It is often said that employees are the most important assets of an organization. It is the quality and ability of the employee, along with the capability and leadership shown by the top management of the company that ultimately results in its growth and success. The employee factor is especially true in the case of a new or startup business. The employees, in close association with the management have to play a crucial role to attracting, retaining and growing its customer base. The purpose of this paper is to examine the role played by the top management in recruiting and retaining top quality employees at both management and entry levels. This will be done with reference to the Thai Lay Garment Company which is planning an entry into the retail garment industry in the United Kingdom. Apart from selection and retention, a proper reward system for motivating the managers and other employees will also have to be designed. This will in effect be a part of the management plan for the new business venture startup.
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The role to be played by the top management of Thai Lay Garments
The top management of the company has to play an extremely crucial role at this juncture of entry. They have the huge responsibility of recruiting the senior, middle, lower level managers, supervisors and entry level employees of the firm. They can resort to many established and accepted ways of doing this. The most common ways are advertising in the print and visual media, taking employees from other companies, using networking or availing the services of a professional staffing agency. (Recruitment Methods/Recruitment Process). In the case of senior level management it would be ideal to use networking contacts established from sources like friends, business associates, auditors, venture capitalists, and other associates. An advantage is that the costs involved in paying fees of a staffing agency or paying for advertising space can be saved. Advertising for jobs is useful for attracting a large number of applicants and it can benefit the company by having a large pool of talent to select from. (Recruitment Methods. 2002). Advertising can be done in classifieds and trade journals which will less costly and more effective. But this form of attracting talent can be quite expensive and wasteful. Cost of advertising will depend on the media and the publication in which the advertisement is given. It can be wasteful because the ad might not be visible or it might attract the wrong types of potential employees. Another effective but costly option would be to use the services of a professional staffing agency. They have the skill, knowledge and talent to identify the right employee. They will also be having a list of interested candidates with them. The right candidate can be targeted which will result in a saving of time and money. Recruitment agencies are a well established business segment in the UK. “The use of a recruitment agency to assist in finding the right staff to employ is very well developed in the UK and is an industry worth about 24.5 billion pounds annually.” (Employer Advice for Using Agencies). In the case of Thai Lay Garments, it is proposed that networking will be resorted to for selection of senior level managers. The company has got sufficient contacts like wholesale customers, bankers and other associates who can provide the names of potential candidates. This is more cost effective since the number of posts required (for Thai Lay at this stage) for senior and middle level managers is small. Advertising in local print media through classifieds will be the method used to attract talent for entry level employees.
Process of recruiting
Once the applications for all the posts have been received, the process of actual recruiting can begin. For senior and middle level managers, qualification, experience and leadership qualities are important considerations. For entry level jobs, enthusiasm, aptitude and age are important. This is because the target market for Thai Lay is customers whose age group is between the 15 to 35 years. There are several steps in the recruiting process. All candidates should be called for a preliminary interview. The interview will be personally conducted by the CEO of the company along with other senior staff. An interview strategy should also be worked out. For the sake of uniformity, all candidates can be rated using criteria mentioned above (qualification, age, leadership, enthusiasm etc). Each candidate can be independently rated by members of the interview panel and compared later. Once the final candidates have been short listed, a second interview can be had from which the final list can be selected. Some extra candidates will also have to be short listed in case the selected ones are unable to join the company. At this stage a letter of apportionment and an acceptance confirmation letter will be sent to the selected persons. Once they sign the letter of acceptance, they will become the valued employees of the company.
Motivating and retaining employees
It is one thing to recruit employees, but it takes more effort to motivate and retain them. “Not only is it difficult to recruit skilled workers, but also to retain them.” (Cunningham 2002). Retaining good talent is very important since finding replacements will involve following the steps mentioned above all over again. Moreover, keeping employees for long periods will help in building a close relationship with customers. This is an important factor in customer relationship management (CRM). Motivating an employees as a whole and individually is also a very challenging task. This is because the perceptions of employees about motivation vary from one person to another. They will also vary from one level to another. For example, the motivating factor for a top level manager will be quite different from that of an entry level worker.
Another important factor is planning and implementing a suitable reward system as a strategy for motivating and retaining employees. Reward systems should include both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Extrinsic rewards include the actual monetary and easily measurable factors. Intrinsic rewards are more personal and include factors like job satisfaction, appreciation, working conditions, employee perception about the company, the challenge involved etc. Repeated studies have shown that employees are motivated not just by money but by intrinsic (even to a larger extent) factors. It is proposed that Thai Lay will focus on good pay, job security, timely and sincere appreciation, and a good working atmosphere for its employees. But care should be taken while rewarding employees. “Rewards for doing nothing tend to reinforce doing nothing, so be careful about what you reward.” (Kirschner 2008). The work will be challenging because it is a startup venture. Top level managers can be paid a bonus depending on achieving sales targets as a whole. Middle level managers can be rewarded if they achieve departmental goals. Entry level employees can be given bonus for achieving daily or monthly targets. Customer surveys about such employees can also be done to rate and reward them. Other benefits like paid vacations, health care, earned leave etc can also be provided.
- Cunningham, Sharon. (2002). Attracting and Retaining Employees in a Competitive World. [online]. Insurance Journal. Web.
- Employer Advice for Using Agencies. [online]. Agency Central.
- Kirschner Rick. (2008). Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Rewards. [online]. CanDoGo.
- Recruitment Methods/Recruitment Process. [online].
- Recruitment Methods. (2002). [online]. Business Bureau-Uk.