Training and development for cultural diversity
A Marks and Spencer case study

Page 1: Introduction

Organisations that wish to be successful in the increasingly competitive markets of the 90s must consider how to provide rewarding roles which allow their employees to develop. In the UK, a career with Marks & Spencer is widely regarded as one of the most interesting opportunities for newly qualified university graduates.There are always two sides to an employment relationship. Marks &...
Read full page

Page 2: The problem

Marks & Spencer recruits around 250 university graduates in the UK each year. Marks & Spencer is well known and has a good relationship with graduate career advisors. Marks & Spencer also has a presence on campuses and a well-deserved reputation for training. A long-term presence in this labour market helps Marks & Spencer to find the highcalibre graduates required for the...
Read full page

Page 3: The process

Marks & Spencer began by highlighting the recruitment drive in the media of each country. This was particularly beneficial as it provided Marks & Spencer with high public awareness of store opening announcements and expansion plans, but at a lower cost than advertising. Although the objective was the same in each country, the approach was different. With few store announcements in the...
Read full page

Page 4: The aim

In the past, Marks & Spencer used up to 34 different criteria when recruiting graduates in Europe. The danger was that in using widely different criteria and recruitment methods, both the quality and consistency of candidates might be affected. Marks & Spencer’s goal was to recruit a truly European manager who could assimilate and work in different cultures, use different languages...
Read full page

Page 5: Developing communication

The research helped to identify the appropriate attraction strategies for each country. This included: the design of the application forms how to publicise the company and the careers offered the nature of presentations to undergraduates on campus the development of materials for careers fairs the generation of interest in the media. Information packs were sent to universities providing a...
Read full page

Page 6: Conclusion

The recruitment of European graduates for Marks & Spencer has helped managers to appreciate cultural diversity. It has enabled them to step outside their own culture and develop an understanding and appreciation of multi-cultural perspectives in the working environment. It was a new experience for a business with an objective for rapid European growth. It was not known how difficult it would...
Read full page

Related: Marks and Spencer
Case studies in Business Case Studies