Coca-Cola Company is known to be the world’s largest beverage manufacturer, marketer and distributor worldwide. The company which is also one of the largest companies in United States of America also deals in non-alcoholic concentrates and syrups. Incorporated in 1892, the Coca-Cola organization is best known for its main product - Coca-Cola although it currently offers almost four hundred (400) brands in well over two hundred (200) countries. The company serves a wide client base with an approximate serving of 1.5 billion clients daily. This figure translates to over 10,450 beverages per second, and 800 million in the USA per year. In 2003 alone, the company achieved earnings in excess of 4.347 billion US dollars. The Coca-Cola Company and its subsidiaries only produce syrup concentrates which are sold to bottling companies who hold Coca-Cola franchise throughout the world. The company has several competitors across different countries some of who make alcoholic drinks.
Human resource hiring process has several steps these are: Job description, Vacancy announcement, recruitment plan, screening process, interview, finals selection and the approval process. This paper is going to make an in depth analysis of the interview process.
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This study was a retrospective explanatory study evaluating the structured interview process that is used by Coca Cola Company whenever it is recruiting candidates to fill the various posts. During this study, human resource manager and six human resources officers who are charged with interviewing candidate were told why the study was being done. This was to make them to feel at ease and to give the right information that was required. After they have been told the reason of the study they were given the go ahead to fill the questionnaires. Open ended Questioners were used because of the following advantages: they give first hand information; they are easy to use, and the interviewer can get more information from the interviewee.
Measures used to determine the baseline performance for structured interview process
The performance of the workers who were recently recruited was analyzed over the last three years. Curriculum vitae for other applicants were also analyzed and the answers that they gave to the questions that they were asked. After a careful analysis, some defects were detected.
Structured Interview process
Job inter views are the same in many ways to conversation between people, however job interview calls for more skills other than conversation skills. The Interview process can either be formal and structured or informal and conservational. In Coca- Cola, the human resource departments do recruit their staffs using structured job interview.
A Structured interview is the standardizing of the administration, development, interpretation and scoring of the applicants. The purpose of a structured interview is to have applicants undergo the same treatment when they are applying for a particular position within Coca Cola Company. In a structured interview, the human resource department gives the interview process a more objectivity by preparing questions that are based on the descriptions of the job, interview panels and rating the forms. The Structured interview used by Coca Cola Company entails :( Structured interview used by Coca-Cola Company)
v Panel interview – human resource department normally improves the validity of structured interview by using a panel of interviews, in which five to seven people meets with the job applicants. The process of building a consensus reduces the likelihood of biasness in hiring process. The companies do give consideration in formulating the panel relative to diversity. Read also IFE matrix of Coca-Cola
Job related interview – during interviews, identical and predetermined questions whose answers have already been written down are usually administered to the applicants. Job description helps the company’s interviewers to concentrate in information that are relevant to the job and also to confine questions that they are going to administer to the applicants to essential functions of the job. The interviewer has to peruse job descriptions before the interview start. Through using job descriptions, the company gets to assess the importance or the relative weight of each component of the job. The company also gets some useful frame of reference for formulating structured interview questions from job descriptions. (Structured interview used by Coca-Cola Company)
Rating forms –interviewers in Coca-Cola Company use job related information effectively under the guidance of rating forms. I.e. the interviewers write the main qualifications required for the job separately on a rating form, each of these qualifications are usually covered by a set of questions which forms part of the interview. Hence rating forms prompts each interviewer to rate each applicant on all critical behavior of the job as it has been pointed out in job description. Coca-Cola Company has further improved its rating process by anchoring questions to some specific behaviors. At this stage the company’s interviewers formulate a scoring system for all the questions. The process of scoring involves formulating examples of acceptable, excellent and marginal answers, to the questions or coming up with a type of response that they can take. After this they pre assigns numerical weights to particular answers (for example poor =1, acceptable = 2.5 and Excellent = 5) (Structured interview used by Coca-Cola Company)
Coming up with a qualified candidate for a particular job, is the number one priority of any selection process. Employment interview is usually conducted with an aim of coming up with a candidate who is more suitable for the job. Coca Cola Company has several limitations when it comes to utilizing interviews a fact that is attributed to the human nature of the interviewing process. Whereas Coca Cola Company may find it hard to modify or change the behaviors of its human resource department charged with responsibility of interviewing candidates, the company can still improve the process.
By using predetermined questions, rating forms and interview panels Coca Cola Company appears to be impersonalizing the interview. However at the same time, it makes the interview to be job related. The company has sacrificed spontaneity for inconsistent treatment of applicants to help its rater avoid making snap judgment (Hunt 2007 pp 24-25)
Figure 1 flow chart of structured interview process used by Coca-Cola Company
While the structured interview plays a significant role in recruiting the right candidate for the job, will continue doing so, the challenge that the human resource department of Coca-Cola Company is facing is to integrate other stages that will improve the overall process. By doing so, Coca-Cola company will find the interview to be a more effective tool because of the high quality of conversation that it will drive between the applicants (interviewee) and the company’s interviewers. Ultimately Coca-Cola company is looking for the best candidates whenever they it is carrying out an interview. The company’s interviewers do look for the perfect fit between the candidate’s aspirations, expectations and capabilities, and both the current and the future needs of the company. In broad, the Coca-Cola Company should integrate five additional alternatives that will improve their structured interview, these are:
First, Coca Cola has to reverse the process - The main of carrying out a structured interview is to make the interviewers to get to learn about the job applicants and what they can offer to the company, but it is also important for Coca Cola to give its prospective employee opportunity of learning about it and the roles that he or she is likely to play within the company. To match opportunity, aspiration and ability, the company needs to establish a structured process for exchanging information between the candidates and it (Coca Cola). The short listed candidates should be allowed to meet with their relevant potential work mates. The meeting should be given a structure so to enable the candidates to have a deeper understanding of the company. This will give the candidates the company’s goals and ethos, a clear idea about the skills required, aptitudes and the experience necessary for the post. In addition to this, as a two way process, it will help interviewers have an informed picture of a candidate’s attitudes, values, beliefs, expectations and approach- key considerations in coming up with the fit between the company and individual. (Hunt 2007 pp 27-29)
Secondly, Coca Cola Company should integrate Capability testing: an interview is usually a snap shot and, ultimately a performance. Interviewees who are experienced may at dept in telling the company what the company want to hear, and the structured interview rarely gives a company a detailed insight into what the candidates can actually do, however capability testing does. Coca Cola should start by deciding the key experience, knowledge, value, beliefs and skills that for the position that they want top fill, it should then determine ways in which it is going to test them. The company should make the activities that it has designed to use in testing the candidates realistic and practical. This will give it an insight on how an individual performance and what she or he will bring to the post in the event that he/she is recruited. The company can choose to buy them cheaply or they can decide to design them in house specifically for the post to be filled. (Latham1987 pp 121 -122)
Thirdly, Coca Cola Company should exploit psychometrics: the company widely uses psychometrics whenever it is interviewing candidates for a particular post, but it rarely exploits psychometrics to its full potential. If exploited full, psychometrics will allow the company to look beyond the experience and skills that a candidate has and assess her or his overall potential for the post. Psychometrics will give the company an objective scientific data about a candidate and will be vital in predicting performance of an individual in a specific situation. Psychometrics analyses how individuals perceives themselves, what qualities they possess and how these qualities can undermine or enhance their performance. Psychometrics will also add more values to the company’s structured interview process, because the results often throw up questions that will enable the company to ask more penetrating and relevant questions during the interview. (Latham1987 pp 121 -122)
Fourthly, Coca Cola Company should emphasize on research tasks during interview – Coca Cola is operating in a market where there is stiff competition from various companies. There is need for the company to continue improving their products. Therefore whenever they are interviewing their potential employees, they have to ensure the candidates cab easily carry out research in his area of specialization. The ability to present and manage information has become vital for all companies that want to succeed. While the structured interview that Coca Cola Company is using allows candidates to air his views or his experience and his capabilities in that job, it doesn’t reflects how the candidates will go about communicating, managing information and researching relevant information in practice. To test this, the company should give candidates a project to research on, and then observes and assess her or his ability in manage research. Amongst some issues that Coca Cola interviewers should look at are: they should find out if the candidates are asking the right questions, they should also analyze their way that candidates are collating and evaluating all the data that are available, they should look at how the candidates are analyzing, distilling and presenting their data (Latham1987 pp 121 -122)
Lastly Coca Cola Company should establish a well equipped recruitment centers –these centers should combine the four previous steps and a two way feedback. They should allocate enough money and time for this process. The specific requirements that the company has formulated should be the starting point for all activities that are geared towards finding the right person for the job.
Figure 2 the proposed structured interview that should be used by Coca Cola
Ultimately, if Coca Cola want to be confident of recruiting the right candidate for the job, it needs to be prepared to enforce in effort and time to the process of recruitment. While the structured interview that the company is currently using is a significant tool in their recruitment process, the company should take time and consider their current practices, they should integrate the five processes that have been proposed in this paper.
The writer of this paper is of the opinion that if the Coca cola Company can integrates the measures that have been suggested in this paper, they will be recruiting the best candidates this is likely to improve the quality of their products which also translates to increase in their profitability.
Hunt S 2007 hiring success- the art & science of staffing assessment & selection of employees John Wiley & Sons publishers pp 24 - 32
Latham V 1987 Interviewee training – a review of some empirical literature career development journal Springer Publisher Vol. 14, NO.2 pp 121 - 126
Pell A 2001 Complete idiot’s guide to HRM Alpha Books Publishers pp 28 - 61
Structured interview used by Coca- Cola Company retrieved from www.librariesanddirectories.com/lib on March 21, 2009
www.cocacola.com official Coca Cola Company website
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