Recruiting, selecting and training entrepreneurial managers
An Arcadia case study

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Page 4: Recruitment and selection

Given the Arcadia Group's growth in recent years, as well as its plans for further expansion (more and bigger stores), the company is busy recruiting new staff.

Recruitment occurs both at store level (with each store recruiting its own sales advisors) and centrally. Arcadia's Head Office is using specially designed management development programmes to target two groups: school leavers and newly qualified graduates.

With these programmes Arcadia is looking to recruit the next generation of students who are passionate about a career in retailing and able to become future leaders in the business. The Retail Management Trainee Programme (MTP) targets students with 2 'A' levels or equivalent. The Graduate Retail Management Programme and entry level Graduate opportunities in Head Office roles target students who have University degrees.

Applicants for these programmes and other jobs within Arcadia are attracted via:

  • career fairs and presentations
  • advertisements and posters
  • the group's website:

When selecting potential employees, Arcadia is looking for people who can demonstrate the following competencies:

  • working with people
  • putting the customer first
  • maximising own impact
  • inspiring performance
  • driving the business
  • making the right choices.

These competencies are all enterprise related. They refer to an individuals' ability to satisfy customers and move the business forward.

Arcadia is attractive to potential recruits because of the opportunities it can provide, its leading brands and the quality of its training. The company is constantly changing and has a culture that makes it an exciting, dynamic and fast paced environment in which to work.

The Selection Process

The Retail Management Trainee Programme has a two-stage selection process:

  1. Online application form
  2. Assessment centre.

The online application form has questions structured around the competencies required of Retail Management Trainees. Candidates who demonstrate these competencies in their answers and are successful at the application form stage are invited to an assessment centre.

Assessment centres feature a combination of exercises that several candidates participate in and a number of assessors attend. The Arcadia assessment centre takes place over one day and involves a structured interview and group exercises. Group exercises are a popular recruitment tool, recommended on the basis that their format allows a close analysis of social interaction.

Assessors at Arcadia assessment centres are able to view the candidates' ability to get on with and influence others, to display their understanding of customer service and to reach conclusions. Candidates successful at the assessment centre are offered a position on the Retail Management Trainee Programme.

Arcadia | Recruiting, selecting and training entrepreneurial managers