Gourmet Coffee Shop’s Staffing and Recruitment Plan

The Plan and Strategy for Recruiting Staff

The proposed recruitment plan (Gourmet Coffee shop) will be used to hire a workforce for the next three years (2014-2017). The positions that need to be filled include three store managers and ten coffee servers. A recruitment agency will be contracted to enlist the right candidates for the two positions. By contracting an external firm, the coffee shop will cut costs associated with employee selection and recruitment. Moreover, such a strategy is useful for start-ups like coffee shops that have no resources to advertise, screen the applicants, conduct background checks, and identify suitable candidates. Dias (2011) advises firms that have not established a recruitment function to outsource such services to an external agency.

Besides professional qualifications, the qualities that the coffee shop will instruct the agency to look out for in the candidates include professionalism, good communication skills, teamwork, flexibility, dependability, and strong interpersonal skills. A small budget will be allocated to the agency to cater to staffing costs, service charges, and materials/equipment needed during recruitment.

After the completion of the recruitment exercise, the coffee shop will use a ‘targeted’ strategy to select the best-suited individuals for the two positions. The aim of this strategy is to identify persons with specific skills and knowledge that match the specifications of the job positions. The ‘targeted’ recruitment strategy will also focus on demographic characteristics, such as age and location. An ‘open’ recruitment approach will be costly because of the large number of candidates involved in the selection stage. Thus, a ‘targeted’ strategy is the recruitment strategy that the coffee shop will use during the selection process.

The Communication Message

A communication message from an employer must be presented in a format that captures the interests of qualified candidates (Cascio, 2004). Its aim is to attract the attention of suitably qualified candidates and influence them to apply for the position. The communication message will consist of a large title containing the company’s name (brand) so that potential applicants can recognize it. The communication message will appear as follows:

Gourmet Coffee Shop requires qualified people to fill the following two positions:

  1. Store Manager (3 positions)
  2. Coffee Servers (10 positions)

The aim of the message is to create a strong brand identity and promote the firm as a good place to work. The specific job requirements for each position will be listed in the advert. Interested candidates will be advised on how to proceed with the application process. A short and concise message expressed in a formal language will help promote the company’s brand identity (Cascio, 2004). An introductory statement about Gourmet Coffee shop will help readers to understand the nature of the business that the firm is involved in and highlight its mission and values. Company contacts will also be included in the communication message that will be disseminated through different media.

Potential candidates will be required to send a curriculum vitae and a cover letter expressing their interest in the job. The communication message will also indicate the preferred age of the potential candidates. Interested applicants will be requested to send their applications, contacts, and two referees to the company within a specified duration.

The Choice of the Communication Medium for Recruitment

Employers use a variety of communication media to inform potential candidates about the availability of vacant positions in their firm. The coffee shop will use online media (job and social media websites) to recruit potential candidates for the two positions. Job websites are convenient for most job applicants. Moreover, a company website will allow applicants to learn more about the company and understand its HR policies and practices. According to Armstrong and Baron (2002), job websites are important for “transparent and convenient recruitments” (p. 17). The coffee shop will also use other popular job websites such as www.hotjob.com and www.careerbuilder.com to reach out to job seekers.

The firm will also use social media marketing in employee recruitment. According to Cascio (2004), among the most innovative recruitment approach is the use of social media marketing. The coffee shop will advertise job positions in online communities on Facebook and MySpace. This approach will enable the company to recruit talented young people (college students) for the two positions. Online messages communicated via popular websites and social media will ensure that the advert reaches as many people as possible, including professionals.

Besides online recruitment, the other potential methods that employers can use to recruit employees include campus job fairs, university partnerships, internships, and word of mouth or employee referrals. Campus job fairs are costly to conduct, as a firm must hire recruiting tables/booths, create business cards, and pay the recruitment staff. On the other hand, university partnerships, though useful in the long-term, are time-consuming since they require the business owner to seek approval from university deans. It also requires a lot of persuasions to convince the students to join the business. Employee referrals are only useful for long-term recruitment. Thus, since the firm is a start-up, employee referrals may not work. In this regard, the coffee shop will use online recruitment, as it is convenient, less costly, and popular. However, to meet its future staffing needs, the firm will use employee referrals, campus job fairs, and internships to reach out to skilled and experienced staff.

The Selection Process

Selecting the best coffee servers and store managers from the large number of ‘recruited’ applicants is an important part of the hiring process. It will be important to select the best personnel in order to guarantee the success of the business. The job of a store manager requires stewardship, hard work, and good interpersonal skills. On the other hand, a coffee server must be an individual with good communication skills and demeanor. Therefore, in identifying high-performing candidates to fill these positions, the personal characteristics of the recruited individuals will be examined.

According to Heneman, Judge, and Kammeyer-Mueller (2012), the employee selection process entails six major steps, which include notification, reviewing, screening, interviewing, testing, and selection. Similarly, the selection criteria for the present case will involve six steps. As a common practice, during the notification step, a vacancy in any department is brought to the attention of the human resource department, which initiates a recruitment process (Heneman, Judge, & Kammeyer-Mueller, 2012). Since the coffee shop has no HR function, the management will contract an external agency to oversee the recruitment process. The second step involves a review of the applications received in order to choose the best candidates for interviewing. Based on the reviews, suitably qualified candidates who meet the qualifications as set out in the communication message will be selected for an interview. Among the qualifications, the writer will be looking out for are work experience and job-specific skills. In the third step, recruited candidates will be screened through a phone interview before they can be invited for a personal interview.

Step four of the selection process will be a personal interview. The writer will evaluate each candidate’s verbal and non-verbal skills and personality characteristics such as dependability, maturity, and confidence, among others. A profile of each candidate will be created based on their demographic characteristics, such as age and gender, and cultural background. After the interview, successful applicants will be subjected to a competence test to measure their skills in their respective jobs. This will involve personality tests and background checks to ascertain each candidate’s personal history. Based on the interview scores and test results, the writer will be able to select high performing applicants to fill the two positions. Regret emails will be sent to unsuccessful candidates.

The selection criteria described above has some advantages and disadvantages. Assessing a candidate’s suitability based on his or her work experience will allow the firm to choose a candidate who is familiar with the job. In this way, the company will spend less on training and induction of the employee. On the other hand, inexperienced applicants will require more training to equip them with relevant skills. However, evaluation of a candidate based solely on work experience may lock out skilled individuals who lack experience. The profiling of applicants may also pose some challenges. It may lead to disqualification of candidates who do not hail from certain geographical locations or possess particular demographic attributes. However, the writer will use profiling to identify candidates who live around the college campus (Washington DC), as they understand the market well and will not need transportation.

Assessment Methods for External Candidate Selection

External candidate selection is the evaluation of candidates to select the best from a pool of job applicants. The coffee shop will use letters of reference, resumes, and handwriting analysis as the initial candidate assessment methods (Heneman, Judge, & Kammeyer-Mueller, 2012). With regard to resumes, candidates for the store manager’s position will be evaluated based on the following criteria: (1) work experience, (2) academic qualification, (3) good communication skills, and (4) ability to work as part of a team in a multicultural environment. In particular, successful candidates must have a minimum of two years of experience working in a similar position preferably in a coffee shop, a college degree in Hotel Services Management (Food and beverage), and a good understanding of the English language (verbal and written).

On the other hand, a coffee shop server will be required to be fluent in English (verbal and written), have experience serving non-alcoholic beverages, possess knowledge of the techniques of beverage management, be above 21 years old, and hold a high school diploma. Qualified candidates will be required to have a permit from the County Health Department, at least a one-year experience as a restaurant server, and good knowledge of food sanitation regulations. Former employers will be requested to provide an assessment of each applicant. The aim of the chosen initial assessments is to evaluate the applicants’ skills, which will determine their performance. The coffee shop will require high performing staff to enable it to grow into a profitable business.

Substantive assessment methods will also be used to select the best candidates from those who score highly in the initial assessment. The coffee shop will use two substantive assessment techniques to evaluate applicants. These will be job knowledge tests and experience evaluation. The store managers and coffee servers will be tested on a number of issues related to their respective jobs. On the other hand, experience evaluation will be used to predict the applicant’s long-term potential and abilities. Only, highly experienced applicants will be selected for the job.

Assessment of the KSAOs

An applicant’s KSAOs are dependent on his/her job experiences. During selection, an organization identifies and evaluates specific job skills, which are used to predict an applicant’s KSAOs and performance. Among the predictors that will be used to assess the applicant’s KSAOs include personality, performance tests, and objective (essay and oral) prediction (Heneman, Judge, & Kammeyer-Mueller, 2012). With regard to personality, applicants with specific positive traits will be selected for the job. The store managers must be rigorous, abrasive, and authoritative. On the other hand, the coffee servers must have good interpersonal skills and polite. Thus, personality traits can serve as predictors of employee KSAOs and actual job performance.

Performance tests will also be used as predictors of an applicant’s KSAOs. In this case, performance tests will predict the applicant’s social skills and physical abilities that are relevant to his/her position. On the other hand, objective predictors rely on pen and paper responses to certain questions. The applicants will be required to write their responses to a number of questions in an essay format. The applicants’ answers will be used to assess their knowledge of the job and communication and analytical skills. The applicants will also be required to give oral responses to assess their verbal skills.

In summary, during employee recruitment, there are certain essential personal qualities and skills that the recruiters or the hiring panel should look out for in a prospective employee. Besides professional qualifications, a potential employee should possess impeccable communication and interpersonal skills. These are particularly important when recruiting people for service jobs that involve interpersonal interactions. A successful candidate should also be a team player, flexible, reliable, and adaptable. The initial review and screening of applicants are followed by personal interviews, testing, and selection. The selection process must be pegged on predetermined criteria that should be specific to the organization. Standardized assessments are often used during employee selection to evaluate a candidate’s KSAOs, which are predictors of his or her job performance.

Conclusion

Gourmet’s recruitment plan will involve the use of a hiring agency to recruit suitable candidates for the two positions. A targeted strategy will be used to recruit candidates (coffee servers and store managers) from the locality. An advert containing job titles of the two positions, the required qualifications and skills, and the roles and responsibilities of the staff will principally be conveyed via online platforms, including social media. The selection process will follow the criteria described by Heneman, Judge, and Kemmeyer-Mueller (2012). Successful applicants will undergo an assessment to determine their suitability for the job applied. A candidate’s KSAOs will be assessed using a personality test to ensure that employees selected for each of the two positions have the requisite job skills to perform well. A job analysis will indicate the skill requirements for each position and thus, will serve as a benchmark for the selection process.

References

Armstrong, M. & Baron, A. (2002). Strategic HRM: The route to improved business performance. London: CIPD.

Cascio, W. F. (2004). Applied Psychology in Human Resource Management. Upper Saddle, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Dias, L. (2011). Human Resource Management. New York: Flat World Knowledge Heneman III, H. G., Judge, T. A., & Kammeyer-Mueller, J. D. (2012). Staffing organizations (7th ed.). Middleton, WI: Mendota House / McGraw-Hill.