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Thursday, April 27, 2006

Starbucks shows the softer side of recruiting

In a crazy world where companies seem to lack simple pleasantries when recruiting, companies like Starbucks are setting themselves apart when it comes to hiring. This article from the NY Times details some of their recruiting practices and all I have to say is wow. Check this out...

So the company has devised all sorts of ways to add personal touches to the way it hires. Whenever possible, job interviews include coffee-tasting sessions, in which Starbucks veterans discuss the virtues of various blends with applicants. A "candidate bill of rights" emphasizes that recruiters use phone calls and handwritten notes over form response letters, sets goals for how quickly applicants should hear back and encourages recruiters to send out Starbucks gift cards in nominal amounts as goodwill gestures, whether or not an applicant gets a job offer.

"Our aim is to treat our candidates as well as we treat our customers, to do something memorable for them," Mr. Warner said. "You can't treat people shabbily, especially in a world where there are far more open jobs than there is available talent to fill them. We strive to put the humanity back into the recruiting experience."

I also happened to catch their story on Sunday's 60 Minutes and was impressed by their founder, Howard Schultz, and his attitude towards his employees. He gives all workers healthcare coverage who put in more than 20 hours per week (and he raised prices on the coffee you drink to do it)...it's nice to finally see large companies treating their employees with respect. Starbucks now spends more on health care than it does on coffee.

Hey Wal-Mart...you might want to take a page from the Starbucks playbook.

2 comments:

Canadian Headhunter said...

I saw Howie on 60 minutes too and what impressed me was how he visited Italy, was impressed by the coffee culture there and decided to bring it back to North America.

He was already the partner in a coffee business but, apparently, his partners weren't interested. (I can't recall how he parted with them).

Anonymous said...

Take a quarter's worth of coffee. Wal-Mart sells it for about 27 cents. Starbucks sells it for $3.50. Of course they pay for health insurance, they have margin up the wazoo to do it with. Wal-Mart doesn't.