Blinds To Go
Staffing and selection
Professor Mohammad Ali, PHD
July 19, 2012
1. Summarize the key strengths and weaknesses of BTG’s staffing system, and explain why the factors you identify are strengths or weaknesses.
2. How can BTG improve on the weaknesses you identified in question 1, and what can it do to maintain the strengths? In which ways is BTG not prepared to meet its plans to increase staff? Explain
BTG is finding it difficult to attract new talent and retain quality employees. In 1996 the company changed its compensation system from full commission to salary because of a recommendation from the newly hired vice president of store operations. This change was done to attract new recruits for the expansion phase. It was also intended to make sales associates less entrepreneurial and more customer service focused. Store manager compensation was also revised to reflect a higher base salary component relative to commission. A more casual uniform was mandated in place of the business casual attire that was being worn at the stores. Store managers were also no longer involved in the sales process. Although it was a good attempt, overall staff turnover increased to more than 40 percent from a pre-1995 figure of 13 percent. When the change was made it did make it easier to staff the store, however, the caliber of the staff that was being recruited was very low in comparison the high quality staff they had. The first thing that BTG did wrong was to have someone come in and recommend a change to a system that was working out well in comparison to the competitors. The company was already on top and a large portion of that was due to the drive the staff had of making the sale because their paycheck depended on it. Another reason was based on the excellent customer service system they had already had in place. Changing from a commission based system to salary in order to increase customer service backfired and lowered the service customers were getting. Todd Martin, the director of retail planning had it correct when he said that the commission-based structure fostered a high-energy, sales hungry culture. The store managers should not have been relieved of being involved in the sale. In fact, since the new workers were not as equipped as the previous workers the sales managers should have been involved more. Having the sales managers involved kept the associates alert. They knew that the transaction had to be done at some point with the sales manager’s involvement so it kept the workers always alert. It also helped the managers to see who were good workers and who were not, and it gave the ability to offer help are training to those associates who were lacking in some part of the selling phase. After one year BTG reverted back to the commission based system. This caused another huge turnover because now the people who were doing mediocre work and was still getting paid a salary were not able to keep up that salary when there paycheck was based on them actually doing work. BTG had to come up with several different ways to recruit new staff including employee referral, internet sourcing, Newspaper advertisement, BTG retail recruiters. The strength in the staffing system that BTG has is that it knows what type of people they need in order to get top sales and they have a good promoting from within policy. BTG has six criteria’s for hiring associates: 1. Gift for Gab
2. Outgoing personality
3. Energetic and motivated
5. Likes sales or dealing with people
If they recruit staff possessing all of these traits then they know that have a quality employee working for them. BTG also emphasized the practice of promoting within. Senior management believed that sales managers had to be properly motivated and provided...