Critical analysis of the recruitment and selection method applied in Tescos


Recruitment and Selection Process is one of the basic HR Processes. Recruitment and Selection is very sensitive as many managers have a need to hire a new employee and this process is always under a strict monitoring from their side. Recruitment and selection are two most important functions of personnel management. Recruitment process can be done in many ways like internal or external, and it involves with many steps of recruitment policies like job advert, job application process, Evaluations, job description and, legislations and training. The primary purpose of recruitment and selection is to achieve one’s desire end, appointing the right person to the right job. Recruitment refers to the process of attracting, screening, and selecting qualified people for a job at an organization or firm. Selection refers to Selection is the process of choosing the most suitable candidates from those who apply for the job. It is a process of offering jobs to desired candidates.

This report focuses on recruitment and selection of TESCO plc. The main objective of this report is to critically analyse the recruitment and selection method applied in relation to market environment

1.2 Tesco’s background:

Business of the company

Tesco sells daily necessary things like food and also non food items. It carries more than 23,000 items ranging from cloths, stationary, groceries, wine, entertainment & digital appliances, finance & insurance, books, patrol & gas, pharmacy, phone & broadband.

History of the company

Tesco was founded by Jack Cohen, who sold groceries in the markets of the London East End from 1919. The Tesco brand first appeared in 1924. After Jack Cohen bought a large shipment of tea from T.E. Stockwell, he made new labels by using the first three letters of the supplier’s name and the first two letters of his surname forming the word “TESCO”.

The Global Oneness Commitment (2009)

Business growth of Tesco:

The two diagrams shows the growth of Tesco in the last five years

Performance over last 5 years













Sales in o/s stores






No. Of stores






No. Of o/s stores






Floor space






Floor space-O/S stores






Growth rate of the performance













Sales in o/s stores






No. Of stores






No. Of o/s stores






Floor space






Floor space-O/S stores






Source: Tesco’s Annual report and financial statement 2008

The business locations of the of Tesco

Tesco operates in 14 different markets/countries through 4,811 stores all around the world with 468,508 staff work there. In the UK it has 2,282 stores and 286,394stuff work there. The details of UK stores are as follows:

Table 1 Tesco’s store size in UK.


Extra (average size 71,310 sq feet)


(Regular) Tesco (average size 29,984 sq feet)


Metro (average size 11,638 sq feet)


Express(average size 2,211 sq feet)


Home Plus (average size 40,800 sq feet)


One Stop (average size 1,357 sq feet)


Table 2: Tesco’s stores outside the UK are as follows:







Czech Republic




















Republic of Ireland






South Korea








1.3 Objectives

1. To critically evaluate the current recruitment and selection approaches of Tesco plc.

2. To critically examine an alternative recruitment route that other companies are applying.

3. To draw conclusions about the room for improvement in Tesco recruitment and selection approach.

2. Literature review:

Recruitment can be defined as a set of activities and practices used for the primary purpose of legally identifying sufficient numbers and quality of people fitting for a given purpose. It is carried out to provide an organisation with a pool of qualified potential individuals’ from which judicious selection for the most appropriate applicants can be made for filling vacancies in the organisation. A review of the HRM literature indicates that recruitment and selection are regarded as integrated activities and where recruitment stops and selection

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begins is a questionable point (Beardwell et al., 2004). Nevertheless, for the purpose of this work it is useful to differentiate between the two activities. As defined above, numerous authors (Whitehill, 1991: Roberts, 2008; McCormack and Scholarios, 2009) describe recruitment as a process of building a pool of potentially qualified applicants. Whereas selection is seen as a set of activities concerned with predicting which applicants will make the most appropriate contribution to the organisation in view of the present and future human

resource requirements (Beardwell et al., 2004: McCormack and Scholarios, 2009).

The recruitment and selection process refers some critical points. These are its very sensible process to change the internal organization of the company and to change on the external job market

The recruitment and selection process meet with the some criteria, these are Process should be easy to realize the target people and audience of the recruitment and selection process. This process is not for the HRM organization’s staff/employee, This process created only for the organization/company’s manager, Manager are the main client for the recruitment and selection process.

Despite recruitment and selection being considered as integrated activities unfortunately human resources literature discussions tend to neglect recruitment and place greater emphasis on selection. In view of this (McCormack and Scholarios, 2009) comment that the more effective an organisation is at identifying and attracting a high quality profile of job

applicants, the less important the selection stage of hiring becomes. Therefore it can be suggested that an effective and agile recruitment strategy is the most fundamental human resource function and if managed well can have a significant impact on organisational performance and is critical to developing a more agile competitive edge (Pilbeam and Corbridge, 2006: Evans et al, 2007).

As the contemporary business environment become increasingly competitive and labour markets continue to grow more diverse, organisations need to be more proactive in their resourcing strategies. Evans et al., (2007) and Richardson, (2008) argue that ineffective recruitment approaches can result in long-term negative effects, among them high training and development costs in efforts to minimise the incidence of poor performance and high turnover which in turn, impact on staff morale, the provision of high quality goods and services and the retention of organisational memory. Richardson, (2008) goes further to argue that at worst, the organisation can fail to achieve its objectives thereby losing its competitive edge and market share. However, it is important to consider that the process of implementing an effective and successful recruitment approach could bring along with it other costs related to the perceptions and attitudes of the people involved in this change.

3.1 Research methodology:

3.1.1. Sources of Information

Primary Data: The primary data was collected by questionnaire survey. I prepared a questionnaire and asked the related person to fill it up.

Secondary Data: I did browse the company’s website to gather information. I also used the internet service to send the questionnaire.

This report is the result of the collaboration of the members in the group and both primary and secondary information have been used.

3.1.2. Research Approach

The face to face survey of the HR Department of Tesco, Sainsbury etc helped me to collect the data. This survey research approach has helped me to get a better understanding of their situation and problems. A questionnaire was prepared with questions that helped on providing information about their selection and recruitment process.

3.1.3. Research Instrument Questionnaire

I prepared a questionnaire with set of 8-10 questions related to the topic and asked the HR Mangers and employees of Tesco Sainsbury etc.

Close End and open end: The questionnaire contains the MCQ type questions and also there were some options to write freely. I also used the checklist method of questionnaire (Yes/No). Mechanical Tools

Instrument like paper and pen were used for the questionnaire and for noting down notes. Computer, pen-drive, and printer were used for typing and printing the report.

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Analysis and evaluation:

Primary analysis:

I have done my primary analysis on 50 Tesco employees using a survey questionnaire (see appendix).

From my primary analysis i have found out 60% of the employees think internet and job centre are the medium of advertisement.30 % think internet and store advertisement are the best way of job advertisement. Only 10 % think newspaper and job centre are the most popular medium of advertisement.

80% of the employees are happy about Tesco recruitment and selection process. But 40% of the employees think Sainsbury’s recruitment and selection process are better than Tesco’s to some extent. Many of the employees opinion was Sainsbury’s uses smarter recruitment and selection process than to Tesco. Namely their situation based test, using of video to identify skills and the mathematical test for identify numeric skills.

From the survey I have also found out most of the employees think Tesco should make applications form available both online and offline. Those who have access to the internet can apply online and for those who do not, can collect a form from Tesco’s customer services, complete it and send it off by post or hand it in personally to customer services. This in turn could be given to the department which consists of this job and then be examined. Also Tesco should place more interviewers so that more applicants can be interviewed and so shortlisted applicants can be dealt with in a shorter period of time. Tesco should assess applicants during the interview as it would save time as both can be dealt with straight away/ at the same time.

Secondary analysis: I have done my secondary research by reading through books, websites, magazines and newspaper. The findings are discussed below.

Recruitment involves attracting the right standard of applicants to apply for vacancies. Tesco advertises jobs in different ways. The process varies depending on the job available. Tesco first looks at its internal Talent Plan to fill a vacancy. This is a process that lists current employees looking for a move, either at the same level or on promotion. If there are no suitable people in this Talent Plan or developing on the internal management development programme, Options, Tesco advertises the post internally on its intranet for two weeks.

For external recruitment, Tesco advertises vacancies via the Tesco website

or through vacancy boards in stores. Applications are made online for managerial positions. The chosen applicants have an interview followed by attendance at an assessment centre for the final stage of the selection process.

Selection involves choosing the most suitable people from those that apply for a vacancy,

whilst keeping to employment laws and regulations. Screening candidates is a very

important part of the selection process. This ensures that those selected for interview have the

best fit with the job requirements.

In the first stages of screening, Tesco selectors will look carefully at each applicant’s curriculum vitae (CV). The CV summarises the candidate’s education and job history to date. A well-written and positive CV helps Tesco to assess whether an applicant matches the person specification for the job. The company also provides a ‘job type match’ tool on its careers web page. People interested in working for Tesco can see where they might fit in before applying.

The process Tesco uses to select external management candidates has several stages.

A candidate who passes screening attends an assessment centre. The assessment centres take

place in store and are run by managers. They help to provide consistency in the selection

process. Applicants are given various exercises, including team-working activities or problemsolving

exercises. These involve examples of problems they might have to deal with at work.

On the other hand, Sainsbury has a bit different recruitment and selection process. After succeeding on online test Sainsbury takes first interview. Here HR manager call the candidates into a room individually to answer a few questions. These are just to make sure that whether the candidates have their passport, are the correct age for the job (as stipulated when they applied) and are being interviewed for the job they actually applied for – apparently HR have a habit of messing that bit up. After this, all the interviewees will be sat in a room for the second recruitment test. The second test is split into four sections and given using a video. It usually takes around one hour to complete, and is quite simple. The first section is on customer service and is very similar to the other test that the candidates sat online. Again, they are given a situation that is in video format – and are asked to identify the best and worst responses out of a selection of four. The second section is on attention to detail. Candidates will be shown video clips, and will be asked to identify two things wrong with these video clips. The third section is on mathematics. The final section is all about candidates. It is the only part of the test not done by video, and comprises a series of statements with which candidates have to agree or disagree. Finally, 2nd interview comes up where candidates have to sit for face to face interview.

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Finally I can say that from the research it is clear that in some of cases Sainsbury has better system in recruitment and selection process. Tesco need to apply those systems in compare to other relative supermarket. If they put proper recruitment and selection technique then it will be easier than before. They can apply some techniques like video clips, mathematical terms etc. It will help Tesco to improve their recruitment process.


Tesco PLC has an effective Recruitment and Selection however there are advantages and disadvantages which need to be considered. Advertising jobs online has its advantages as it’s cheaper than having it printed in newspapers for example and can be changed if required. However there are a few disadvantages. Some people may not have access to the Internet making it difficult to view the advertisement for the particular job. Some may have problems in using the Internet or not know how to use it and some may not have a computer in which case they would not even be able to access the Internet.. Tesco should make sure they know what is required of the job before shortlisting is taken place as applicant who may have the requirements may not be part of the applicants who are shortlisted or the opposite. Tesco should place more interviewers so that more applicants can be interviewed and so shortlisted applicants can be dealt with in a shorter period of time. Tesco should assess applicants during the interview as it would save time as both can be dealt with straight away/ at the same time. Thus meaning Tesco should carry.

References and bibliography:

1.Richardson, A. M, (2009) Recruitment Strategies: Managing/effecting the

recruitment process [Online] available from

[Accessed 4-0ct- 2010]

2. McCormack, A. and Scholarios, D. (2009) Recruitment, chapter 3 in Redman,

T and Wilkinson, A, (2009) Contemporary Human Resource Management 3rd

Edition, London: Financial Times Prentice Hall

3. UCL, (2008) Human resources-Recruitment and selection policy [Online] Available from [Accessed 22 – Oct- 2010]

4. Pilbeam, S. and M. Corbridge (2006) People Resourcing. Contemporary HRM

in Practice, London: Prentice Hall. Volume 17(4), pp.567-582.

5. TESCO-CARRERS, (2009)The application process-Tesco careers [Online] available from :

[Accessed 25-Oct- 2010]

6. SAINSBURYS, (2010) Careers at Sainsbury.[Online] available from[Accessed 25-Oct- 2010].

7. COURSEWORK, (2010) Tesco PLC has an effective Recruitment and Selection however the are advantages and disadvantages which need to be considered. .[Online] available from[Accessed 30-Oct- 2010]

8. Iles, P.A. and Robertson, I.T. (1997), “The impact of personnel selection procedures on candidates”, in Anderson, N. and Herriot, P. (Eds), International Handbook of Selection and Assessment, Wiley, Chichester, pp. 543-66

9. Anderson, N., Born, M. and Cunningham-Snell, N. (2001a), “Recruitment and selection: applicant perspectives and outcomes”, in Anderson, N., Ones, D., Sinangil, H.K. and Viswesvaran, C. (Eds), Handbook of Industrial, Work and Organizational Psychology, Vol. 1, Sage, London and New York, NY, pp. 200-18

10. Beardwell, I. Holden,L. and Claydon (2004) Human resource management; A

contemporary approach. 4th Edition. Harlow: Pearson Education

11. Gililand,S.W.(1993) The perceived fairness of selection system: an organisational justice perspective,’ Academy of management review, 18: 694-734.

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