Introduction to the Research Topic
The ability of a firm to achieve sustainable success in the current competitive business environment largely depends on the skills, competence, experience, innovativeness, and commitment of its employees. According to Lepistö and Ihantola (2018), the top management unit is responsible for developing policies that need to define the path a firm takes in the market. However, it is the responsibility of the junior workers to take specific actions, in line with the policies set by the superiors, meant to facilitate the success of the firm. As such, firms are always keen on creating a pool of highly skilled and committed employees to facilitate successful operations. It all starts with the recruitment of the right candidates based on job specifications and the environmental forces that a firm has to face.
Staff recruitment currently presents a major concern to human resource managers irrespective of the industry in which a firm operates. Aimee (2018) explains that the process of hiring a competent employee takes a considerable amount of time. It starts with advertising the positions available in the company, receiving job applications, and selecting candidates considered most qualified based on their credentials. The recruitment team then has to invite the candidates for a face-to-face interview to determine if they can deliver on the firm’s expectations. The selected candidates have to be screened further, by making phone calls to specific institutions to verify their credentials. It is at this stage, through this traditional recruitment method, that a firm can offer a candidate a given position. The cost may be higher and the period longer when the recruitment team encounters unforeseen challenges.
Some firms are currently considering the use of human resource recruitment agencies when hiring new employees. Instead of spending time to do the job internally, these organizations opt to pay for the services of agencies that have specialized in these tasks. The approach is considered less costly and less time-consuming (Bilan et al., 2020). These agencies have large databases from which they can easily select individuals who meet the criteria set by the firm. They are better placed to do the job matching, which is critical when hiring workers. Even with the help of such an external agency, the HR unit will still need to assess employee turnover and organizational performance. As such, a firm needs to develop efficient and innovative employee recruitment and management strategies to remain competitive, sustainable, and prosperous in the market.
The researcher seeks to detect any drawbacks in personnel recruitment and selection and offer up-to-date solutions and recommendations. The researcher appreciates that currently, firms face the problem of high turnover rates irrespective of their size (Nikolaou, 2021). Highly skilled employees are in high demand as firms compete to recruit and retain the best talents in the labor market. It is rational for HR to appreciate the fact that they can easily lose some of their best employees to their rival firms. They have to find ways of replacing such workers with equally skilled workers within the shortest period possible. The selected firm for this case study was Amazon. The investigation will focus on identifying issues that it faces in personnel recruitment and offer research-based solutions.
Amazon.com, Inc. is an American conglomerate that offers e-commerce services, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and digital streaming. Founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, the company has experienced massive growth to become the world’s largest online marketplace (Derous and De Fruyt, 2016). It started as an online bookstore and currently, it offers a wide range of products in the retail industry. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck, Amazon gained massive revenue growth as many people were limited to online shopping (Nikolaou, 2021). Its ability to process customers’ orders and make deliveries efficiently is unparalleled in the United States. Its operations in the global market have also been relatively successful. The financial reports indicate that in 2020, the firm made $404.4 billion in e-commerce sales and $ 21.3 billion in net income (Nikolaou, 2021). Its performance in the other sectors has also been impressive over the past few years. Despite this impressive performance, the company is facing a unique challenge of high employee turnover.
Amazon.com Inc., as an online marketplace, heavily relies on human resources to manage warehouses, process orders, make deliveries, and communicate with customers regularly. It is estimated that the company currently has 1,468,000 employees, 810,000 of which are in the United States (Abbasi et al., 2020). The firm has gained a reputation in the market as one that processes and delivers products promptly based on its promise. As such, the company invests a significant amount of its resources in employee recruitment and training. They have to understand how to respond to customers’ needs and expectations in the market. They are also expected to have the capacity to respond to their complaints, especially when products delivered fail to meet what they ordered.
Labor unions in the United States have accused the company of overworking its employees. Others have reported that the workplace environment is not suitable as it fails to observe occupational safety and health standards set by OSHA (Albert, 2019). It explains why a significant number of employees at this firm have left to look for better opportunities at other companies. The nature of business of this firm makes it difficult to address some of the complaints its employees have raised. Having an employee turnover rate that is as high as Amazon’s 150 percent is undesirable, as Donohue (2019) observes. It takes time to replace such workers and resources to equip them with relevant knowledge that makes them efficient in their actions. The HR at the firm should find a way of addressing issues that workers have raised. It may take some time for the firm to address all the issues that its employees have raised. As such, the company needs an excellent staff recruitment system that will enable it to replace workers lost to other companies.
The online retail industry has been growing rapidly over the past two decades. According to Balan et al. (2020), for a long time, many people preferred visiting brick-and-mortar stores to make their purchases. They believed it offered them the opportunity to physically assess products that they are purchasing to ascertain their quality. However, various factors have led to the popularity of online platforms. Donohue (2019) explains that many people spend most of their time at work, hence they have limited time to visit physical stores. Many buyers have also come to trust online market platforms to deliver exactly what they promise. As the market size continues to grow, new firms are making entry into it. In the United States, Amazon has to compete against eBay, Bestbuy.com, and Etsy among many other small e-commerce platforms. Traditional chain stores that have operated brick-and-mortar stores for decades such as Walmart and Target are also offering online retail services. It means that competition is stiff, causing immense pressure on the firm to deliver on its promise to customers.
The unique problem created by the growing market is that employees can easily move from one company to another. When that happens, the HR at this firm has to ensure that they are replaced immediately. This is so because the services of these workers, especially those doing the sorting and delivery of products to customers, are critical to the firm’s success. The high rate of employee turnover at this firm is an indication that there is a problem in the recruitment process (Maamari and Alameh, 2016). It may be a sign that the firm has failed to select an employee who shares in the firm’s value and mission to customers. As such, they are constantly looking for better opportunities at other firms. The researcher believes that redefining the recruitment strategy can help in ensuring that those who are hired can stay within the firm for a long period. The investigation will focus on understanding the current issues and challenges in the current recruitment strategy. Addressing these problems may help in ensuring that once recruited, these employees stay longer in the firm.
Importance of the Study to the Company
This report focuses on Amazon’s personnel recruitment and selection practices to detect drawbacks in the process and recommend possible solutions. This report is specifically important to this company because it seeks to address an issue that is currently threatening its sustainability. As the market leader, Amazon.com is constantly under the focus of regulators and employee unions (Okolie and Irabor, 2017). Hiring workers who do not understand and embrace the vision and values of the firm means that it will continue to have a group of dissatisfied customers constantly complaining and looking for better opportunities.
The report seeks to identify specific weaknesses in the current recruitment strategies used by the firm. It will then propose a solution, based on research, which the company can use to overcome the identified challenges. The company is spending resources to recruit employees every year (Hunter et al., 2017). It also has to spend more resources to ensure that these employees are trained to equip them with skills relevant to their specific tasks. Losing even a single employee means that the firm is losing money that can be spent on other developmental activities.
When the problem of employee turnover is addressed at the initial stage of recruitment, it means that such losses associated with employee turnover will be eliminated or significantly reduced at this firm. Retaining these skilled and innovative employees will also enhance its competitiveness in the market. The document is also important to firms in the same or other industries, which are struggling with the problem of high employee turnover. They can use the proposed solutions to address their problem. Scholars who are interested in conducting further studies in this field may find this document useful in providing background information or a method that can be used to collect and process data.
Contribution to Research and Theory
Findings in this report will help address gaps in the current body of knowledge. AI is emerging as a major tool that firms, both large and small, are using to make critical decisions and to undertake major activities that are time-consuming when human capital is involved. This study will assess how this new tool can be utilized in the process of recruitment and selection of employees. Information provided in this document will form a basis for further studies among future scholars. They can also find the method and strategies used to collect and process data in this study useful in their own research.
Aim and Objectives
The study aims to, through the research, detect any drawbacks in personnel recruitment and selection and offer up-to-date solutions and recommendations. The following are the specific objectives that the study seeks to achieve by collecting and analyzing both primary and secondary data:
- To understand the impact of new technologies such as AI and data analytics on selection and recruitment;
- To identify the firm-level challenges existing in making effective selection and recruitment;
- To examine the market-level challenges existing in making effective selection and recruitment;
- To examine the key changes required to make the selection and recruitment processes more effective in Amazon.
The researcher will rely on both primary and secondary data to achieve the above aim and objectives.
Scope of the Study
The scope of this study will be limited to the assessment of any drawbacks in personnel recruitment and selection and offer up-to-date solutions and recommendations. The researcher selected Amazon.com as the primary focus when collecting primary data. The firm was selected because of its large size and high rate of employee turnover. Narrowing the investigation to a specific firm was appropriate in understanding challenges that are related with recruitment and selection of employees. A mixed method research was used to process primary data collected from the participants.
Limitations of the Report
When conducting research, it is common to face challenges that may affect the outcome of the study. Balan et al. (2020) advise that it is important to ensure that such challenges are identified and managed to protect the credibility of the study. In this study, the researcher identified challenges that had to be addressed. One of the major challenges was the reluctance of the sampled participants to engage in face-to-face interviews. Although the country has vaccinated a significant proportion of its population and the pandemic is largely under control in the country. To overcome this challenge, the researcher selected a few participants (12 individuals) who were willing to participate in the face-to-face interview. The rest of the respondents were allowed to participate in an online interview. The study was narrowed down to a single company, which was Amazon.com. Other firms likely face unique challenges not similar to those of Amazon.com. As such, future work should focus on other companies in the same or different industries. New challenges and different solutions can be identified through such further studies.
- Applicant/candidate – a potential employee who is still in the process of screening and selection before their confirmation.
- Applicant tracking system (ATS) – a software that helps in managing applications.
- Benefits – incentives and programs, including salaries, offered to employees.
- Recruitment timeline – the period that it takes for the HR department or the recruitment agency to complete the hiring process.
- Sourcing – networking and the use of professional streams to recruit candidates.
- Social recruitment – the strategy of using social media platforms to recruit potential candidates.
- Talent pool – a team of highly-skilled and competent individuals capable of meeting organizational goals.
- Talent acquisition – the process of hiring and retaining a team of skilled and competent employees.
The previous chapter has provided detailed background information about the study. In this chapter, the researcher seeks to review relevant literature on this topic. As Hamza et al. (2021) observe, the field of human resources has attracted the attention of many scholars over the past several decades. In the past, large corporations could easily dictate terms of engagement with employees because of the limited alternative employment opportunities. However, that is no longer the case as skilled and talented workers can easily move from one employer to the other (Brown et al., 2019). Firms, irrespective of their size, market coverage, and financial power, have realized that they must have effective HR strategies to ensure that they create a pool of highly skilled and talented employees. Balan et al. (2020) explain that the process starts with developing an effective recruitment strategy.
A firm needs to employ a unique strategy that will ensure that its employees have skills and experience that match job requirements. These employees should also believe in the mission, vision, and values of the firm to avoid high turnover rates. Different companies have developed unique recruitment strategies that they believe meet their expectations. It was necessary to review what other scholars have found out in this field. The chapter discusses the impact of emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence and data analytics, on selection and recruitment process. It then focuses on firm-level and market-level challenges in making effective selection and recruitment of candidates. Key changes that firms need to embrace to make the selection and recruitment process effective are also discussed. The chapter then analyzes relevant theories that can help explain and address these challenges.
Impact of New Technologies on Selection and Recruitment
The challenge that companies face when recruiting employees has forced them to turn to emerging technologies. According to James et al. (2019), a survey they conducted revealed that the most challenging activity in talent acquisition is the screening of candidates. When a firm makes a job offer, numerous people will make an application for the job. It is the responsibility of HR to develop a shortlist of the numerous candidates to select those who are most qualified. The process must be done meticulously to ensure that those with the best qualifications are selected for further screening.
Traditionally, the shortlisting would be based on the academic background of the applicant, experience, talents, and sometimes age and gender (Lepistö and Ihantola, 2018). However, the world is evolving and sometimes these factors may not be the best way of selecting uniquely talented individuals. Hunter et al. (2017) argue that some of the most creative and talented individuals in this century, such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of college. However, their unique ability to lead others and develop new products enabled them to develop some of the most successful companies in the world. If their academic qualifications were to be used as the basis for assessing their skills, they would probably be considered unqualified for such top jobs.
Artificial intelligence is emerging as a tool that can now be used to facilitate the recruitment of employees. Balan et al. (2020) explain that AI for recruitment involves the use of artificial intelligence in the process of acquiring talents. It involves automating the process of screening the candidates to help in selecting those who are most qualified for the job. It eliminates the need for HR officers to go through individual resumes for the candidates to make selections. Using machine learning, the machine ranks candidates based on specific criteria (Maslow, 2019). First, the job requirement is defined and the expectations of candidates are stated for every job. The machine then assesses each candidate based on traditional factors such as academic background, experience, and age. It also uses unique traits of the applicants such as their creative works, innovativeness, commitment, and the likelihood of leaving the firm after being recruited. Using data analytics, the machine can then rank the applicants based on their scores for each job.
Benefits of AI and Data Analytics in Employee Recruitment
The use of AI and data analytics in selecting employees for a firm presents many benefits. According to Hunter et al. (2017), one of the main benefits of using technology is that it eliminates personal bias in the recruitment process. In many cases, the recruitment panel would eliminate highly qualified candidates for a given job because of personal bias. It may be their gender, age, race, or physical appearance that makes them appear less attractive to the panel. However, they may be highly qualified for the job advertised. The AI eliminates the challenge by specifically focusing on the set criteria without any form of bias. It means that candidates are selected based on their qualification as opposed to their physical look or the class in which they belong based on societal standards.
The use of data analytics and AI helps to significantly reduce the time it takes to recruit employees. Lepistö and Ihantola (2018) note that it takes about 23 hours for a single hire, and as long as 42 days to complete the process when a firm intends to replace a few workers. Most of the time is spent screening the candidates to ascertain if they have the qualifications needed. The use of machine learning eliminates the complex process of screening these individuals. Once candidates make online applications for specific jobs, it takes a few minutes for it to screen large volumes of data to determine those who are qualified for the job based on the set criteria.
As companies continue to share relevant data, it becomes easy for the machine to verify the credentials of the candidates such as whether they attended a specific school, if they worked for a specific firm, reasons why they left their previous employments, and if they have any criminal record. Such detailed screening procedures would take weeks or even months if done in the traditional way (Balan et al., 2020). However, the use of big data means that the process only takes a few minutes. The HR can focus on more important activities within the firm as the bulk of the recruitment activities are done by the machine.
The use of data analytics and AI helps in improving the quality of the recruitment process by standardizing job matching. Hunter et al. (2017) believe that one of the reasons for employee turnover rates in some companies is a mismatch of jobs with the skills of workers. An individual who is highly skilled and interested in marketing would be assigned to a finance department because they also did a unit of finance and accounting. The problem is that such individuals will struggle to work in this department because of limited skills, experience, and interests (Balan et al., 2020). AI eliminates such challenges by ensuring that workers are assigned tasks based on their qualifications.
The process enhances transparency and improves the confidence of employees in their employer. The process does not involve any form of bias or personal preferences as opposed to the opinionated views of the managers. At this early stage of engaging with employees, the firm will be instilling integrity among its workers (Hunter et al., 2017). They will understand that their race, religion, gender, age, or any other democratic factor does not define their performance in the firm. They will learn to remain committed to the firm’s values and vision in the market.
Challenges Existing in Making Effective Selection and Recruitment
Making effective selection and recruitment of employees presents numerous challenges to HR officers. One of the major challenges that HR faces in the recruitment and selection process is the falsification of credentials among applicants, as Balan et al. (2020) observe. Many people tend to present fake academic credentials or use the documents of their friends and relatives to secure an employment opportunity. In the traditional system where data is saved in physical files, it is almost impossible to authenticate some of these documents. HR officers are forced to make calls to institutions of higher learning to verify the credentials presented by their applicants. Such verification processes are not only tedious and time-consuming but also inefficient. In many cases, firms are forced to trust the papers that candidates present.
Employers are always keen on determining why a given employee is moving from one firm to another. As Lepistö and Ihantola (2018) state, companies often want to avoid individuals who are dismissed from their previous employment because of factors such as fraud, underperformance, negative attitude, physical or verbal abuse, racism, and other related factors. It is a common practice for HR to contact the previous employer to seek further information about the employee. The problem is that it is always not guaranteed that the former employer will provide accurate information. Some of them may lie to help get rid of their underperforming employee while others may provide misleading facts because of the desire to punish a hardworking employee who decides to seek alternative employment.
There is the problem of losing talented applicants to competitors. There are cases where some candidates make job applications to two or more companies. When they are invited for the interview, they would not reveal that they had already made similar applications to other institutions. They will wait for the job offer to be made by each of these employers. When the other company offers better remunerations and terms of service, they will quit their job immediately (Balan et al., 2020). In such cases, HR will have to initiate another process of recruitment to replace such workers. Such challenges not only waste time for the firm but also resources as the tedious process of advertising, screening, and interviewing has to be repeated.
Attracting talents is another major challenge, which some firms face when trying to attract the right candidates for a specific job. The problem affects both large well-established firms and small companies. For small companies with invisible brands, they rarely attract some of the top talents in the job market. They lack the financial muscle to pay their employees’ high salaries (Abbasi, et al., 2020). On the other hand, some of the large corporations have failed to attract top talents because of their perceived unwillingness or inability to offer conducive workplace environment. For instance, Amazon.com has been accused of forcing their employees to spend a lot of time standing or walking in the warehouses, as they sort out and prepare customers’ orders (Lepistö and Ihantola, 2018). Such negative publicity makes top talents in the industry uncomfortable to work for the firm. They have the perception that the firm is exploitative and unwilling to create a conducive workplace environment for its employees.
Key Changes Required to Make the Selection and Recruitment Processes Effective
Companies around the world are keen on redefining their selection and recruitment processes to ensure that they can address some of the challenges discussed above. According to Balan et al. (2020), one of the best ways of addressing these challenges is the introduction of emerging technologies in the recruitment process. Companies should change from the traditional time-consuming and expensive process of hiring employees to a new one that is based on emerging technologies. They need to use big data to ensure that they not only match the skills of employees with job requirements easily but also lower the cost and time it takes to replace a worker.
Data sharing is another change that firms may need to consider as they try to improve the recruitment process. Many firms are always keen on avoiding any attempts to share data with their rivals. However, they can no longer ignore the need to share data as a way of enhancing their cooperation in the market. Once a firm has a shared database with other firms and institutions of higher learning, it becomes easy to verify the credentials of their candidates. The HR can easily understand the performance of a given candidate in their previous companies and possible reasons why they opted to move from their former employer.
Personnel recruitment and selection practices that firms embrace define their ability to develop a pool of competent and loyal employees. Some of the challenges that Amazon.com is currently going through may be attributed to the strategy that the firm uses to recruit its workers. Using theoretical models, it is possible to assess these problems and to propose solutions that can be used to achieve desired goals.
Theory X and Y
McGregor’s theories X and Y have widely been used by human resource managers to help in defining the right approach to supervising and instructing employees. Theory X assumes that people tend to be lazy, and as such, require constant supervision to ensure that they complete their assignments. It limits the ability of workers to operate unsupervised and to make independent decisions. They have to follow guidelines provided by the management (Abbasi, et al., 2020). When recruiting workers, a firm should understand the need to assess the perception and views of workers towards this approach to human resource management. A candidate who states that they work under minimal supervision and can deliver their work on time may not perform well in an environment where theory X is used to govern subordinates. When this management approach is common in a firm, then a firm should recruit semi-skilled workers as much as possible, including immigrants, who can withstand the constant supervision.
Theory Y takes an opposite approach to human resource management to that of theory X. It holds the view that when provided with the right environment and support, people tend to be self-motivated and can undertake their duties with minimal supervision if any (Lepistö and Ihantola, 2018). This governance approach is highly effective when handling highly skilled workers who understand what they need to do and are committed to their work. When recruiting, such individuals will be identified by their academic credentials, their experience, and performance in other firms. In many cases, they would explain that their main reason for switching from their previous employer to the new one is lack of space to explore their skills and repressive governance that limits creativity and independent thoughts (Abbasi, et al., 2020). The new firm should be willing and ready to provide them with an environment where they can be innovative in their assignments.
Hierarchy of Needs
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a model that has been used to define human behavior. It identifies five basic classes of needs that often motivate people. This model can be specifically useful when a firm is recruiting its employees. At the bottom of the pyramid, shown in figure 2.1 below, are physiological needs of food, water, warmth and rest (Balan et al., 2020). Those who are motivated by these factors only need means of survival. In the United States, such individuals are recent immigrants from developing economies who come to the country to find any form of employment. They are less demanding and often accept minimum wage as long as it meets their basic needs. Many firms are often tempted to hire such workers because they are less demanding.
Above it are safety needs, where an individual is concerned about their security and safety at work. The assumption is that such individuals have met their primary needs of survival and now need some form of protection (Hunter et al., 2017). A significant number of such individuals are immigrants and unskilled or semi-skilled American citizens (Abbasi, et al., 2020). Although they may not be demanding, they want a workplace environment where their safety and security are guaranteed. When these needs are met, they are less likely to consider moving to other companies once recruited.
The third tier has belongingness and love needs, often defined as psychological needs. Such individuals have already met their basic needs and are now concerned about creating useful relationships at work. They include skilled American workers and immigrants coming from different parts of the country (Aimee, 2018). When hiring such individuals, the management should ensure that issues such as racism, bigotry, and any form of discrimination against a section of employees are fully addressed. When the environment does not support such psychological needs, these employees are likely to consider leaving the firm soon after the recruitment.
The next tear, which is still addressing psychological needs, focuses on esteem needs. Such individuals value the feeling of accomplishment and prestige (Balan et al., 2020). In most cases, they are highly learned and skilled workers holding managerial positions. They come to the company to make a difference and they value being in an environment where they can make decisions. When conducting a recruitment process, such individuals will be known based on their current positions with their past employers, and possibly, reasons why they are leaving their employer for this firm (Waxin et al., 2018). Before hiring such a candidate, the management must be ready to offer them an environment where their views can be heard and respected. They should also be granted the opportunity to be creative in their assigned tasks.
At the apex of the pyramid are the self-fulfillment needs, often referred to as self-actualization. At this level, one is interested in achieving their full potential, which includes creative activities (Nikolaou, 2021). The scholar explains that the number of those who reach this level is significantly few. However, they tend to be highly creative workers interested in transforming their organizations. They hold senior managerial positions in their past and present firms and believe that they can continue creating positive changes to make the world a better place (Hunter et al., 2017). They tend to be highly demanding individuals who can only accept specific standards in their terms of employment.
The review of the literature reveals that many scholars have explored challenges associated with recruitment and selection of employees in organizations of different sizes. However, it was evident that information about the use of technology, especially the AI and data analytics, in employee recruitment and selection is limited. The field is relatively new and scholars are yet to provide detailed evidence-based reports about it. The researcher seeks to address this major knowledge gap to help firms and HR professionals to understand how to use this technology to improve the process of screening candidates,
Cocnlusion: Methods, Justification and Explanation
The previous chapter provided a review of the literature to understand what other scholars have found out in related studies. It helped in identifying the research gaps and emerging trends that require further investigation. In this chapter, the goal is to discuss the method that was used to collect and process data. As Tan (2018) observes, once a review of literature is complete, a researcher will have a clear picture of what needs to be investigated. Primary data collection and analysis helps in addressing the identified knowledge gaps based on the experience and knowledge of a sample of the entire population. This chapter discusses how the researcher gained access to the organization, the sampling method that was used, and the primary data collection instrument that facilitated the process of collecting data. Also discussed in this chapter is the data collection administration (how primary data was collected using the instrument), data analysis approach, and ethical issues that had to be observed when conducting the study.
The researcher had to gain access to the organization and get the relevant consent from the management before reaching out to the employees. Breakwell, Wright and Barnett (2020) reiterate the importance of contacting the management of the targeted organization and explaining the significance of the study and the reasons why it was selected to take part in it. The researcher contacted the management of Amazon.com at their local branch explaining the focus of the study and reasons why employees of the firm were needed to take part in it. Doing so was important to eliminate any suspicion or concerns that the firm may have when it realizes that its employees are taking part in a study. Employees of the firm were only contacted when the consent from the management was obtained.
Sampling Method and Sample Size
Amazon.com currently has 1,468,000 employees spread across the world, 810,000 of which are in the United States, as was noted in the background information. The time and resources available for this study cannot allow the study to engage the entire population of this firm’s workers. For that reason, it was necessary to identify a small sample size. A local fulfillment center was identified to facilitate the data collection process. Upon getting consent from the management, the researcher had to select the sample. Convenience (non-probability) sampling technique was considered appropriate for the study. The sampling method was used because of the need to include specific individuals in the study.
The sample had to include those in the top management, mid-level management, supervisory roles, and non-management employees. It was also important to ensure that there was an effective representation in the sample in terms of gender, age, race, and religious affiliation. As discussed in the literature review, these demographical factors sometimes influence the recruitment of workers, especially when the recruiters are biased. A sample size of 50 individuals was considered adequate for the study. 12 participants were involved in a face-to-face interview, specifically to collect qualitative data. The 50 participants participated in the study through an online survey. They represented the entire population of almost 1.5 million employees of this company, especially those in the United States. The inclusion criteria were that all the participants must be working in the HR department of the firm, most preferably the recruitment and selection unit.
Primary Data Collection Instrument Used
The researcher used a questionnaire to facilitate the collection of primary data from the sampled employees of Amazon.com. The document had three main sections. Section A focused on general information about the participants focusing on the demographics and experience that they have. It was meant to determine the authority of the respondents to provide credible information needed for the study. Section B of the document had two parts, focusing on various issues. The first part was interested in capturing the recruitment process at the company. The second part was concerned with the selection process that the firm’s HR has been using. Section C of the document was specifically interested in determining challenges in the recruitment and selection process. There was also a list of interview questions that were meant for HR. The researcher used both structured (closed-ended) and unstructured (open-ended) questions to collect data. A mix of both structured and unstructured questions was important to facilitate both qualitative and quantitative analysis of data. A clean copy of the questionnaire and interview questions have been attached to the appendix of this report.
Data Collection Administration
When consent was given and the instrument was ready, the next step was to collect data from the sampled population. Primary data was collected from the participants using two strategies. The first approach involved collecting data through a face-to-face interview. The researcher called the 12 participants, requested them to take part in the interview within the premises of their company. The researcher visited these employees at their preferred time, especially during lunch break or in the evening just before they leave the premises of the firm. Each interview lasted 10-15 minutes as had been requested by the participants because of their busy schedules. 2 or 3 participants were interviewed each day, which means that the process took about a week to complete.
All the 50 participants were given a link which directs them to the questionnaire. They were requested to go through each of the questions and respond accordingly based on their knowledge and experiences. They were given one week to read and answer all the questions. Filled questionnaires from the online survey and those from the face-to-face interviews were collected, ready for coding and analysis.
Data Analysis Approach
The final stage in this process was the analysis of data collected from the participants. The method that one chooses to analyze primary data, as Thanem and Knights (2019) observe, often depends on the aim and objectives of the study. The style should enable the researcher to effectively achieve the aim and respond to all the research questions. The investigation focused on understanding the current issues and challenges in the current recruitment strategy. To achieve this aim, the researcher considered it appropriate to conduct both qualitative and qualitative analysis of data. Quantitative analysis made it possible to use mathematical methods to understand the severity of the problem. It allowed the researcher to present findings in charts and graphs that make it possible for the reader to understand the severity of the problem.
Quantitative analysis of data was conducted using an Excel spreadsheet. Detailed explanations of each output were presented to make it clear for the readers to understand facts based on primary data. Qualitative data was also considered essential in this study. Respondents were asked to explain in detail some of the challenges that they go through when recruiting and selecting employees. Using open-ended questions, they were allowed to go into details in their explanations. Information obtained from these unstructured questions was analyzed thematically. The mixed-method analysis made it possible to have a thorough analysis of the problem, making it possible to present credible solutions to the firm.
When conducting research, one should take into consideration ethical issues that may affect the credibility and success of the study. In this project, the researcher had to observe various ethical requirements at various stages of the work. According to Hennink, Hutter and Bailey (2020), when collecting data from employees of a given institution, it is required that consent be obtained from the management before approaching the employees. It helps in addressing any concern that the firm may have when it realizes that its workers are taking part in a given study. In this case, consent had to be obtained from Amazon. As explained in chapter 1, this company is large and with a global presence. Reaching out directly to the top managers of the firm at its headquarters in Seattle was not possible. As such, consent had to be obtained through their regional branches.
The manager was contacted and requested to allow their employees to be part of the investigation. They were explained the primary goal of the study, the reasons why Amazon.com was selected, the role that the employees were to play, and an assurance that sensitive information about the firm will not be made public. The researcher had to get consent from the manager before contacting the employees of the firm.
When the consent was obtained, the next task was to engage specific employees of the firm. Peters and Fontain (2020) emphasize the need to ensure that identity of these participants is protected. Cases, where people are harassed or discriminated against because their views are different from that of the majority of those in power, are always common. It explains why it is essential to ensure that their identity remains anonymous. In this study, the researcher used codes instead of the actual names of the respondents. They were assigned numerical identities (Respondent 1, Respondent 2, Respondent 3 …) as a way of ensuring that no one can determine their identity.
The researcher explained to each respondent the aim of the study and the specific role that they needed to play in it. All their questions and concerns were addressed and only those who stated that they are comfortable enough to take part in the study were included. The researcher reminded them that participation was voluntary and that they were at liberty to withdraw from it when they felt it was necessary to do so. They were also reminded that consent had been obtained from the relevant authority in the institution. The researcher allowed them to choose whether they were willing to take part in a face-to-face interview or an online one, taking into consideration their tight schedule and the fear of the spread of the COVID-19 virus which is still common in the country.
The project had to observe school rules and regulations from the initial stage of proposal development to the final stage of delivering the completed paper. The school has clear regulations against academic malpractices, one of which is plagiarism. The researcher made sure that the paper was written from scratch, and that information that was obtained from secondary sources was properly cited using the Harvard referencing style. A list of all the sources used to inform the study was provided on a separate page as required by that style. The researcher maintained adequate communication with the adviser whenever necessary to address issues that arose in the project. The paper was completed within the timeframe that the school had set via the portal that was provided.
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