Page 6: Identifying and recruiting for the key management roles
Just as there are challenges in building a factory in an unfamiliar country, so there are challenges in filling all of the jobs necessary to run that factory.
A recruitment strategy had to be designed to meet those challenges: Should Cadbury Schweppes transfer expatriates to Poland? If so, how would they cope with the language barrier and the fact that there were no local English-speaking schools for expatriates' children to attend? Could quality local candidates be found? If not, would potential managers relocate to Wroclaw from Warsaw and other major cities? How important was experience within Cadbury Schweppes versus knowledge of the Polish market?
Cadbury Schweppes' human resource management strategy for the Polish project was to identify local candidates wherever possible. This would give Polish individuals a sense of freedom to manage their business within a familiar environment and according to local needs, supported by resources and experience from other parts of the Cadbury Schweppes global company.
However, there was a known shortage of experience locally, particularly in the finance and marketing functions, so the company anticipated that it would need to have a fair amount of expatriate involvement, particularly in the early stages of getting the Polish business operational.
A multi-disciplinary team was formed to:
- identify the key management roles to be filled within the Polish operation
- devise a recruitment plan to attract the best quality candidates
- prepare an induction and training process for new employees.
A structure for the top management team was devised. Job descriptions were then written for the key management roles. To do this, decisions about the degree of functional expertise required had to be traded off against knowledge of Cadbury Schweppes and its operations, local Polish experience and general 'know-how'.
A recruitment consultancy was then chosen to identify a shortlist of candidates for the key positions. The consultancy used a combination of headhunting (where candidates are approached on a company's behalf) and job advertisements in Poland and the UK. Bearing in mind that Cadbury Schweppes was new to Central and Eastern Europe, this was very much a learning process for the team members concerned, as they knew little about Polish recruitment practice or what to expect in terms of quality and experience of candidates.
Some interviews were conducted via an interpreter, which added another level of complexity to assessing candidates. And, before making offers of employment, research was carried out to determine the salary and benefit levels which would attract the best candidates to join the company. The final decisions on recruitment were taken by the European Managing Director and the Managing Director of Cadbury Schweppes' German company, Piasten, who would be responsible for overseeing the development of the Polish company.
Development of an induction plan ensures that new employees deliver effective work performance as quickly as possible after joining the company. As part of its induction plan for the Polish operation, Cadbury Schweppes brought key Polish employees to the UK to provide an overview of the Group's global operations, an introduction to the company's philosophies, values and history and then the confectionery industry and Polish market. The Polish team was also introduced to colleagues established businesses elsewhere in the Group, who would be able to provide information and advice when needed.
In new ventures such as this, there is a real demand for company knowledge and experience, particularly in the early stages of development. Such opportunities are often taken up by existing Cadbury Schweppes managers who are encouraged to move internationally within the Group to gain wider experience, while transferring their knowledge newcomers.
Cadbury Schweppes offers a series of career programmes for junior and senior managers to gain such experience and managers from the Polish business are already moving elsewhere within the Group!