Abercrombie and Fitch

Topics: Human resource management, Discrimination, Human resources Pages: 18 (3998 words) Published: April 26, 2015


Abstract

A&F is a worldwide retail company, which targets young, dynamic and good- looking people. As a result the company’s image and culture primarily emphasize on people’s appearance. These recent years, the company had faced different trials because of unethical and discriminatory behaviors against potential candidates and actual employees. Also the company “look policy” has been called into question as it was excluding a certain range of candidates who were not considered as being able to portray the brand’s image. In order to have a better understanding on A&F’s hiring practices, the report highlights the importance but also the possible impact of hiring workers who embody the company’s culture and image. Also, it investigates the ethicality of the “look policy” and the impact of A&F’s initiatives to improve people’s perception about the brand.

Table of Contents

Abstract2
Background4
KEY ISSUES5
 Hiring workers who embody A&F culture and image5
 Ethicality of A&F’s “look policy” and effectiveness of the company’s initiative concerning equality and diversity8 Ethicality of A&F’s “look policy”8
Company’s equality and diversity initiatives10
RECOMMENDATIONS TO BOARD OF DIRECTORS11
Revise the company “look policy”11
Implementation of a new hiring strategy13
CONCLUSION15
REFERENCES16

Background

Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F) is an American Retailer Company (Redman, Wilkinson 2013), which has stores across different countries and because of its rapid worldwide expansion the firm received a wide range of demand from a diversified workforce, who are expected “to be ambassadors for the brands (Redman, Wilkinson 2013) toward their attractive physic.

The company’s recruitment is exclusively based on image and its hiring process has been criticised of being discriminatory on different matters. The brand has been accused of mainly focusing its recruitment based on the candidates’ appearance and therefore to hire good-looking candidates (Irvin 2013).

Thus, the observation made of A&F recruitment practices clearly demonstrates that the firm discriminates candidates based on their appearance, which must comply with the “look policy” (Redman, Wilkinson 2013), leading to unequal treatments among workers and poor corporate social responsibility.

Therefore, this report will critically analyse the brand’s hiring practices by firstly looking at how helpful it is for A&F to hire workers who embody its culture and image. Then, this paper will consider A&F “look policy” ethicality as well as the effectiveness of equality and diversity initiatives taken by the organisation. Finally, useful recommendations will be addressed to the firm in order to improve the major key issues facing by the company.

KEY ISSUES
 Hiring workers who embody A&F culture and image

A&F wants to attract “fun-loving and stylish people” (Redman, Wilkinson 2013) able to portray the brand’s culture and image. This recruitment strategy could be seen as a double-edged sword, as, in one hand, it will be beneficial because the company will be represented through its employees’ appearance (Sarbgren, Aberg 2006), but in an other hand this practice leads to an unethical and discriminatory recruitment process (PRNewswire n.d).

First of all, it is important to point out that A&F’s strategy of hiring employees who embody its culture and image is mainly oriented on candidates’ appearance as the company’s culture and image emphasize on the physic and exclusivity (Alexander 2013). Therefore, as suggested by Sarbgren and Aberg (2006), the good-looking employees are more or less tolls used to catch customers’ eyes. Corbett (2007) and The Telegraph’s article (2013) also mentioned that worker’s attractiveness appeared to be an impact that would convince customers to buy what the brand had to offer toward a first good impression which, according to Aamodt (2004), results to a better...

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