While there are numerous staffing decisions that involve investigating the outcomes for large groups of employees, the many of the most important decisions involve only one position and a small number of applicants. The current case examines just such a case for a particularly important location for Tanglewood.
You will read through a series of resumes, look over reports made during interviews, and investigate the results of several standardized measures of employee suitability. This case thus integrates information from several earlier cases that have involved making an appropriate choice of measures, but now applying it with a specific group of individuals. From these multiple pieces of data, you will develop a recommendation for hiring. You also will develop guidelines for how similar selection decisions could be made for the entire organization.
The situation of interest
You have been asked by Tanglewood to assist them with an important hiring decision. The company needs a new manager for their flagship store in Spokane. This position is important for a number of reasons. First, this is the single largest store in the chain, with approximately double the floor space of other locations. The Spokane store has shown very strong revenues for years.
This store also has important symbolic value. This store is only a few blocks from the first Tanglewood store. Recent remodeling efforts have also made this one of the most elaborate stores in terms of appearance, with features like an open kitchen restaurant where all the food is prepared and served using Burford Kitchen masters, an outdoor adventure area with a rock wall and a live kayak simulator, and quarterly demonstrations of the latest clothing options that will be presented in other stores. Nearly all managers will spend at least sometime working in the Spokane store as part of their initial training.
Finally, the store is commonly used as a first testing ground for new products. It is an ideal location for this option, because it is one of the most representative locations. Because it is on the outer edge of Spokane, many customers are from suburban areas, but because of its size and unique features, urban and rural customers who make the trip to the store as well. This means that this store is closely aligned with the corporate marketing function, and good managers must understand how to do marketing and promotions from the bottom up.
Because this is such an important position, Marilyn Gonzalez arranged to have all candidates complete the full battery of proposed selection tools. The importance of this position also has lead the stores to conduct a closed recruiting operation. Only twenty individuals were contacted as potential sources. The internal candidates were contacted through referrals made by regional managers, whereas the external candidates were based on nominations from individuals in the corporate offices.
You have received résumés, retail knowledge tests, standardized test scores from the Marshfield Applicant Exam, biographical data, and scores on several personality dimensions for the 10 individuals from the initial applicant pool who expressed a strong interest in the position. This information is all available in the attached Tables in the Appendix.
There are several questions the company has about its future hiring practices for store managers as well. It is clear that there will be a substantial revision to the collection of information from applicants based on your recommendations from Case 3. This does not completely resolve the problem of how a final selection decision will be made.
The current method for selection in managerial positions involves a two stage process that bears some resemblance to the process for hiring store associates, but at a higher level. There will of course be interviews in the process, but the organization needs more information about how to assess individuals before they go on to the final interview process, because managerial interviews are very expensive in terms of staff time.
Specific Assignment Details
It will be incumbent on you to present several options regarding how this hiring decision should proceed. This is a very important decision, so Tanglewood would like you to provide several different possible selection schemes.
- As in the previous exercise, develop a detailed selection plan for this position. Determine what you want to measure by analyzing KSAOs from the job description and the information on organizational culture in the case, and fitting the selection measures into the plan format as shown in Exhibit 8.2 in the book. The assessment methods you should consider in the selection plan are biodata, the Marshfield Applicant Examination, Retail Knowledge, conscientiousness, and extraversion.
- Develop assessment scores based on several multiple predictor methods described in your book. This entails developing distinct scores for each applicant based on clinical prediction, unit weighting, and rational weighting schemes. For each method, develop a list of your top three finalists to provide to the regional manager. Compare these to a multiple hurdle selection procedure that uses test scores as a first stage to find the five strongest candidates, and then uses interviews and résumés to select the top three finalists. Which of the methods do you believe works best? Why?
- You are making a recommendation for who should be considered a candidate for hiring based on your read of the data. Using your recommendations, Tanglewood will develop a panel of individuals who will be involved in the final selection decision with interviews. Who do you think should be involved in this process from Tanglewood based on the discussion of decision makers in Staffing O? What does each decision maker add to the process? You should consult the organizational structure information in the introduction
- Based on the three previous portions of the assignment, develop an official guide to selection that can be supplied to all the stores. This official guide should provide the information from the selection plan, suggestions for how to combine predictors, and guidelines for managers on who should be involved in the final decision. The decision makers do not necessarily need to be the same ones participating in the selection decision for the Spokane flagship store.
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