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Human Resource Management at IKEA and Currys

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Curry’s is a leading electrical retailer, offering a broad product range including digital televisions, DVDs, refrigerators, and domestic appliances. Curry’s superstores showcase the latest products in a self-service environment, along with demonstration areas.


Human resource management (HRM) is the activity that deals with all aspects of an organisation’s staff, their recruitment, deployment, training, development, support and relationships with their employer. More than the mechanistic approach of personnel management, HRM is a more all-embracing concept to signal that an organisation is taking a more long-term view of all aspects of employing, empowering, supporting and rewarding its employees. HRM is concerned with achieving a balance between the ambitions of the individual member of staff and the returns to the organisation.

Recruitment & Selection

The importance of ensuring the selection of the right people to join the workforce has become increasingly apparent as the emphasis on people as the prime source of competitive advantage has grown. Beaumont (1993) identifies three key issues that have increased the potential I importance of the selection decision to organisation. First, demographic trend and charges in the labour market have led to a more diverse workforce, which has placed increasing pressure on the notion of fairness in selection.

Second, the desire for a multi – skilled, flexible workforce and an increased emphasis on team working has meant that selection decisions are concerned more with behaviour and attitudes than with matching individuals to immediate job requirements. And third, the emphasis between corporate strategy and people management has led to the notion of strategic selection: that is, a system that links selection processes and outcomes to organisational goals and aims to match the flow of people to emerging business strategies.

Selective hiring (i.e. the use of sophisticated techniques to ensure selection of the ‘right’ people) is frequently included in the ‘bundles’ of the best HR practice. The contribution of effective recruitment and selection to enhanced business performance is also illustrated by the findings of empirical studies. For example, a study into small and medium- sized manufacturing establishment found the acquisition and development of employee skills through the use of sophisticated selection, induction, training and appraisals to have a positive impact on company productivity and profitability. Therefore the practice of recruitment and selection is increasingly important from an HRM perspective.

At the same time, however, many of the traditional methods of recruitment and selection are being challenged by the need for organisations to address the increased complexity greater ambiguity and rapid pace of change in the contemporary environment.

One model of recruitment and selection which the companies are aware of is the ‘Kochan and Baroccis’s model of recruitment, selection and staffing functions at different organizational stages’:

Source: Adapted from Storey and Sisson (1993)

This model illustrates that organizations operate at different stages in a ‘lifecycle’. Just like a product where it begins, runs its course, and then ends as a top seller. The chart emphasizes that recruitment and selection is dependant at a specific state of a business. For example, a business that is just starting will accordingly recruit the best professionals, whereas during the ‘maturity’ phase it will concentrate less on recruitment but more on gaining revenue, and with ‘decline’ it will adjust to survival meaning cuts in pay and staff, (Beardwell, J 2007).

This model is helpful to the business objectives by following it as a guide to perceive and predict where the business is at present, and if it is closer to the decline phase, it will have time to manage away from failure.

The way in which the company distinguishes a fit between a person specification and the applicant is by the use of a selection procedure. The model that can be used as a demonstration is ‘The predictive accuracy of selection methods’:

Source: Adapted from Anderson and Shackleton (1993)

The diagram shows how different methods of selection are placed according to accuracy, with 1.0 determining the ‘perfect prediction’, (Beardwell, J 2007). As this is a prediction of methods, it is a perfect example of assessing which type of criteria a business should follow, for a small company it could use the unstructured interviews as a means of finding the right candidate, on the other hand larger companies would be better suited to using structured interviews with tests and assessment centres

The link to the organizations objectives here is that each model shows a way to improve the company’s performance. The first model is used to predict and determine the current status of business, whereas the second model is used to choose the appropriate recruitment and selection methods. The result is that ‘Ikea & Curry’ will not only know the perfect time to recruit, but, will also know how to choose the right people for the job.

In regards to placement students employed by ‘Ikea & Curry’s’, they will be put through a sought process which will help the company select appropriate students that meet the person specification.

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