November 12, 2012
Working at the Little Red Roaster
The business strategy and job design provide a basic blueprint for an organization in terms of organizing work to accomplish important strategic objectives. This paper will detail an interview with a small business owner exploring the core business strategy and subsequent creation of a job position within the business. A job description was developed based on the interview dialogue. The Little Red Roaster (LRR) is a locally owned and operated franchise specializing in coffee and gourmet foods. Founded in 1996 in London, Ontario, there are five independently owned and operated locations. The LRR selected for this paper is located in a large community hospital and has a solid customer base comprised of hospital staff, visitors, ambulatory patients, and students. The LRR seeks to provide customers with a warm environment, friendly service, and high-quality food items. Owner Tristan Squire-Smith wears many hats within the business and has a wide range of responsibilities and duties, including networking, marketing, planning, managing, and recruiting. With the opportunity to interview Tristan, the topics of discussion included job analysis, job description and subsequent strategies he uses when determining to hire employees. Tristan ultimately is the individual who decides if an individual is qualified and a good fit with the closely knit LRR team and work environment. Tristan states the ultimate decision to hire is entirely based on his affinity for risk. Recruiting, hiring, and training a productive employee is a costly undertaking that ought to be pursued if so indicated by a cost-benefit analysis. In a risk-adverse organization, a position would be created as a result of existing needs being unmatched by current human capacity; the purpose of the new candidate’s role is to match capacity with known, existing demand. He postulates that businesses wishing to minimize risk still further would select an internal candidate versus selecting an individual external to the organization. The drawback to a conservative approach is that existing resources can suffer from being chronically over-taxed as a result from working beyond capacity or by having to complete their jobs in addition to training a new hire. Additionally, creativity is stifled as a new hire’s purpose is defined before they are brought on; the existing needs are so rigid and time-sensitive that there is no room for exploration. In contrast the benefit to the organization is that, from a superficial cost perspective, efficiency is realized as latent capacity is minimized if not eliminated altogether. For example, a LRR team leader role was created in 2011 to provide front line supervision and management of day-to-day tasks and duties. Before the team leader role was created Tristan was performing these duties and juggling many other competing demands of the business in addition to working another full-time job. The resulting team manager role, filled by an internal candidate, has addressed the organizational gap and allows Tristan to focus on strategy and operational planning. Grasby, Crossan, Frost, Haywood-Farmer, Pearce, and Purdy (2004) detail the pros and cons of choosing internal over external candidates and the implications of said protocol on the working milieu. Evidently, all candidates must have a particular combination of minimum pedagogic preparation and relative/transferable working experience. Most notably, the internally preferred candidates, if chosen, typically cost less and may be integrated into new roles more quickly than a comparable external candidate due to their general familiarization with the company. Furthermore, by their very selection, the business signals its recognition to the employee of past service, thereby motivating all workers to strive and succeed. Conversely, external candidates often provide a stale environment with...