Recruiting, interviewing, and hiring of executive trainees by apparel specialty chain, conventional department, and discount department stores




Perez, Carla Jeanne Anderson

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Texas Woman's University


The purpose of this study was to describe and compare recruiting, interviewing, and hiring procedures for entry-level executive trainees in three U.S.-based retail formats. A self-administered questionnaire was mailed to 124 retail executives working for 51 apparel specialty chain, 38 conventional department, and 35 discount department stores. Questionnaires were returned by 71 retailers, yielding a response rate of 57.3%.

The sample consisted of vice presidents, managers, directors, and other retail executives responsible for the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring of entry-level executive trainees at 25 apparel specialty chain, 24 conventional department, and 22 discount department stores. Thirty (42.3%) reported annual sales volumes over $1 billion. Sixty-two (87.3%) had over 1,000 full-time employee equivalents and between three and 2,500 store units within their respective retail divisions.

A one-way ANOVA was performed to determine if significant differences existed between store format and recruiting (Ho1) interviewing (Ho2), and hiring (Ho3) procedures used for entry-level executive trainees. Because significant differences at the .05 level were found for on-campus recruiting, Ho1 was rejected.

Significant differences were found at the .05 level for 5 of 35 personal achievements (extracurricular activities, work experience, reference verification, overall, and minimum gpa) used as screening criteria for applicant selection to interview. On this basis, Ho2 was accepted.

Significant differences were found at the .05 level for average starting salary and analytical skills as hiring criteria. Due to pivotal role of starting salary, Ho3 was rejected.

Results indicate that although there are similarities in the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring procedures used by retailers of different store formats, significant differences do exist. A retailer's annual sales volume may be as important as its format when evaluating recruiting, interviewing, and hiring of entry-level executive trainees. Students and the educators preparing them for retail executive careers could benefit from considering for which store(s) a student is most likely an employee match.



Social sciences, Education, Careers, Apparel specialty chain, Discount department stores, Department stores, Executive trainees, Hiring, Interviewing, Recruiting, Retail