Blinds to Go : Staffing a Retail Expansion

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Executive summary:

The main objective of this report is to evaluate the problem faced by Blinds To Go in recruiting the right set of people and developing them in order to achieve the company’s growth objectives. The report starts with a brief summary of BTG wherein there is a discussion about the company’s hiring objectives and the changes made to the compensation structure along with reasons for the same. In order to find more suitable employees, BTG is using several channels of hiring like employee referrals, internet sourcing, newspaper advertising etc.,

There were few problems which have been observed in the case that made them make certain changes to the recruitment strategy, such as the quality of workforce and unprecedented growth due to which they want to open 50 stores per year and cultural differences wherein some people agreed to the commission structure while some were satisfied with the salary based structure. `The solution objectives are about analysing the two huge periods of unrest faced by the company and also help look into why people were not interested to work with BTG once the commission structure was changed to salary based.

We have recommended a few solutions through which they can implement the job requirements in a phased manner that consist of a comprehensive understanding of the job, problem definition phase, understanding the behavioural terms of the executive and then finally a list of competencies that are required in the new employees. The company can hire people in the short time they have, by giving rewards to employees who make use of their employee referral program and customer referral programs etc. Apart from this the company must use certain schemes and development programs for its employees in order to retain the right talent. These include skills development programs, giving surprise gifts to its employees and an employee reward program.

Introduction:

Blinds To Go (BTG) is a retail fabricator cum retailer of window dressings and has been very successful in its field due to a unique business model and a dedicated workforce. The company has always placed tremendous importance on having knowledgeable and dedicated sales staff who are able to answer any query of a customer. In such a business, where the sales staff guides and informs the customer regarding the product, having an excellent service level is key to improving customer satisfaction. The stores usually had four positions for employees and promotions were based on performance. The four positions were – sales associate, selling supervisor, assistant store manager and store manager, with new joiners usually joining as a sales associate. The hiring process focused on ensuring that the quality of employees was good and in-line with certain criteria that BTG wanted in their sales force. This stringent hiring process involved a store visit for the interested candidates, a telephonic interview and two personal interviews. BTG also ensured that their staffs were very diverse with an equal mix of both genders and a diverse spread age-wise from 18 to 50 years. Initially BTG implemented a total commission based structure for its sales force that not only promoted healthy competition, but kept the employees motivated as they knew their earnings would have no limit as long as they could close many sales. Subsequently this structure was changed to incorporate a salary section as well, but this was soon revoked as this structure was not motivating the employees sufficiently. Currently, BTG has in place a commission based structure that also guarantees a minimum amount even if the employee can’t make sales. Both times that BTG changes its commission structure there was a certain amount of attrition within its sales force. Currently, BTG has several channels through which it conducts hiring – Employee referrals, Internet sourcing, professional recruiters, newspaper advertising and store generated leads. Those who...
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