Ya Kun Kaya Toast
210 PART 2 RECRUITMENT AND PLACEMENT APPLICATION CASE Va Kun Kaya Toast Ya Kun’s humble beginnings were in 1944 in a coffee shop started by Loi Ah Koon, who served coffee, tea, eggs, and toast. Ya Kun International was incorporated in 2001 in Singapore and currently has 32 outlets in Singapore and 27 franchise outlets in other parts of Asia. The overseas outlets are located in Indonesia, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Ya Kun has a family-style work environment and an established “promotion-from-within” policy.
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There is also a strong emphasis on teamwork, where helping one another is the norm, even between employees across outlets and departments. The top management serve as role models to reinforce this teamwork culture in Ya Kun. The organization also has a very flat structure, where staff feel comfortable approaching their superiors to discuss their problems or sug gestions for improvements. Job openings for the outlet staff are advertised in Chinese and English newspapers, as well as through recruitment notices at their outlets.
Applicants who respond to the adver tisements are invited to interview. Applicants go through two rounds of interviews—one with the senior area manager and one with the operations manager. Job applicants are screened primarily for their level of commitment and willingness to work shifts. Other desirable qualities include integrity, diligence, and honesty. Prior expe rience in the food and beverage industry is not essential. Ya Kun believes that if an applicant is committed and willing to learn, the necessary skills to excel in the job can easily be taught.
Successful applicants then go through 2 weeks of training and remain on probation for 3 months. Most ofYa Kun Singapore’s outlet staff are more than 30 years of age because mature workers generally have bet ter work attitudes and exhibit a higher level ofjob commit ment. Also, the majority of the outlet staff are Singaporeans, with a small proportion from Malaysia and China. Most of the outlet staff are full-time workers, with some part-time staff hired to complement the full-time staff when they go on vacation or become ill. The usual operating hours of each outlet are from 7
A. M. to 11 P. M. , and the staff work 8-hour shifts. Each outlet has about 10 staff working each of the two shifts. The emphasis on good attitude and character in the selection of outlet staff has helped Ya Kun build a pool of hardworking and committed workers. Loyalty, honesty, and fairness are the most important attributes sought in select ing store managers from among the outlet staff. All these help keep the staff happy and committed to the company, which Ya Kun believes has translated into their serving their customers well.
The main challenge Ya Kun faces in its recruitment efforts is finding employees with the right attitude, because the technical skills required are relatively easy to learn. Some applicants were unwilling to work shifts, making it dif ficult for Ya Kun to hire them: Shift work is inevitable in the food and beverage retail industry. Questions 1. How would you forecast the manpower needs ofYa Kun? 2. What are the advantages and disadvantages ofYa Kun’s hiring part-time workers? 3. A good attitude and commitment are two important attributes that Ya Kun looks for in it~ job applicants.
Is a job interview an effective method to assess these two attributes? What else can Ya Kun do to get reliable information on these two attributes? 4. What suggestions would you make to Ya Kun to improve its recruiting processes? Note: The infonnation in this case was obtained through online interviews with stafffrorn Ya Kun. C()NTINlJING CASE Carter Cleaning Company Getting Better Applicants If you were to askJennifer and her father what the main prob lem was in running their firm, their answer would be quick and short: hiring good people.
Originally begun as a string of coin-operated laundromats requiring virtually no skilled help, the chain grew to six stores, each heavily dependent on skilled managers, cleaner-spotters, and pressers. Employees gener ally have no more than a high school education (often less), and the market for them is very competitive. Over a typical weekend, literally dozens of want ads for experienced pressers or cleaner-spotters can be found in area newspapers. All these people usually are paid around $15. 00 per hour, and they change jobs frequently.
Jennifer and her father thus face the continuing task of recruiting and hiring qualified workers out of a pool of individuals they feel are almost nomadic in their propensity to move from area to area and job to job. Turnover in their stores (as in the stores of many of their co petitors) often approaches 400%. “Don’t talk to me abo human resources planning and trend analysis,” says Jennifer. “We’re fighting an economic war and I’m happy just to able to round up enough live applicants to be able to keep trenches fully manned. “