This report evaluates the recent recruitment and selection arrangements for the sales assistants. It focuses on the opportunities and constraints that both the labour markets placed upon the recruitment and selection of sales assistants at A-B-Zee. It also examines the individual and organisational benefits that could be gained by providing non-standard working arrangements for sales assistants at A-B-Zee. The report finally proposes a strategy recommending how A-B-Zee’s next campaign might ensure a greater response from members of the ethnic minority community. Organisation’s response to the opportunities and constraints placed upon it by both local labour markets in the recruitment and selection process The general constraint in the recruitment process was that A-B-Zee was new to the each labour market and thus had no reputation to call upon in its search for quality employees. Also the rate of pay being offered still follows that of the parent company. In London, the full-page display advertisement on the newspaper was a good opportunity to get across to potential applicants because the advertisement were imaginative and attracted attention. However, the recruitment team were faced with the constraint of the accessibility to these advertisements to enough potential employees who fully met A-B-Zee’s criteria and sustenance of the candidate’s interest in the vacancy. Also, they were faced with time constraint, as the length of the ensuing recruitment process may not meet the store opening date. The Recruitment team responded, first, by trying to speed up the recruitment process. They introduced the ‘phone-in and walk-in’ facility to the advertisement. The phone-in enabled A-B-Zee to arrange immediate interviews for those evaluated as suitable from the evidence of the telephone interview. They also responded by simplifying the application form to make its completion more convenient. The ‘walk-in’ initiative involved one to one meeting with interested candidates. They were able to successfully use the ‘walk-in’ to increase the number of applicants and also to influence those that are suitable to join the company. In instances where parents wanted to cancel due to not having arrangement for someone to look after the children, A-B-Zee invited them to bring along the children. This seemed to be a good opportunity to attract potential employees with parental experience. The organisation also responded by making application forms and letters of offer readily available, thus increasing the speed of the company’s response. This particularly met the company’s needs with regards to speed. One other constraint which the recruitment team discovered was that the attraction of applicants was limited by the readership of the newspaper. The company responded by producing leaflets. These were distributed to houses fairly close to the store and to those of the ethnic minority around the store. This was carried out in order to meet the objective of having a balanced work force in terms of gender, age and ethnic minority. Apart from being easily accessible, the recruitment team also responded by making themselves more available. They worked through the evenings and weekends, thereby making them more available to applicants. At the northern store, the closure of several manufacturing companies was an opportunity to have a large pool of potential candidates. A-B-Zee took the initiative to solicit with the local Job Centre. The result was that there were too many applications to be processed. The major constraint was time. As a result of the huge number of applications, there was constraint in the task of short-listing for interview which was as a resulted of the enormous volume of applications received. Majority of the applicants were of good quality Also, given the size of the task and the time available it was very likely that the quality of the short-listing decisions would be affected. The lay-out of the application form did not help the short-listing process at all. The most relevant information was not grouped together. This was a major constraint as well because more resources, effort and time had to be devoted to responding to all the applicants. The recruitment team was also faced with the constraint of having to respond quickly and courteously to all applicants (unsuccessful as well as short-listed applicants). This was in a bid to initiate and maintain goodwill among its potential customers. Also, the bid to recruit a balanced workforce across gender, age and ethnic group could not be achieved because, of the numerous applications received, very few were from the ethnic minority. In general, the recruitment process at the northern store proved to be very resource-intensive Individual and Organisational Benefits that could be gained by providing non-standard working arrangements for sales assistants. The organization: Benefits that A-B-Zee could gain if it provides non-standard working arrangements to the sales assistants include: Reduced absenteeism as the workers will have time to attend to family and personal commitments. This will guarantee a high staff attendance and increase productivity and efficiency in the stores (Wood & Payne 1998). Apart from that, non-standard working arrangements provide a wide pool of potential employees from which the HR department can choose from. Another major benefit tot he organisation is that it could also reduce the fixed costs associated with standard contracts and a constant working force which seem to ask for more payments as they stay at the company. Hiring part-time staff is a safer choice in this time of economic uncertainty and could also be a method for the company to screen and evaluate new-hires and perhaps offer them full-time positions in the future and when needed. The sales assisatants Benefits of non-standard working arrangements to the sales assistants include a work-life balance resulting in increased motivation and job satisfaction (Nadler, 1984). It also gives the employee the opportunity to enter into other endeavours, such as studying or taking up another part-time job that is not in conflict with the current one. Apart from this, it puts the employee in a position to accept or decline job offers that would require them to work longer ZZZhours. Mothers are exposed to the job market where they can obtain work experience, gain skills and sample the employment situation. Also, reacquiring work skills and confidence may be an interesting opportunity for mothers who have withdrawn from employment for a long period of time. (Mangum n. d. ; Howe 1986) Strategy, recommending how A-B-Zee’s next campaign might ensure a greater response from members of the ethnic minority community Initial survey of the labour market In order to attract more members of the ethnic minority in future recruitment campaigns, I believe that an initial survey of the labour market in question should be carried out before commencement of the recruitment process. This would give an insight into the location, size and needs of the ethnic minority in such labour market. Location of new stores The location of new stores may be considered based on the findings above, thus bringing the stores in close proximity to the ethnic minority. Advertisement and Application forms Creating awareness in the target area would increase the chances of getting applicants. As A-B-Zee is new to the labour market, placing advertisement on the radio and television and providing information to the public on what A-B-Zee is all about, what they do and when their superstores would be open, would definitely increase its awareness to the target community. Thus when job advertisements are placed, people have an idea of what company they are going to be potentially working for. The job advertisement should be able to reflect the company’s policy of recruiting a balanced workforce across gender, age and ethnic minority. This could be achieved by including the ethnic minority in the promotional materials i. . putting images of both ethnic and non-ethnic minority on the advertisement. This would catch the eye of any member of the ethnic minority that sees the advertisement and would encourage them to apply for the job. It should also emphasize on the part-time work schedule being offered by the company. Presenting a work schedule that encourages flexibility my appeal to women of the ethnic minority who believe that they might not have time to take care of their children (Moosa, 2009). Also by offering skills training in the advertisement, members of the ethnic minority may be encouraged to apply in a bid to be trained on their communication and interpersonal skills. The application forms should be simple, well laid out and should also include statements of assurance that A-B-Zee recruits a balanced workforce across gender, age and ethnic group. The selection and hiring process To attract more members of the ethnic minority, A-B-Zee needs to convince their target that the ethnic minority is well represented in the company. This I believe can be achieved by increasing the involvement of the minority in the interview process. Other recommendations that can help with the recruitment process include, 1. Carrying out a salary survey and review; It is possible that the pay rates based on the parent company’s standards may not be appealing to the target market of future campaigns. By carrying out a salary survey, A-B-Zee can calculate the competitive position of the company in terms of recruitment and can then review the salary being offered. 2. Considering using recruitment agencies in part or all of the recruitment process. This would definitely reduce the work-load on the Human Resources team. 3. Since the target market is people with parenting experience, A-B-Zee may offer child-care program to its prospective employees. Child care programs have proven to produce reductions in turn-over, less absenteeism, recruiting advantage and positive impact on productivity and at the same time serve the company’s public relation interest (Howe, 1986). In conclusion, resourcing for manpower for a new superstore is a very challenging task that requires proper planning and hard work, putting into consideration that the company is new to the labour market. In order to acquire a balanced workforce across gender, age and ethnic minority, cultural norms and barrier between the age groups as well as between the majority and minority have to be overcome. Raising awareness could also help to bring about more participation by the minorities in future recruitment campaigns.