Every organization has a human resource aspect that requires consistent management and restructuring (Berman, et al., 2012). BuildDirect is an international online market for building products used in home improvement projects. These products are marketed online but delivered to clients or leased to them at a fee. The market targeted by BuildDirect includes persons willing to perform home renovations and other changes without having to rent expensive equipment from construction companies. BuildDirect connects buyers to the seller who is a supplier or manufacturer of the specific product they need. Buyers are either an individual consumer or a small to medium size Construction Company. Therefore, BuildDirect is not involved in any constructions. They ensure that the required construction materials are delivered to the requisite construction sites. The main categories of equipment that is majorly handled by the organization include floor tiles, decking, roofing, and doors (Jiang, et al., 2012). Fittings in interior design construction are the main components of the organization’s network. However, the company attempts to address any feasible construction need that the client desires.
BuildDirect has been in existence for the last eighteen years. Although the company began as a common network for connecting people who had home improvement needs, it soon grew to an international forum for interior construction. The founders, Jeff Booth and Rob Banks, also worked in the construction industry. This gave them an understanding of clientele needs as well as the human resource needs for the organization (Flamholtz, 2012). They experienced the problems a home owner or a construction company often faces when dealing with interior designs. The different dynamics to client needs that cannot be addressed by a single company motivated the two founders to strive for a market where every tool in home renovation would be available. The company keeps improving their market grasp on various commodities and tools as well as expertise in home design and construction. This study evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the company in their selection and recruitment process.
BuildDirect’s Selection and Recruitment Process
According to Monica, the director of people at BuildDirect, their Human Resource Department includes some personnel of 4 people handling a human resource of 225 persons. The company has experienced most of the growth in the last few years due to the explosion of the e-commerce sector. The company has been involved in many businesses over the last 20 years. There are various departments such as Finance, Sales and Marketing (Boxall & Purcell, 2011). The Human Resource team needs to recruit the right people that can work with different clients across the world. Monica argues that the company is less traditional and more concerned and dedicated in addressing the client’s needs.
The workplace environment has employees interacting with clients online. As a result, they require employees to innovate and have their own ideas about how to handle different clients. The business is really more of a startup and the market is greatly under-exploited. The company offers the right benefits such as medical, vacations, and offers other benefits for learning (Boxall & Purcell, 2011). The learning benefit for instance is $300, an annual stipend. There is a weekly yoga, luncheon learning, and a good compensation for interns. The company has seen an increased turnover in terms of employees because there is a lot of competition in the market and the growing needs for employees. The human resource department also works with recruiters to ensure that they strictly scrutinize the new employees (Storey, 2007). The company ensures that they get the right employees for the different roles but they are very meticulous in their vetting process.
High Referral Rating
The company has a high referral rating among its employees. The referral rating of the organization is 30%. This implies that the company can easily get new clients and employees from the existing human resource (Flamholtz, 2012). This high rating comes from the culture they create at the organization. As the Director of People states, the organization treats every employee like a ‘grown up’ and thus expects them to make their own decisions about vacations and approach to work, as long as they meet their thresholds (Jiang, et al., 2012). The company also offers good benefits for employees and interns alike. This includes medical cover, leave allowances, and benefits to keep the employees motivated and feeling appreciated.
According to Hallowell (2011), the company also organizes social events and hackathons to bring the employees together in a social setting where they can share ideas. For people with a Computer Science background, there is a high chance that they have a passion for programming and technology subjects. Hackathons, therefore, are considerably impressive and motivating. The high referral rating could also be due to their customer service experience. Many consumers who get the services they need often refer the organization or business to a new client. This has been one of the strengths the company seeks to gain from the nature of employees they recruit.
Focus on Computer Science and Big Data
BuildDirect has an exhaustive recruitment process to match organizational culture. This process is particular in Computer Science and Big Data. The Computer Science employees are recruited at undergraduate level while the Big Data employees are recruited at post-graduate level. The goal of the organization is to ensure that every employee is conversant with the latest technology and has a knack for technology (Hallowell, 2011). This is why the organizational culture is centered on Computer Science and Big Data. The organization is also purely based on online sales. This implies that employees need to have the requisite skills on web design, search engine optimization as well as online marketing and sales skills. These include; graphics design, animation and Content Management Systems (CMS).
The skills and potential of the organization’s workforce need to be geared towards improving the nature of market adherence to technology and appreciation for certain products inherent of the organization (Jiang, et al., 2012). Computer Science students make this possible as they share a common desire for technology and skills related to computer management and online marketing. The organization’s focus on Big Data also enables them to understand client dynamics and how best to meet market needs in a growing market environment. These skills are strong assets in a technology related firm.
Culture Fit Comes First
The culture fit of the employee is considered more important than the employee’s skill set at the time. The organization seeks to get key cultural aspects of the employee such as their salary expectations, their career ambitions, and their goals for the duration of time they have worked in the technology sector (Flamholtz, 2012). These aspects of the employee are important to the organization as they dictate the nature of the employee’s motivation as well as the divergent needs that should be addressed by the employee, within the organization’s spectrum of expectations.
Employees also need to be conversant with the language, the etiquette and demeanor characteristic of the organization (Hallowell, 2011). This makes it possible for the different players in the organization to interact with these employees easily and improve on service delivery. Every new member of the organization has a role to play and is a backing to the larger workforce in the organization. Hence, it is necessary that these members be well motivated to work on the different roles the organization offers in order for them to be fully functional. For BuildDirect, most of the roles in this organization are inter-related. It would suffice for an employee to have a basic understanding of most of the roles and tasks required of an employee in the organization.
The employee turnover has increased over the last few years due to the competitiveness of the market as well as a higher demand for services and different products by the client. This has seen the organization lay off some employees while others have simply left. This is a concern since the organization needs to have employees who understand the organizational strengths and can use them to flourish the business. A turnover of about 30% implies that annually, about a third of the organization is either lost to a competitor or simply fired for not meeting expectations (Boxall & Purcell, 2011). Depending on the learning curve, it may be difficult to replace such a large population, if the expected new replacements also face similar challenges. Losing employees also means losing significant networks. The company needs to invest in the employees and find a way to ensure that they retain them in the organization for long.
The business environment is changing due to an increased surge in the e-commerce market. Currently, there are other competitors such as Amazon and Alibaba that offer similar services and products that BuildDirect offers. Although these companies may not address the same niche BuildDirect does, they indeed have a significant following and a strong client base (Flamholtz, 2012). These companies, therefore, are a major threat to their workforce and their clientele as well. Given that BuildDirect is older than some of the strong competition it faces, the company needs to adjust its policies and resources so as to counter the competition effectively. It is important for the organization to exclusively consider the different aspects of the market and address the challenges that make them less competitive (Hallowell, 2011).. While competition may likely not cease to exist, the company can beat it through concepts such as better marketing and improved pricing policies.
Difficulty Getting Right Employee
The company faces a significant problem with the recruitment process as it often results in the recruiters taking a long time to understand the prospective employee. It is important to address employee recruitment promptly in order to fully guarantee a proper and functional work force when needed. This desire supersedes most of the organization’s needs (Boxall & Purcell, 2011). For instance, the organization may want to ensure that they do not waste much time recruiting an employee who is likely to resign soon. However, it is also vital for the organization to ensure that they can conclusively get the qualified person who needs no significant training for the role they advertise for recruitment. Striking the balance is a difficult process that needs to be addressed efficiently.
The interview process at BuildDirect is very structured and strategic. The company ensures that they push back on the prospective employees in order to understand their unexplained career gaps, their motivations, and ambitions for the organization’s gain. The interview process is very tolerant to the employee’s background as long as the candidate meets the basic selection criteria required. However, the emphasis is on culture fit to make sure that the employee selected fits the culture desired by the organization which is very beneficial to an organization. The company ensures that at least 60 percent of the phone interviews succeed and the number is slowly minimized as the interviewing gets towards the final process (Armstrong & Taylor, 2014). This makes it possible to get the right employee for the different roles in the organization most of which are technical. Computer Science students are often favored for the different roles the organization offers since the organization is majorly a technology community.
The company is focused on ensuring a lean human resource that meets the requisite client needs. They consider themselves a startup due to the unexploited nature of the market they majorly serve. However, their international spread means that they often require a diverse set of employees who can understand different clients across the world, concerning their construction needs and their motivations in home renovation projects (Boxall & Purcell, 2011). The organization is well structured based on the sentiments from the People Director, Monica. However, there are challenges that the organization faces in its quest to become a competitive organization. Therefore, it is necessary for the organization to handle the different market forces such as competitive and employee satisfaction challenges to minimize the turnover in their human resource
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Flamholtz, E. G. (2012). Human resource accounting: Advances in concepts, methods and applications. Springer Science & Business Media.
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Jiang, K., Lepak, D. P., Hu, J., & Baer, J. C. (2012). How does human resource management influence organizational outcomes? A meta-analytic investigation of mediating mechanisms. Academy of management Journal, 55(6), 1264-1294.
Storey, J. (2007). Human resource management: A critical text. Cengage Learning EMEA.
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