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Coca-Cola Company’s Recruitment Effectiveness


Human Resources Management

Human Resources Management, or in other words Employee Resourcing, is a rather important function of every company. One can even say that this very function is basic and all other functions are built on its basis, as far as the work of any company depends greatly upon its workers. That is why every ambitious organization has to follow the needs of its staff because the efficiency of the work of this organization depends much upon the satisfaction of the staff with the conditions of work and payment for this work. Drawing from this, human resource management is the basis of every company, and only around this basis, all other activities of the company must be built

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Moreover, the companies that have the highest level of the development of the Human Resources Management Sphere are proved to be the most successful on the market and their production is proved to be the most competitive (Al-Rajhi, p. 15).


One of the branches of the activities of Human Resources Management is that of the recruitment of new employees to the company. This very branch is of great significance for every company because the constant development of some organizations demands either employment of additional workers, or change in the staff of the company, or both these processes combined, to conform to the most modern trends of the market. Recruitment, thus, acquires special importance for small developing companies that are willing to reach the higher level and get more influence in the international and domestic markets, but also for the great companies that experience a sharp need to preserve their positions in the market and develop them into such that will allow having even more profit in the future (Babson, pp. 3 – 14).


Because of these factors, the topic of this very essay will be the recruitment policy of one of the largest companies in the world – Coca-Cola Company, which is widely accepted as the largest producer of water and nonalcoholic drinks in the world.

We are going to examine the recruitment policies of the company to make an attempt to see their essence and how it conforms to the good practice of recruitment in general. Another assignment of this essay will be to understand the main procedures of recruitment in Coca-Cola, the next stages of the development of new employees, and their possible careers in this company. One more important aspect of the essay will be the conformance of the current Coca-Cola recruitment policies to the employment legislation which is in force at the moment.



Nowadays, Coca-Cola is the largest company that deals in the sphere of beverage in the world. It is also one of the greatest corporations on the territory of the United States and its market capital for the eight months of this year has amounted to $141. 463 Billion. The area of activities of The Coca-Cola Company embraces over 200 hundred countries all over the world; that is why the company is regarded to be one of the major players on the international market. The Coca-Cola Company operates with over 400 brands of waters, syrups, and non-alcoholic drinks, dominates the domestic and international market in the sphere of beverage, and is considered to be a worldwide company (Keyton, pp. 23 – 53).

The company was founded by Asa Candler in 1892, who bought the formula of the coca-cola drink from its inventor John Smith Pemberton and turned a small enterprise that was busy with the production of small amounts of drinks into a great corporation, at first of the national level, and further of the global one. In the nineteenth century, the assortment of goods produced by Coca-Cola was limited by 3 brands while nowadays 200 brands are not enough o name all the products that Coca-Cola offers on the markets. The modern way of the company’s activities was established already at the end of the 19th century when the franchise distribution system was invented.

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This way of drinks production and distribution is conditioned by the practice of producing a syrup by the head plants of the Coca-Coal Company in the United States and further selling it to numerous companies around the world who act as the bottlers of Coca-Cola on their exclusive territories. The largest Coca-Cola bottlers in the world are Coca-Cola Enterprises whose are of activity are the countries of The European Union, United States of America, and Canada; Coca-Cola FEMSA that operates in Latin America; Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company that covers the Eastern and Southern Europe; Coca-Cola Amatil that carries out its activities in Asia and Australia (Coca-Cola, 2008).


The financial side of the company’s activities is, needless to say, the most important aspect in the development of Coca-Cola Company, and the only aim of its existence, as well as of any other business company. Throughout its history, the development of Coca-Cola has never stopped and nowadays the company has the assets that can be considered to be the greatest in the world of the beverage industry.

According to the statistical data for the year 2007, the total assets of the company amounted to $ 43. 269 Billion, while the net income for the same year was at the level of $ 5. 981 Billion. In 2007, the company sold over 1. 5 Billion drink servings a day from the 50 Billion servings of all trademarks and brands in the world. Again, in the same year, the largest demand for Coca-Cola drinks was noticed in the countries of Latin America and Asia, while the United States and the rest of the countries of the world constituted over half of the total sales amounts of the Coca-Cola Company (Coca-Cola, 2008).


The policies of the Coca-Cola Company arouse a lot of controversy and criticism. It is not surprising as far as the most successful companies are always subject to criticism from the side of their less successful competitors. Moreover, even if the criticism of the company was grounded in recent years, it is evident that the success of the company can be explained by the great effectiveness of its departments no matter how hard the criticism is. The criticism itself was connected mainly with the issues of violations of human rights that took place at Coca-Cola enterprises according to critics, the discrimination based upon the racial and gender factors, as well as with the issue of involvement of the company in the politics of the Government of the United States in Iraq and the Middle East.

Numerous lawsuits were issued against the Coca-Cola Company in respect of the monopolistic activities of the firm. The US sphere of the beverage industry is dominated by the Coca-Cola Company but the reasons for the lawsuits were not serious, and as a result, all the lawsuits were either decided in favor of Coca-Cola or settled behind the doors of the courts. A great scandal was caused by the fact that Coca-Cola Company in Colombia was accused of trying to destroy workers-unions in the country and killed a number of their leaders. Despite the boycott proclaimed by the company’s shareholders and US students, the company denied all accusations and preserved its perfect image in the business world (Keyton, pp. 23 – 31).

Another issue that causes a lot of controversy in the policies of the Coca-Cola Company is the environmental protection and the alleged lack of attention to it from the side of the company, especially in Asian and Latin American countries. These claims are based upon the case when the water resources overuse was noticed in the Indian plant Coca-Cola, as well as on the data that the package of the company’s drinks is harmful to the environment.

Having admitted a part of the criticism, the company makes attempts to improve the situation but, needless to say, oppose the charges that have no ground under them. In any case, the success of the company in trading all over the world allows us to suppose that, despite all the criticized and controversial activities, Coca-Cola Company is one of the most developed enterprises in the world and to a great extent this is a fact due to the effective and properly organized structure of the company in which crucial importance is attributed to the performance of the Human Resources Management department that carries out the recruitment policies of the Coca-Cola Company (Coca-Cola, 2008).

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Recruitment Policies of the Coca-Cola Company


Recruitment policies, as one of the most important aspects of the company’s activities, are organized at a high level of proficiency in the Coca-Cola Company. As well as the recruitment policies of any other company, the same procedures in Coca-Cola are organized in conformance with the company’s goals, and with the current employment legislation. The main goals that the recruitment practices pursue in the Coca-Cola Company are the following: finding and employment of highly qualified and well-educated employees, improving the quality and efficiency of the production process of the company and its subsidiaries all over the world, gaining more profit and development of the company to other, higher, stages of its existence (Keyton, pp. 43 – 54).

Specific Recruitment Policies

According to the Coca-Cola Company officials, like the Chief Executive Officer of the company Muhtar Kent, and in conformance with the statements that can be found in the official websites of the Coca-Cola Company and its bottlers in the majority of the countries of the world, the recruitment policies of the company are based upon the professional qualities of the applicants and are free from biases and prejudice in respect of race, sex, religion, etc.

There are no boundaries of the recruitment for Coca-Cola Company, as far as its plants need employees because they constantly increase their production rates and need more workers in every country. The very procedure of recruitment in Coca-Cola is quite simple but demands a lot of knowledge and professional skills from every applicant no matter to which position he or she applies (Coca-Cola, 2008).

There are several ways to apply for a position in the Coca-Cola Company, but the most popular and at the same time the easiest ones are the application for recruitment by the Internet and by usual mail. Here recruitment policies of the company display their first advantage and sign of effectiveness – the Coca-Cola Company made it very simple to be recruited for everyone who wants it and possesses the necessary level of skills.

Application by usual mail is quite cheap but time-consuming for both applicants who have to compile their applications and for the recruiters who have to process a great amount of material. To make it as simple as possible, the procedure of the online application was established by The Coca-Cola Company. This step in the recruitment policies of the organization resulted in the increased number of applicants who now got access to the company’s vocations and in simplifying the work of the recruiters who now had more time and could increase the effectiveness of their work (Coca-Cola, 2008).

Recruitment and Selection Strategies

The strategies of the recruitment and selection at the Coca-Cola Company are simple and understandable for every person that has at least little knowledge in the business sphere and organizational theory. Recruitment is aimed at finding and employing the most qualified staff all over the world for the increase in the effectiveness of the company’s work. The selection strategies are logical consequences of the recruitment policies – they are targeted at choosing the most fitting applicants for a certain kind of position and at reducing the possibility of employment of the wrong people for a certain position to the minimum (Coca-Cola, 2008).

Recruitment Procedure

The recruitment procedure in the Coca-Cola Company starts with the simple sending of an application form by the applicant to the company’s office. Depending upon the position specified in the application, the document goes to a certain department of the company where it is closely and attentively examined. Due to the great significance of the recruitment results, the examination is very careful and the staff managers or recruiters who are busy with it pay much attention to the consideration of every particular application. The next stage of the recruitment process is the decision that is made in respect of the certain applicant, as far as some of them are decided to be taken forward to the next stage of recruitment, while others are decided to be put on hold or declined for the position (Coca-Cola, 2008).

After this, the telephone screening of the applicants takes place. Of course, this step is taken not towards all applicants but only to those who apply for managerial positions or other vocations that presuppose a large amount of responsibility. The telephone screening is carried out to find out more details about each particular applicant and to examine his or her communication skills. Thereafter, the selection process, which will be discussed further, takes place and the applicants are chosen by the recruiters by the demands of the positions they applied for and the qualifications and skills they displayed during the selection process.

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As soon as the selection process is completed, the recruiters have to process the information they got from it and present it to the managers of the Human Resources Department who can make decisions about recruitment or declining this or that applicant. Needless to say that, certain positions involve additional stages of recruitment and selection as far as they are connected with some specific sphere of knowledge and skills. For instance, a person who applies for a position of sales manager in one of the subsidiaries of the Coca-Cola Company has to go through a set of tests that will determine his specialized knowledge in the area of economics and finance, as well as his communication skills and behavior in different situations (Coca-Cola, 2008).

When the decision in respect of a certain application is made and he or she is successful, the Line Manager of the Company calls this very applicant on the telephone and makes a verbal offer for a certain position applied for. As soon as the applicant confirms his or her interest in the position, the Human Resources Department starts preparing the so-called offer pack that has to be sent to the applicant not later than within five days after the verbal offer is made.

This very offer pack is the written offer of the position and the precise description of the vacancy and the functions it covers. The last stage of the recruitment process at the Coca-Cola Company is the Induction Event that lasts for three days and is carried out for the newly recruited Coca-Cola worker to get them acquainted with the company and its activities, as well as with the values and teamwork (Coke Careers, 2008).

Selection Process

The selection process as a part of the recruitment strategy in the Coca-Cola Company is carried out in several stages depending on the position applied for and the requirements of the work. The initial stage of the selection process is, in any case, the interview with the successful applicant. The purpose of the interview is to get as much information about the applicant as possible and to present to him or her a chance to clear out all the details of the position that he or she applied for.

This very stage of the selection process is very important as far as it creates the first impression in the direct communication with the applicant and also predetermines the attitude of recruiters towards him or her in the next stages. The applicants that did not prove to be successful in the interview can change their image in such stages of selection as group exercises, role plays, or presentations, but the possibility of this change is rather small. That is why, the interview is considered to be a basis for the recruitment and selection strategies of the Coca-Cola Company (Coca-Cola, 2008).

The next stages of the selection are group exercises where people are checked in respect of their abilities to work in a team; presentations that show the skills of public speaking possessed by an applicant; psychometric tests designed to find out more information about an applicant and his or her potential; role-plays during which the recruiters examine how the person behaves in some difficult situations that may occur in the work; and, finally, the fact-finding tests when a person has to demonstrate his or her skills in finding and using the necessary information.


Legislation and Good Practice

The practices of gathering personal information and making applicants go through the set of tests cause a lot of controversy in society and questions about the conformance of these practices with the highest standards and the current employment legislation. The recruitment policies of the Coca-Cola Company also are examined in respect of this and the results were more than satisfactory, although serious problems were also noticed in a large amount.

The first point of the good practice of the recruitment policies is their being fair and non-prejudiced in any company. The Coca-Cola Company claims their recruitment and selection strategies and procedures conform to these requirements but the several lawsuits filed against the company by its workers prove that it is not the absolute truth. In 1992, a lawsuit was filed against Coca-Cola by a large group of its African-American and women employees who claimed that they were discriminated against while recruited and during the work for the company. The lawsuit was successful for the workers and the company had to settle it with $ 192 million (Niehaus, p. 53).

As far as the equal employment rights for the representatives of all nations, races, sexes, and religions are assured by the current employment legislation, the recruitment policies of the Coca-Cola Company do not comply with it but the company has already started to change these practices and put 5% of its annual revenue to the assurance of the equal employment rights of all races and religions, as well as for the employment of people with disabilities. Besides, the violations of rights are reported only in few cases and it allows us to state that the recruitment policies of the company are not so wrong, and the cases discussed were just exclusion from the rule (Niehaus, p. 53).


Of course, we can not judge the effectiveness of the recruitment of Coca-Cola from the work of every worker who has been recruited in recent years. The effectiveness of the training provided for the recruiters in the Coca-Cola Company can be judged only by the effectiveness of the performance of the whole company. As far as the annual revenue, total assets and annual net incomes of the company grow, we can state that the efficiency of the training is quite high.

The specific training procedures provided for the recruiters include the psychological training and consultations that are useful to be able to differentiate between the types of people and to preserve one’s emotional state during the constant work with people, which is exhausting in its essence. Other training procedures are improvement of communication skills, the study of the procedures of interviewing and selection (Vemic, pp. 209 – 216).

Staff Development

As for the training provided to the newly recruited staff, it includes some other procedures that can further transform in the management and development of the staff of the company. The development of the employees is of vital importance for the modern organization as far as the knowledge is developing at a high speed and the technological and informational progress are also affecting the performance of companies. To be able to keep up with the most updated demands of the market, the Coca-Cola Company has adopted the policy of the Learning Organization. This policy lies in the fact that all members of an organization must constantly learn and update their skills thus creating the organization which is learning as a single whole.

The major activities of the staff development and the development of the newly recruited workers are as follows: the company gives much of its attention and funding to the programs of the staff education and skills improvement; newly recruited employees are to go through several preparatory courses during the first months of their work for the Coca-Cola Company as far as the production process and economic and financial activities are quite complicated and special training and time are needed to become competent in all that.

Nowadays, the Coca-Cola Company understands the necessity of the staff that possesses the latest knowledge and can formulate innovative decisions for the company. For this reason, the company establishes educational programs for its employees and programs of the experience exchange with its partners from other countries. All this allows us to assess the recruit management and development as the one that is at the high level of proficiency and effectiveness (Vemic, pp. 209 – 216).


The information considered in this paper allows us to make a logical conclusion to it. The Coca-Cola recruitment policies are rather effective and conforming to the good practices and current employment legislation. Although certain exclusions to this rule are present, like for example claims of racial and sexual discrimination, the level at which the recruitment policies and human resources management are in Coca-Coal Company is quite high.

The training provided for the recruiters and the applicant for the Coca-Cola Company positions allows getting highly qualified staff and organizing the company’s work with proper effectiveness. As a result of the effective recruitment policies, the Coca-Cola Company is one of the world’s leading companies and the dominant company in the world market of beverage.


Al-Rajhi, Ibrabim, Yochanan Altman, Beverly Metcalfe, and Josse Roussel. (2006). Managing Impatriate Adjustment as a Core Human Resource Management Challenge. Human Resource Planning 29, no. 4: 15+.

Babson, H. (2002). Organizational Behavior 11th ed, Instructor’s Manual and Test Bank. AI 0072396768.

Coca-Cola. (2008). Ready to Apply? Our Recruitment Process. Web.

Coke Careers. (2008). Recruitment Process. Web.

Keyton, J. (2004). Communication and Organizational Culture: A Key to Understanding Work Experiences. Sage Publications, Inc.

Niehaus, Richard. (1995). Strategic HRM. Human Resource Planning 18, no. 3: 53+.

Vemic, J. (2007). Employee Training and Development and the Learning Organization. Economics and Organization Vol. 4, No 2, pp. 209 – 216.

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