Page 5: Selection
Applications are registered through Asda’s online recruitment system, Asda’s HR team then shortlist appropriate candidates for interview or an assessment centre. Two documents are vital here: a job description and a personal specification. A job description indicates what the job entails, specifying what tasks will be undertaken by the appointed colleague. The personal specification outlines the essential and desirable personal qualities and skills required for the role. These inform applicants and help managers select the candidates that best match the requirements for the position. The assessment centre known as either ‘Asda Reality’ or ‘Asda Magic’ provides an opportunity for candidates to demonstrate their strengths which align to Asda’s culture, beliefs and way of working. When recruiting internally, an appraisal is used to help inform the selection process. An appraisal is where a colleague discusses their performance, skills and development opportunities with their manager.
Once selected, the final part of the recruitment process involves providing appropriate training. At Asda, each new colleague is put into a specific training plan designed for their role. This is based around the company’s ‘Colleague Steps’ process which has three key stages – ‘Step In, Step On, Step Up’. This training varies from attending training workshops to taking formal qualifications relevant to their role.
Training and development
‘Step In’ is a four week induction programme that all new colleagues undertake. This culminates in the award of an accreditation certificate and a performance review to allow colleagues to move into the ‘Step On’ stage after six months of service. This stage includes coaching, a City and Guilds retail apprenticeship and further responsibilities such as first aid training, moving to a new department and becoming a training buddy. Next in career development at Asda is ‘Step Up’. Again, following a positive performance review, colleagues can seek career progression. Experienced colleagues, through progression, are able to build upon their knowledge to deliver excellent customer service within a variety of roles.
Gareth Woods is currently the Supermarket Store Manager at Pwllhell in Wales. He progressed quickly, starting as a graduate trainee in 2004 before becoming a Department Manager in 2005 and then a Night Store Manager in 2006. He states:
‘One of the first things I learned at Asda is that you’re in control of your own development and should never be afraid to take on a role that you feel could be too big for you.’
Helen Milford has seen great progression since joining Asda as a part-time General Store Manager in Lincoln. Working her way up to Director of Customer Services at the Leeds Home Office, she has subsequently been promoted to Regional Director for the whole of the North of England. The experience of a range of roles helped prepare Helen for this senior position. She states:
‘My role in customer service was probably the most significant in my development. It really helped me focus on what customers want, on longer-term planning and on working with innovative ideas. I also had the opportunity to work with the Walmart global business to share best practice.’