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Strategic Human Resource Management Of Woolworths

Strategic Human Resource Management Of Woolworths


Discuss about the Strategic Human Resource Management of Woolworths.


Woolworths is selected in this study which is one of the best retail companies. The company offers quality products at reasonable prices. The content of the report comprises of Description of Human Resource management, recruitment and selection, retention and development and performance Management.

Defining Human Resource Management

Company DescriptionWoolworth is the major company in Australia with extensive interest in retail industry throughout New Zealand and Australia as well (Woolworths 2016). By revenue, Woolworth is the second biggest company in Australia. Woolworth was established in 1924 by Percy Christmas, Cecil Scott Waine, Stanley Chatterton, Ernest Williams and George Creed. Woolworth is headquartered in Bella Vista, New South Sales, Australia.

HR DepartmentBeing one of the most renowned and famous retail organizations, Woolworth has a dedicated Human Resource department, which focuses on the effective employee management for the organization (Armstrong and Taylor 2014).

Woolworth has successfully designed their Human Resource Department with the help of few important as well as significant approaches of Human Resources (De Waal 2013). Developing and Recruiting Talent, matching staffing with the business requirements, retraining and training as well as downsizing are the crucial approaches those have been adopted by Woolworths Limited.


Strategic Human Resource Management

If the proposed model of Strategic Human Resource Management by Nankervis et al (2014) is considered, therefore, it can be seen that there are few roles those are not undertaken by the Human Resource team of Woolworth Limited. The cyclical and long-term process of Strategic Human Resource with enough flexibility for permitting the directional changes in Human Resource is not undertaken by Woolworth Limited (Derous and De Fruyt 2016). Instead of this particular role of Strategic Human Resource Management, Woolworth outsources few functions of Human Resource. This organization follows the Business process HR outsourcing, with the help of which an external supplier can manage the discrete activities of Human Resource such as the recruitment or payroll administration.

HR Functions

There are three major levels at which the line managers as well as the practitioners separately or together operate such as the functional, operational as well as strategic levels (Hendry 2012). The practitioners together with the line managers develop the action plans for meeting the present needs of labour. At the strategic level, the practitioners are involved in the human resource and corporate planning. The line managers carry out primarily several activities at the functional level that ensure employees are at the right time, for the right cost and in the right place.

In case of Woolworth Limited, this retail organization operates their Human Resource functions at the strategic and the functional level. This is simply because, the practitioners are involved in the Human Resource planning and corporate planning at the strategic level. On the other hand, at the functional level, the line managers carry out primarily several activities at the functional level that ensure employees are at the right time, for the right cost and in the right place.

Recruitment and Selection

It is a very simple fact of Human Resource Management system of an organization that the employee quality actually depends on the effective strategy of selecting as well as recruiting employees (Derous and De Fruyt 2016). However, this particular strategy of selecting and recruiting employees cannot be always smooth sailing. Employers of the organizations worldwide can face few tangible issues like the advertising costs of the job openings as well as intangible obstructions such as the improving interaction between the hiring managers as well as recruiters.

According to Derous and De Fruyt  (2016), the Recruitment and Selection comprise one of the oldest areas of applied as well as is still one of the most essential and significant domains of human resources and talent management, appealing to a huge number of HR practitioners and researchers as well. Derous and De Fruyt (2016), have stated that the area of recruitment and selection is rapidly evolving, pushed forward by technological developments, societal pressures and strategic issues with the change in time. The strategic role of the recruitment and selection in the enterprises has triggered the new development’s host as well as has expanded the conventional conceptualizations of the practices of recruitment and selection with the insights from other disciplines such as marketing and economics, communication, information and computer technology.

Derous and De Fruyt (2016)have identified one of the most significant and the greatest changes in the Recruitment and Selection practices, which can be considered to be linked with technology. The technological advancements indeed reshape the practices of recruitment and selection by means of the tools of multimedia. Therefore, Derous and De Fruyt (2016) have also recognized the technological, societal as well as strategic challenges associated with the Recruitment and Selection Practices. Derous and De Fruyt (2016) have stated that bringing new employees or recruiting new employees can be sometimes costly for an organization. The small enterprises mainly face such challenges. Therefore, they might look at the alternative instead of hiring new employees such as the giving additional responsibilities and outsourcing to the current employees or hiring temporary employees.

As per the viewpoint of Derous and De Fruyt (2016), a manager who is hiring a candidate at the time of the recruitment and selection process should focus on the single quality or talent that he expects from the candidates. This can limit his focus while looking over the resumes and applications. If an employee lacked a positive attitude towards the job then sometimes the hiring managers focuses on the other candidates. Positive attitude is necessary for a service job and the best candidate must be competent, patient and can able to communicate well. Besides that, Hendry (2012) have stated that an organization must conduct job analysis from time to time for creating a complete, accurate description of the functions and role of a specific designation. The job roles of a company must be updated formally. Without an effective analysis of a designation, job posting might not reflect the essential skills and traits required and the selection tools of the organization might not accurately access candidates.

Purce (2014) have given a key message that the Recruitment and Selection area is evolving rapidly, assessing and attracting talented workers, affecting a wide range of topics in searching that warrants close examination as well as monitoring. Therefore, the ENESER network focuses on studying, discussing and addressing such developments among practitioners and scholars.

Retention and Development

Retention LeversWoolworth Limited is one of the most renowned as well as famous retail organizations in Australia and all over the world as well. There are several reasons for which, people intend to stay in their jobs in Woolworth (Manning, Watkins and Degnarain 2012). These reasons are simply known as the retention levers. Woolworth mainly focuses on the 6 major practices that the companies can implement with the technology support for retaining their top talent. The reasons or the retention levers or the retention practices are as follows:

  • Woolworth tries to recruit the right people in the first place.
  • On the other hand, Woolworth tries to improve as well as assess the ability of the line managers for managing their employees
  • Woolworth provides the constant feedback of the employees regarding meaning and clear objectives.
  • Apart from that, Woolworth always tries for empowering their employees so that the employees can be able to manage their own career and enhance their career growth (Mathis et al. 2016).
  • Besides that, Woolworth always gives first preference to the talent of the employees. This retail organization always drives proactively the talent mobility among the employees of Woolworth so that the productivity can be enhanced by enhancing the motivational level of the employees.
  • On the other hand, being a famous retail organization Woolworth always focuses on the continuous improvement in their business strategies in several areas (Newton, Becker and Bell 2014). Therefore, this organization go through the continuous process of improving as well as measuring the retention strategies so that they can easily make their employees to work with Woolworth for a long time span.

Performance Management

Brief Company OverviewWoolworth is the major company in Australia with extensive interest in retail industry throughout New Zealand and Australia as well (Woolworths 2016). By revenue, Woolworth is the second biggest company in Australia. Woolworth was established in 1924 by Percy Christmas, Cecil Scott Waine, Stanley Chatterton, Ernest Williams and George Creed. Woolworth is headquartered in Bella Vista, New South Sales, Australia.

Job DescriptionWoolworth Limited hires for the technical analyst profile for maintaining their stock market. Technical Analyst observes all the patterns of the stock market and they make prediction about different future performance. Woolworths promote their existing employees to the designation of Technical Analyst by performance Appraisal method.

Most Suitable Performance Review Method

There are several methods of performance review methods those are being used by the Human Resource departments of numerous organizations all over the world. These performance review methods are the self-evaluation, 360 evaluation, graphic scale, checklists and the critical incidents (Purce 2014). Among all of the performance review methods, self evaluation can be considered as the most suitable performance review method for Woolworth’s Human Resource Management System.

The self evaluation performance review can be useful for two reasons. these are as follows:

  • The employees of Woolworth have to take time in terms of evaluating themselves as well as managers get to see how the workers of the company can understand their own performance
  • On the other hand, the perception of an employee regarding their job skills can help the managers for calibrating their own responses as well as language and also can serve as a significant beginning point to provide feedback (Shields et al. 2015). It provides a manager a more complete landscape than the pure observation alone can give.

Pros and Cons of the Chosen Performance Review Method

Pros of Self Evaluation Performance Review Method Cons of Self Evaluation Performance Review Method
If the self-evaluation method is implemented tactfully and properly help for conveying the message that the performance management process is a team work. It greases the process wheels by making it more effective It is essential for reminding the managers that the often the employees have a stronger performance perception that he or she exuded actually throughout the year.
It encourages the employees of Woolworth limited for self evaluating throughput the year. If the employees of Woolworth fail for submitting their self evaluations within a given timeline, therefore, processes of following on can be impacted negatively (Purce 2014).
Self evaluation method puts an ownership on the worker for documenting as well as recalling the work performed by the employee and highlighting key accomplishments If the self evaluation of an employee is not a proper reflection of performance then the manager of that employee requires to be prepared for giving a clear reasoning for the distinctions in ratings.


After the entire discussion made in this study, it can easily be stated that Woolworth has a dedicated Human Resource Department and along with that this organization follows the strategic and functional levels of HR functions. On the other hand, this organization also maintains all the retention levers and this organization have also implemented the most suitable performance review method that is the self evaluation performance review method.


Reference List

Armstrong, M. and Taylor, S., 2014. Armstrong’s handbook of human resource management practice. Kogan Page Publishers.

De Waal, A., 2013. Strategic Performance Management: A managerial and behavioral approach. Palgrave Macmillan.

Derous, E. and De Fruyt, F., 2016. Developments in Recruitment and Selection Research. International Journal of Selection and Assessment,24(1), pp.1-3.

Hendry, C., 2012. Human resource management. Routledge.

Manning, N., Watkins, J. and Degnarain, N., 2012. Does the public sector HRM system strengthen staff performance?.

Mathis, R.L., Jackson, J.H., Valentine, S.R. and Meglich, P., 2016. Human resource management. Nelson Education.

Newton, C., Becker, K. and Bell, S., 2014. Learning and development opportunities as a tool for the retention of volunteers: a motivational perspective. Human Resource Management Journal, 24(4), pp.514-530.

Purce, J., 2014. The impact of corporate strategy on human resource management. New Perspectives on Human Resource Management (Routledge Revivals), 67.

Shields, J., Brown, M., Kaine, S., Dolle-Samuel, C., North-Samardzic, A., McLean, P., Johns, R., Robinson, J., O’Leary, P. and Plimmer, G., 2015.Managing Employee Performance & Reward: Concepts, Practices, Strategies. Cambridge University Press.

Woolworths Supermarket – Buy Groceries Online 2016, Woolworths Online. viewed 26 September 2016, <>.

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