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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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This report presents a comparison of the approach two different organizations have adopted to recruit and select graduates. The organizations are Google and ASOS. I consulted The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers directory (The Times 2018) and The Guardian UK300 directory (Guardian 2018) to select organizations that I would personally be interested in applying for myself.

Google is ranked highly on both of the directories I used. In The Guardian UK300 directory, Google was voted as the most popular organization that undergraduates and graduates wanted to work for. This is regardless of the gender, ethnic identity and socio-economic background of the 73,517 people that took part in the survey. Google is the second most valuable brand in the world after Apple, with a brand revenue of over $97.2 billion (Forbes, 2018). They have acquired over 200 companies. Companies that are involved in various projects and products, ranging from their search engine to driverless cars, artificial intelligence, home automation devices, etc. (Google, 2018). Google offers various types of roles and opportunities, but it is mainly their vision of wanting to grow while helping the world. Working to close education gaps in areas of low connectivity, helping people prepare for the changing nature of work are few of the commitments that is part of their five-year commitment to create opportunity for everyone. I picked ASOS for similar reasons. ASOS are the pioneers when it comes to selling clothes without a brick & mortar. They were recently included in The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers and ranked 52nd. I chose ASOS as the other company to research, because I personally am a loyal customer and I admire the company. Everything that ASOS do from how their website looks to how their packages look is all very modern and tasteful. ASOS is a company that appreciates youthfulness and also recruits a lot of young people. They offer placements to undergraduate students and entry-level positions for graduates.

Findings

Google

Google has a whole page dedicated to helping students get a job at Google. There is a link that redirects the user to another page that takes the user through the process of writing an updated and representative CV. It also talks the user through the interview process and gives advice on what questions to keep in mind when preparing for the interview, structuring the interview answers and more. Virtual Career Fair (VCF) is another bit of resource that is available on the website. It is the equivalent of a workshop that is made available online. The VCF is a collection of videos that gives people wanting to work at Google insight on what the company is looking for, the roles available and more advice with CVs and interviews. Google seem to have decided to give a lot of guidance to people wanting to work at their company. They also focus on developing their employees, which can be identified by the internships available in different sectors of the company and they have another page titled ‘Build Your Future' that further provides people with resources expand their skills through conferences, programs, etc. This gives me reassurance as I feel that if I were to utilise all the resources Google has made available for people, even if I were to not get a job at Google, I would still have developed my skills. The amount of resources they have made available does signify that Google wants to give everyone an equal opportunity, even though the competition is really high. Only 1500 interns out of 40,000 applicants are accepted every year in the United States (Business Insider, 2013). They also emphasise equal opportunity for everyone regardless of their gender, race and socio-economic background.

The jobs at Google are advertised on their own website, along with other recruiting websites such as LinkedIn, Glassdoor and entries in directories like The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers and The Guardian UK300. The hiring process seems straight forward, starting with the CV, transcript and cover letter and essays for some jobs. However, the interviewing process for people wanting to get into the information technology and software engineering sector is very challenging. Applicants are required to solve highly technical problems and even asked to write code, along with the usual competency questions. Interviews for other positions it seems are not as challenging but still tricky. They ask complex questions that helps the interviewer understand the applicant's thought process. Questions such as, ‘What was the lowest point in the project?', ‘When you are in a crisis, or need to make an important decision how do you do it?” (CNBC, 2018). When hiring employees for the technological sector, Google use questions about past behaviour combined with competencies which according to Bratton and Gold (2017, p. 162) enhances the effectiveness of the interviews.

ASOS

ASOS similar to Google uses a number of recruitment websites to advertise their internships and vacancies. Their own website, Indeed, LinkedIn and entries in directories such as The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers. Their recruitment website clearly lists all the different types of opportunities available, such as merchandising, marketing, sourcing, production and many more. It seems they mostly focus on interns as they get to work closely with the interns and develop them into potential employees for the company. The interns are assigned a mentor, offered support and guided throughout their time at ASOS (ASOS, 2018). Graduates are taken care of in a similar fashion. They are recruited into entry-level positions in the different areas of the company and trained and developed according to a programme.

If the application is successful, the recruiting process consists of a video interview that assesses the applicant's knowledge about the role and skills. The applicants that are selected are then invited to an assessment centre where they participate in group tasks, individual tasks, presentations and interviews (ASOS, 2018). According to users on Glassdoor that have left comments about the interviewing process at ASOS, the questions they were asked were also regarding their past behaviours at their previous jobs or specific situations that helps paint what type of person the applicants are. This is also a behavioural interview, similar to Google's recruitment process and is believed to be effective.

Discussion

Google and ASOS have similar methods of recruiting employees. There is a difference when it comes to Google and people applying for the technological sector. The people applying for roles in information technology, engineering and other technological fields at Google are given problems that they have to solve in the interview, whether that is over the phone or through a live video interview. These people also need to answer questions along the lines of ‘What was the lowest point in the project?' (CNBC, 2018) which forces them to answer according to their past behaviours. ‘The use of questions about past behaviour combined with competencies in selection interviews has enhanced effectiveness even further' (Bratton and Gold, 2017). As I mentioned earlier, the interviewing Google maybe more effective compared to ASOS's methods because of this.

However, ASOS makes their applicants complete a video interview where they need to answer questions on their knowledge about the role and elaborate on their work experience. The applicants are selected if they perform well in the video interview and invited to an assessment centre where they are required to be involved in group exercises and more interviews. Applicants applying to work at ASOS are required to go through lot more interviews compared to Google. The video interview that ASOS requires applicants to go through most likely screens out a lot of applicants that may not be suitable for the role. This could mean that the applicants that get through the video interviews are likely to be very skilled and experienced. When these applicants have to go through more tests at the assessment centre, the candidates that manage to go through all the tests and interviews are likely to be very highly skilled and experienced people. So, even if ASOS may not have a way to assess the competency of the applicants for the role they are applying for, the rigorous recruitment process is likely to help find the best suited applicants for the role. Thus, increasing the effectiveness of the recruitment process.

To conclude, both Google and ASOS's recruitment process seem to be effective. The competition when it comes to getting an internship or a job at Google is enormous because of the sheer size of their company which makes it so enticing. This alone attracts all the talented applicants. Additionally, their recruitment process is very thorough and effective, which filters through even the most talented people.

ASOS's recruitment process is very comprehensive. Applicants are first required to submit their applications. They are then required to do a video interview. The successful applicants are then required to go to the assessment centre where they are tested on their ability to work in a group, their ability to present to an audience and more individual interviews. This process ensures that applicants who come to the assessment centre will be skilled and experienced. This saves manpower and reduces cost as they do not need to invite all applicants who had their applications accepted to the assessment centre. Both of the company's recruitment processes seem to be effective as seen by their performances. Google is the second most valuable brand in the world and ASOS is one of the biggest online fashion retailer in the world.

Reflective account

I will be focusing on Knowledge Application as I scored the least on it when I finished filling out the Business Readiness Scale. I am weak when it comes to analysing data from journals, articles, case studies, business theories and presenting it in an organised form in an essay. During my A-levels I used to be weak at using information from case studies and articles to answer questions as well.

Looking for information online and analysing the information, then utilising that information to write an essay or answer a question is something every student needs to be good at. I am studying Marketing and plan on getting in the marketing industry, where analysing data is the bread and butter for every project, report, etc. Therefore, I need to improve my knowledge application for certain. I purchased the Marketing textbook in my first year and I have been using the textbook to learn all of the marketing theories. I also borrowed the textbooks recommended for the other modules from last year. However, reading online journals and case studies and using the data from the journals to write an essay is still difficult for me.

In order to help me with how to read journals, case studies and other papers I found a YouTube channel of a PhD student who makes academic guides for students. In one of his videos he talks about how to read and understand journal articles. He also has videos where he addresses how to properly make arguments on essays. I have been trying to apply what I have learned from his videos to my own essays.

I plan on developing my Knowledge Application for the rest of the second year by looking for report exemplars online and see how other people use information in their essays. Additionally, I can see my tutors for the specific modules to help me with knowledge application. They could direct me to the right journals, case studies, books and perhaps more report exemplars. I will ensure I make use of the drop-in sessions that are available throughout the semester. Another thing I could do is look for case studies online and analyse them. I could then take the analysis to my tutors and get feedback from them. I can repeat this process to get better at analysing and applying theory to write essays.

The second reflective account will focus on Self and Other Awareness. I scored the second lowest on this area. The reason for this is I still do not what occupation would fit my personality type and therefore I do not know what would motivate me in my working life. Finding something I want to do is very important for me because I value self-fulfilment and satisfaction more than success. I have had a few part time jobs and I am currently working part time. I have never enjoyed doing any of my jobs. There have been jobs that I did not mind as much because of other factors such as colleagues, the salary and the timing but I still have never been completely satisfied.

When I was in college, we were given access to Fast Tomato, which is ‘a website that has been designed to help young people broaden their horizons and consider a broader spectrum of career and education options' (Fast Tomato, 2018). After completing the questionnaire on the website, the results showed that a job that required me to be outdoors doing physical work or giving advice and helping other people would be the most suitable for me. I definitely considered this and have since been looking at jobs such as garden/landscape designer, nutritionist, environment health officers, although I might need additional courses in order to get into some of those fields.

I have worked at McDonald's and now work at Sainsbury's where there are so many opportunities for employees to develop and get promoted into bigger roles. However, I never got the urge to want to be promoted. However, I could be feeling this way because I have not worked any jobs besides customer service. I attended the Careers workshop at Elm Grove and talked to one of the ladies about my situation. To summarise what the lady said, that I should do what I felt like I would like to do as a career. However, she did tell me to give Marketing a shot as well since marketing is required almost everywhere.

I plan on developing my Self and Other Awareness by reaching out to other people in the field of work that I am interested in through LinkedIn and get to know all about the job from an insider's perspective. I might look into placements at marketing firms. I will be bringing up the conversation about jobs and careers with peers as much as possible until I get some idea about what I want to do.

Bibliography

- Alyson Shontell (2013) What It's Really Like To Be A Google Intern. https://www.businessinsider.com/what-its-really-like-to-be-a-google-intern-2013-5?r=US&IR=T (Accessed: 25/11/2018)

- ASOS careers (2018) Be at the heart of the fashion revolution. https://asoscareers.asos.com/ASOS/EmploymentListings/Internships.html (Accessed: 1/12/2018)

- Bratton, J. & Gold, G. (2017). Human Resource Management. Theory and Practice. London: Palgrave.

- Fast Tomato (2018) https://www.fasttomato.com (Accessed: 14/12/2018)

- Forbes (2018) The World's Most Valuable Brands. https://www.forbes.com/powerful-brands/list/#tab:rank (Accessed: 26/11/2018)

- Glassdoor (2018) ASOS Interviews. https://www.glassdoor.co.uk/Interview/ASOS-Interview-Questions-E35373.htm (Accessed: 3/12/2018)

- Google Careers (2018) Students. https://careers.google.com/students/ (Accessed: 25/11/2018)

- Google Students (2017) Google's Virtual Career Fair. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTP5WPqIRDc&t=0s&index=2&list=PLObwPhL-cU6hC2tJIc8YybME4R4RAy3hY&frags=pl%2Cwn (Accessed: 26/11/2018)

- King, D. and Lawley, S. (2016b) Organizational Behaviour. 2nd Revised edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

- Milkround (2018) The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers. https://advice.milkround.com/the-times-top-100-graduate-employers (Accessed: 24/11/2018)

- Ruth Umoh (2018) 3 types of job interview questions you should be prepared to answer at Google. https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/25/3-types-of-questions-google-asks-in-a-job-interview.html (Accessed: 1/12/2018)

- Target jobs (2018) The Guardian UK300: the most popular graduate employers for 2018/2019. https://targetjobs.co.uk/uk300 (Accessed: 26/11/2018)

- Tom Nicholas (2017) How to Read, Take Notes On and Understand Journal Articles | Essay Tips. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfTpYruV7AE&t=10s (Accessed: 10/12/2018)

- 16 Personalities (2018) https://www.16personalities.com (Accessed: 3/12/2018)

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