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Hollister HRM Interview Sample

Table of Contents

Abstract

3

Introduction

4

Theoretical framework

5

Methodology

7

Results

8

Discussion

11

Recommendations

13

Conclusion

14

Appendixes

15

References

24

Abstract

Nowadays, fashion companies have a great level of competitiveness in the market, which challenges them to remain competitive. One of the most important elements for any successful company is its employees and employment strategy. This study will explore and compare how two fashion companies search for the best candidates to work with. The study contains the example of job interviews and employment information that will help to understand the HR management of each company correctly. In addition, the study consists of a survey of current or former employees that will show the efficiency of workforce planning and the current recruitment strategies of each company. The main finding shows that both companies are successful in hiring the staff; however, there are some disadvantages in both companies and appropriate improvements are suggested.

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Workforce Planning and Recruitment

Introduction

This research paper will study how companies hire their workers and how they choose the best candidates. To study this theme, two companies, specialized in fashion and clothing, were chosen - Hollister Co. and Splash Fashions. These two companies are known worldwide and are very popular among people, searching for employment. Hollister is known as the second most preferred clothing shop among teenagers in the USA. Nowadays, this international fashion company has more than 500 stores around the world. Hollister stores are extremely popular in different shopping malls thanks to their design and the lounge inside these stores. Splash is the largest Middle Eastern fashion retailer. A part of Landmark Group, this company was founded as a single-brand shop in the UAE (United Arab Emirates), but now, it has more than 200 stores in 13 countries.

Workforce planning and recruitment strategy are two main points that any company should pay attention to if it wants to have an effective industry and representation. Calculating the correct number of employees and determining the appropriate skills of each employee are the main parts of planning the workforce that will help to meet the company goal. In addition, the necessary part of the recruitment strategy is not only about how to hire and whom to hire. It also should include training and mentorship of new employees during their first week of work. The research will examine and analyze how the recruitment options of both companies affect their success.

The study will provide the answers to such questions as to how successful two companies in hiring the staff are, what the requirements for the candidates are, and whether current requirements are useful. The paper will present theoretical issues, concerning the topic of this research. Moreover, a methodology will be presented and discussed to analyze the recruitment strategies of both companies to observe whether such strategies help to hire the correct employees. In the section of the discussion, the results of the analysis will be presented and, finally, the recommendations for further improvement will be suggested.

Theoretical Framework

The work of a modern enterprise cannot be imagined without an organized systemic activity for the search and selection of personnel. Depending on the size of the company, its strategic goals, this activity is performed by both the staff of the HR Department and through recruiting recruitment agencies. Staff recruitment is the job of either internal staff of the enterprise, HR specialists (HR-service), or recruiters of specialized agencies at the request of enterprises. The tasks of a recruiter can vary from company to company. Nevertheless, they will necessarily include such function as the analysis of staffing of the enterprise (James, 2016). Based on this analysis, a vacancy plan following the strategic objectives of the company is created. Recruitment strategies and personnel planning are directly related to the enterprise development plans, determination of the strategy and methods for finding candidates for a given vacancy, and the study of potential sources of the candidate search. In addition, HR managers conduct the interviews and if necessary, pretests for a candidate; then, they provide all the information, needed for the job, and support recruits when they need it (W. P. Carey, 2008).

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The role of staff in the company is not a service but one of the strategic points that correspond to the concept of human resource management. Very briefly, the concept of human resources management can be characterized by a strategic approach to personnel management and the dominant role of line managers (Sullivan, 2009). The competitive advantage of the company is formed through the efforts of personnel, while the organization's policy regarding personnel corresponds to the culture of the organization, its values, and its goals. Communications are developed at a high level (Sullivan, 2009).

The strategy of personnel management is a priority direction for the formation of a competitive highly professional, responsible, and cohesive workforce that contributes to the achievement of long-term goals and the implementation of the organization's overall strategy. This system of methods and tools for personnel management is used for a certain time to implement the personnel policy (Lefkow, 2002).

As a rule, the main features of the company’s HR strategy are its long-term nature that is explained by the focus on the development and modification of psychological attitudes, motivation, staff structure, the entire personnel management system, or its individual elements. Such changes usually take a long time to be implemented. At the same time, communication with the strategy of the organization as a whole, considering the numerous factors of the external and internal environment since their change entails a shift or adjustment of the organization's strategy and requires timely changes in the structure and number of personnel, skills and qualifications, style and management methods (Lefkow, 2002).

When starting with the selection of personnel, it is necessary to think about the tools for assessing the applicant's compliance with the requirements and the policy of bringing a person into the company. Typically, standard assessment tools are used such as structured interviews, testing, or testing of recommendations. The company's policy on the adaptation or development of employees can also offer evaluation tools (Schwantes, 2016).

The most common methods of obtaining information for assessing the qualitative characteristics of the applicant include testing and interviewing. Currently, there are different groups of tests. Testing is performed to determine the qualifications of the applicant and their abilities, to check personal qualities, their ability to work in the group, and health status (medical tests). Tests should be carefully prepared. They must ensure maximum objectivity and allow obtaining a correct assessment of the qualitative characteristics of applicants. This is ensured by the fact that the assessed qualitative characteristics must be clearly defined; thus, tests must be standardized (Hayton, 2016).

Methodology

This paper used methods of qualitative nature with the examples of interviews, surveys conducted among the former staff, and the information about Hollister and Splash, available on the Internet. These methods will help to answer the questions of the research paper in full.

Interviews

The paper has examples of interviews in Hollister and Splash with the former workers of these companies. The interviews showed the recruitment strategies of both companies and helped to understand, which criteria were crucial for them.

Surveys

Surveys, available on the Internet, are quite useful in analyzing the effectiveness of current strategies of companies as the surveys include all benefits and drawbacks of Human Resource Management and the time, during which an employee worked for the company, which will help to determine if the workforce was well planned.

Information About the Companies

Information about the companies and their goals and marketing strategies showed the main ideas of recruitment strategies. Almost every author, mentioned in the theoretical framework said that the Human Resources Management strategy was one of the main parts of the general culture and aim of the company.

Results

Interview

Hollister likes conducting group interviews, which last for about half an hour, between five-seven candidates. The company provides a diversity of workforce and workplace; thus, inclusion, and diversity are the key to the organization's success. The company claims that it is determined to have a diverse culture that benefits from the perspective of each worker. Therefore, a common question for each candidate is about diversity and their understanding of this issue. However, when looking through the examples of interviews, provided by the former employees, the company does not hold the idea of diversity correctly. The employees told that all the candidates should have nice appearances and always smile. Thus, generally, appearance plays the main role in choosing the candidates in Hollister. As it was told in the interview, the company prefers candidates who wear Hollister clothes. The company provides bonuses for the workers for the clothes; in each store, there is a manager who controls the working atmosphere and the duties of each employee. Unfortunately, there is only one example of the interview in Splash, but the company is well-known for its effective recruitment, as there are no restrictions, concerning employees’ appearances, and they give only typical questions about the previous experience or the action on a particular situation that might can happen in the store. Detailed interviews can be found in Appendix A.

Former Workers’ surveys

Commonly, the employees of both companies are satisfied with their jobs; however, most of the feedbacks, left in the Hollister survey, have a negative thought about poor working hours and too many coworkers in one store. At the same time, in Splash, workers mentioned that the biggest disadvantage was long working hours and short breaks. Therefore, the workforce planning of both companies has gaps. As a result, there is a high flow of employees as they do not want to work for a long time in such companies; commonly, these companies are popular as an additional source of income among students. Detailed feedbacks are given in Appendix B.

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Information About the Companies

Splash Fashions has an excellent reputation in the Middle East, and it is recognized as one the best places to work by the award of the Great Place to Work in 2016. The company also has many other awards in HR competitions. Splash has more than 4,000 employees today and looks for individuals who are very creative and ready to overcome new obstacles. The company promotes an atmosphere of friendship and employs workers from all countries in the world; thus, there are no restrictions regarding one’s nationality or religion. The CEO of the company wants to open some stores in Europe and to hire their employees of different creeds to show this friendly atmosphere. At the same time, Hollister cannot boast of such a reputation. Thus, several cases show the discrimination of employees. For example, there was an instance of religious discrimination of a Muslim student, who was told not to wear a hijab during the working day, and it was not the only case. In addition, an employee wore the Red Poppy as a symbol of Remembrance Day and received a penalty for that, as it was not a part of their uniform.

The parent company of Hollister Co., Abercrombie & Fitch's underwear company, has a fictional backstory that noted that the products were embellished in 1932, while the brand was born in 2008. The company claims that at Abercrombie & Fitch, they advance each day with an inclusive attitude and endearment of all backgrounds, cultures, thinking styles, and perspectives. They adore what makes their customers, shareholders, associates, business partners, and communities unique. The company takes advantage of such differences to fuel the culture and amplify its brand.

Most vacancies in Hollister require candidates to participate in short group interviews. In general, such group interviews last half an hour. The interview is conducted with five to 10 candidates at the same time. Hollister fashion chain popularizes diverse workplaces. As a result, almost all associates should answer questions, concerning diversity. For example: ‘What is diversity?’ or ‘Why is diversity important in the workplace?’ In addition, interviewers often ask many funny and personality-based questions. Among them could be: ‘How would your parents speak about you?’ or ‘If you were a dog, what would you eat?’ Group interviews also help to assess the knowledge of the candidates about Hollister Co. and current fashion trends. The question can be like this: ‘Why do people prefer the clothes of Hollister and not other brans?’ During the interview, attention is also paid to the appearances of the candidates. For the girls, natural make-up and jeans are preferable. Their hair should look neat, and the candidate should look stylish and preferably, in Hollister clothing.

The Chief Executive of Splash has always wanted to promote fashion in Asia and learned much about the fashion industry, which prompted him to look for ways of improving the business. In 1992, he read the advertisement, where the place in outlet for fashion boutique was on sale. The Chief applied and purchased the area. Next year, this man was an owner of a Splash fashion brand that had the aim to promote fashion in Muslim countries with the help of friendship and internationalism.

Former staff satisfaction

30%

Workforce planning efficiency

55%

Recruitment strategy

55%

Conducting interviews

60%

Figure A: the estimation of Hollister on a 100% scale

Former staff satisfaction

65%

Workforce planning efficiency

55%

Recruitment strategy

55%

Conducting interviews

70%

Figure B: the estimation of the Splash in 100% scale

Discussion

This section of the research work will make a parallel between the theoretical issues and the findings to explore how both companies cope with issues and see the gaps in their strategies. According to Carvey (2008), Sullivan (2009), and Lefkow (2002) the crucial part of the success depends on a good staff, and the strategy and skills of the employee should coincide with the main goal of a company. Both companies under study show the understanding of this issue in their own recruitment strategies.

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According to Schwantes (2016), it is necessary to think about the criteria and tools, with the help of which the candidates will be chosen. Both companies have done this part and have the set of skills and requirements for their candidates. However, Hayton (2016) indicates that the methods of assessing the characteristics of candidates should ensure the highest objectivity, and the questions should be standardized. Thus, Hollister did not cope with this point, as their job interviews consist mostly of questions of personal character, which does not make the company objective.

In addition, as Lefkow (2002) mentions, a recruitment strategy should consider not only the process of employment but also the further actions with the staff, paying attention to the external and internal environment and giving bonuses for employees. In regards to this issue, Hollister is better than Splash as it provides bonuses for its workers, which were mentioned in the interviews, and Splash does not do so, even when the workers complain about overtime.

The analysis shows that the examined companies work in the same industry but with different strategies and aims. Therefore, each company has its strengths and weaknesses in particular points of workforce planning and recruitment strategies. However, both companies need to reconsider their strategies to move forward. To fix the problems, according to James, (2016), the management of the company should analyze the staff and in general the functions of the enterprise. It will help to find the worst parts of the enterprise and the staff and solve them with the help of a correct recruitment strategy.

Recommendations

Based on the results of the research and the discussions, both companies have a good workforce planning and strategy, in general. The interviews and surveys show the popularity of both companies and their attitude to employees. However, some particular features require improvement for both Splash and Hollister to maintain their workers for a longer working period. Firstly, the recommendations for Hollister will be examined. The company has a very strong advantage with the bonuses for its employees. Almost everyone has mentioned this factor in the pros in their survey. However, two problems must be fixed. Too much stuff in each store results in fewer working hours for each employee. Thus, the workforce planning strategy should be revised from this point of view, and the stable number of employees in each store should be approved. For example, for a big store with many sections, one employee and three cashiers should be provided for each section; for the smaller shops, it will be enough to have from three to five workers.

Another problem in Hollister is its policy regarding appearances, religion, or other discriminative factors. Thus, Hollister should reconsider the main points of job interviews and make these interviews more generalized and not so personally connected. The questions of personal character often scare candidates, while the thorough attention to their clothes and appearances might offense them and decrease their confidence.

At the same time, Splash has completely different gaps that also need fixing. The company employs not enough staff for its stores as the employees in the survey complained about working overtime. The recruitment policy of the company without the restriction regarding age, nationality, or religion is definitely a big advantage, but its workforce planning should be reorganized not to have complaints about overtime hours. If the company does not want to increase the number of employees, it should implement additional benefits or bonuses for overtime. In addition, the company should provide stable bonuses for the staff to encourage its workers. In general, the problems in both companies are not critical, but fixing them will increase the efficiency of employees and the efficiency of the company on the market.

Conclusion

This research work had the aim to answer whether such companies as Hollister and Splash had effective workforce planning and recruitment. The findings and the discussion show that largely, both companies have successful recruitment strategies and efficient workforce planning. Moreover, the study has revealed particular weaknesses for each company as well as their common and different advantages and disadvantages. Companies are specialized in the same sphere, but they have different business and recruitment strategies. Thus, the workforce planning of both companies is definitely different. It is difficult to say, which of the two companies has more weaknesses or strengths; however, both are successful, despite their internal problems. The analysis of the findings of the research shows the weaknesses and helps to produce some advice, concerning the review of the strategies of both companies. Therefore, the above recommendations will promote the efficiency of each company and strengthen their positions on the international market. The provided recommendations consider all results of used methods and the analyses of all problems, discovered in each method of research. Therefore, these recommendations can definitely help to solve the problems successfully and with the low consumption of resources.

Appendix A

Interview 1

Hollister representative: What was your position at Hollister and what duties did you have?

Former employee: I worked as a model for Hollister. It is like a shop assistant, but it is called a model at Hollister. I had to greet customers when they entered the store, introduce myself, and help customers if they had some problems or if they could not find what they needed. I also checked if they chose everything correctly and helped our merchandisers to put the clothes properly.

Hollister representative: What was the working atmosphere?

Former employee: The pace of work was quite energetic. The manager was nice. She was very indulgent, considering how much work she put on the models. She has always repeated that we are at Hollister and we should have a great time and fun there.

Hollister representative: What was the best thing for you while you were working there?

Former employee: The best thing for me was a season change. During these changes, we changed the entire interior of the store, all colors, and we had a discount of 85% for season clothing.

Hollister representative: Could you, please, describe your typical working day?

Former employee: Typically, for me, it was like that: I enter the building, clock in, look for my position for the working day, clarify with my manager what I should do today and what my main responsibilities are.

Hollister representative: Please, give the description of the application and the job interview.

Former employee: The application process for me was very easy, and it was online. The interview lasted for about 30 minutes, and the interviewer asked me some questions about communication skills and how I would work with the customers, about my character, and my strengths and weaknesses.

Hollister representative: What questions did you remember from your Hollister interview?

Former employee: Let me think a moment. One of the first questions was how well I worked with a team. Some questions were dedicated to my time management and whether it would be better for me to work on the project with supervision, or whether I would prefer to work alone. The interviewer asked me if my friends considered me a leader, the example of what I had done in a group, and whether this work was successful.

Hollister representative: Did you get any bonuses or other job perks?

Former employee: Definitely, we receive the stable 15% off for all clothes, and for season changes, as I have mentioned before, we received 85% off.

Hollister representative: In your opinion, what differentiated you from other candidates for this position?

Former employee: I have said that I believe in diversity and individuality. And for this job - the main focus was on diversity.

Hollister representative: What advice could you give to the candidates who want to receive a job at Hollister?

Former employee: To be confident. Confidence is one of the main things they look for in all candidates during the interviews. I recommend smiling during the interview and try to keep direct eye contact with the interviewer.

Interview 2

Hollister representative: What was your position at Hollister and what duties did you have?

Former employee: I had a position as a model when working in Hollister. It is simply a person who stands in the shop and helps customers if they need anything. If people need another size or cannot find their size, a model should help. It is a position in the crew for doing all the services needed, but they call it a model.

Hollister representative: What was the working atmosphere?

Former employee: It was fun enough. However, there are many people, working in the same place and at the same time. However, they spray perfume in the entire area of the store, all clothes, so the smell is everywhere and it is quite bad. It was quite strong, indeed. Moreover, the store was a bit dark for many but I was okay about the lighting in it. There are always many people there, so models in the store always have things to do.

Hollister representative: Could you, please, describe your typical working day?

Former employee: Typically, it looks like this: you come in, you clock in, your manager will check you, she will look at you, your clothes, and your haircut to make sure you are not too flashy. They do not want their workers to wear much makeup; they want their employees to look natural. The worker should just have a small amount of makeup, there should be no nail polish or things like that, minimum of jewelry, and, of course, they want the employees to be in Hollister clothes or something neutral, without the brand name. Thus, employees will not be allowed to work if they wear Chanel or something like that. Therefore, the manager checks employees’ looks, and then she will tell us our duties and positions for the day. We start cleaning up the area and helping customers whenever needed.

Hollister representative: Please, give the description of the application and the job interview.

Former employee: The application process for me was a little bit strange. They took me in and I started trying on the clothes; they looked at me, how I looked and fit in the clothes, they took pictures and sent them to their bosses or managers, I did not understand this. That was my interview, of course, they asked me something. I noticed that it was very important for them, that I looked good in the clothes, and only after when they approved my look in the clothes, they asked me some questions. After that, they told me to go home and wait for their call. In a few days, they called me and said that I was approved by the manager and I could start working from today.

Hollister representative: What questions did you remember from your Hollister interview?

Former employee: Only some questions were about my working experience, whether I had ever worked in retail. They also wanted to understand my type of style or just hoped that I had something like style. They asked questions about communication and my retail experience.

Hollister representative: In your opinion, what divides you from other candidates for this position?

Former employee: It is a difficult question to answer. I think I have some kind of charisma. I am very sociable and friendly. I am also very upbeat, they like such things there. You are always busy and they do not want to have lazy and not talkative people because it will hinder the sales of their clothes.

Hollister representative: How you were informed about the results of the interview?

Former employee: Hmmm.... about three or four days later, she called me and notified me that I got a job and informed me when I should come to sign the contract and start working.

Hollister representative: What advice could you give for the candidates who want to receive the job at Hollister?

Former employee: I would recommend to people, for whom it will be the first job and the first interview, just be yourself and show your individuality. If you want to work with these people for a year or more, just let them know about you and who you are. If you are very talkative, show this, talk with them, ask questions, be really happy and easygoing, show that you are interested in getting this position and that you want to get this job. Pay attention to these recommendations, be yourself, be energetic because no one wants to get a sleepy and boring employee in the sphere of fashion retail.

Interview 3

Hollister representative: What were your position and duties?

Former employee: I was a model and sometimes a cashier. My job description implied mostly the duties of the cashier. I had to be in the position, making sure that clothes were inappropriate condition and they were well sorted and organized. I also had to do customer service - interact with clients and ensure that they were satisfied with services. I had to make sure nobody stole anything.

Hollister representative: What was the working atmosphere?

Former employee: The working atmosphere at Hollister is great. Everyone is friendly and nice to you. The managers are reliable. Sometimes, days are quite hectic when the mall is full of people, but the working environment is very nice and it is more than a calm store.

Hollister representative: what was your typical day?

Former employee: Typically, I would come to work, clock in, would read the poster of the motto of the day. Then, I had to wear a uniform at Hollister. It is Hollister jeans and shirts. I had to make sure that everything was worn properly. I would speak to the manager and she would assign me to the place or the position in the store or the cash register. After that, I had to ensure that I maintained all standards and paid attention to the emotional level of customers. When the working day was over, I clocked out and went home.

Hollister representative: Please, describe your application and the job interview.

Former employee: One can conduct the application either online or in-person in the store. For me, it was a group interview. I was told about that at the end of the application. During the interview, there were two or three people, applying for the same position as I did, and about six people for other positions at Hollister. The interview was not so long, maybe 45 minutes or about an hour.

Hollister representative: how did your interview go and what questions did you answer?

Former employee: Hollister’s motto is diversity. Therefore, many questions were based on the notion of diversity. For example: ' What is diversity for you?', ' How would you tackle some problems in different situations?', 'In what situation did you use diversity?'. They also emphasized questions about my experience or previous working places. They also asked my opinion about the standards of the company and asked if I liked the uniform or the store interior standards. The questions were based on diversity and my opinion. Hollister is about diversity.

Hollister representative: what advice would you give to those who would like to be employed at Hollister

Former employee: If you apply for one position and do not get it, do not be discouraged, you can be the best candidate for another position at Hollister. There are always positions, for which you can apply. You can apply for another position at Hollister once you have learned that you will not get this one. Be prepared not to have many working hours in the beginning because there are many people in the store with fixed positions and duties, and the working hours are based on the number of those people; therefore, they divide the hours. With time, working hours will be increased. Just be calm and do not worry about your working hours.

Interview 4

Splash representative: What was your position at Splash and what duties did you have?

Former employee: I was a stockman. I had to restock the store and rearrange the boxes with the clothes. When new stock arrived, I had to unpack all, check that everything had arrived, and put out the new stock, removing the old collection to the sales section.

Splash representative: How can you describe the working atmosphere at Splash store?

Former employee: To say at least, it was cool.

Splash representative: How was the application conducted?

Former employee: I simply submitted my interview online and the next day, I got a call, did the interview process, and that was it, just one interview with several questions.

Splash representative: What was your interview like?

Former employee: They wanted to learn about my previous working experience. They also wanted to know when I was available and what time I could come in. They wanted to know what I was going to look forward to doing there, I guess, these were some light questions.

Appendix B

Splash survey

1) Give some words about you or general information about the company: Fashion companies always promise a great working atmosphere and fun working environment. There is so much energy, fashion shows, but behind the scene of all this fun, there lies a complex system of accounting, paying, and staff.

Pros of the company: fashion company, fun environment, smart staff

Cons of the company: long working hours, a frequent change of managers

2) Give some words about you or general information about the company: It was my first working experience in Dubai. I joined the team in 2012 and acquired great experience at Splash. It was a great time for me.

Pros of the company: They paid for living out.

Cons of the company: 9 working hours.

3) Give some words about you or general information about the company: I worked as a trainee at Splash (for less than a year).

Pros of the company: the management is a quite energetic, smart staff, monthly parties.

Cons of the company: the fast pace of working.

Hollister Survey

1) Give some words about you or general information about the company: I worked as a stockman and then as a cashier. The environment at Hollister was amazing.

Pros of the company: environment, management.

Cons of the company: they do not pay for all hours.

2) Give some words about you or general information about the company: I learned how to become more of a workaholic.

Pros of the company: management.

Cons of the company: the pay and the hours were not enough

3) Give some words about you or general information about the company: It is a pretty and casual working place with many polite staff members.

Pros of the company: staff discounts.

Cons of the company: too few working hours and short breaks.

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