Growing Minds, Inc. is a national chain of retail outlets specializing in creative toys and innovati

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Growing Minds, Inc. is a national chain of retail outlets specializing in creative toys and innovative learning materials for children. The company caters to the upper end of the market and focuses on customer service for a competitive advantage. It provides workshops for parents and children on topics such as learning with the computer and indoor gardening and offers crafts classes ranging fropapier-mâché to pottery. Growing Minds plans to expand and to open five new retail outlets in the coming quarter. This may mean up to 200 new hires, and the executive team wants to make sure that the best people are hired and retained. It has issued a challenge to its retail management personnel to design a staffing process that will accomplish these goals. The children’s market in which Growing Minds operates demands service personnel who are endlessly patient; knowledgeable about children, toys, and learning; and, perhaps most important, sociable,enthusiastic, and engaging. Excellent customer service is the top priority at Growing Minds, and obtaining the desired performance from personnel has meant a major investment in training. Unfortunately, new workers often leave within a year of being hired. This means that the company barely gets an adequate return on the training it has invested in its new hires. Apparently, turnover is due (at least in part) to the demanding nature of the job. Recently, Growing Minds has been emphasizing the establishment of work teams to improve the quality of its services, identify and fix any problems in service delivery, and brainstorm new opportunities. This approach has yielded better-than-anticipated results, so the team concept will be central to the new outlets.

Case Questions

A. How can Growing Minds attract the best applicants for jobs at its new retail outlets? On what groups, if any, should the

company’s recruiting efforts focus? How should the recruiting be done?

B. How should Growing Minds select the best candidates?What type of characteristics and measures should be used? Why?

C. How might Growing Minds address its retention problem? How might Growing Minds socialize its employees so that

they are attuned to the firm’s culture and plans for the future?

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