnover rates and in attracting and retaining talented pool of employees.


Fourthly, providing better work conditions, flexible work timings, better compensations and benefits, etc. will also allow retail companies to foster a positive market image amongst the candidates and become an employer of choice. Becoming an employer of choice will help the company in attracting talented employees and retaining the existing employees (Stephenson, 2015)

Lastly, retail companies can start using human resource management systems, which comprise of software and hardware solutions that assist business organisations in managing their workforce. Using human resource management systems, retail companies can create, store, access and analyse data and information that is related to the human resources of their workplace. Using information from the past and the present, human resource managers will be able to prepare strategies for managing the human resources in the future and identifying human resource demand patterns in a better way (The University Of British Columbia, n.d.). Furthermore, human resource managers can also use human resource information systems to store information about the candidates that had appeared for recruitment in the past but were not recruited. The managers can then get in touch with such candidates when they feel that they need to fulfil the human resource demand but are not being able to invite enough job applications. Therefore, human resource management systems can make management of human resources and the recruitment process easier for the retail companies.

Conclusion

Global retail industry is a complex industry because of being vulnerable to a number of internal and external environment factors and the competition between rival firms makes it even harder for some companies to ensure market survival. Recruitment and selection in retail industry is a vital process as it can help retail companies in becoming more efficient and profitable. Therefore, the companies operating in the retail industry should realise the importance of recruitment and selection programs and should look into the above recommendations to make their recruitment and selection programs more effective.

Hendry, C. (2012). Human Resource Management . Routledge.

Armstrong, M., & Taylor, S. (2014). Armstrong's Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice . Kogan Page Publishers.

Spurgeon, P., Davies, R., & Chapman, A. (2015). Elements of Applied Psychology .

Kokemuller, N. (n.d.). HR Challenges in the Retail Sector . Retrieved May 29, 2017, from smallbusiness.chron.com: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/hr-challenges-retail-sector-43858.html

Barrett, D. (2016, October 4). Six recruitment challenges that retailers must conquer . Retrieved May 29, 2017, from www.hrzone.com: https://www.hrzone.com/talent/acquisition/six-recruitment-challenges-that-retailers-must-conquer

Brunot, T. (n.d.). HR Challenges in the Retail Sector . Retrieved May 29, 2017, from yourbusiness.azcentral.com: https://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/hr-challenges-retail-sector-1648.html

Careerbuilder. (n.d.). Recruiting and Retaining Top Talent in the Retail Industry . Retrieved May 29, 2017, from employer.careerbuilder.com: https://employer.careerbuilder.com/jobposter/small-business/article.aspx?articleid=ATL_0170RETAIL

Singh, B. D., & Mishra, S. (2008, July). JOURNAL ARTICLE Indian Retail Sector- HR Challenges & Measures for Improvement. Indian Journal of Industrial Relations , 44(1).

Mayhew, R. (n.d.). Key Recruitment & Retention Strategies . Retrieved May 29, 2017, from smallbusiness.chron.com: https://smallbusiness.chron.com/key-recruitment-retention-strategies-2534.html

ERC. (2011, February 9). 6 Ways to Improve Your Hiring Process . Retrieved May 29, 2017, from www.yourerc.com: https://www.yourerc.com/blog/post/6-Ways-to-Improve-Your-Hiring-Process.aspx

The University Of British Columbia. (n.d.). HR Information Systems . Retrieved May 29, 2017, from www.hr.ubc.ca: https://www.hr.ubc.ca/information-systems/hrms/

Stephenson, J. (2015, March 24). 11 Step Guide to Improving Your Recruiting Process Reputation. Retrieved May 29, 2017, from www.linkedin.com: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/11-step-guide-improving-your-recruiting-process-jessica

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