Recruitment and Retention Recruitment & Retention For all companies, recruitment and retention of personnel is a challenge and a goal for the Human Resource Department. The Human Resource Department must identify the qualities that are important in potential personnel and comprehend what qualities the applicants are looking for in a possible employer. In addition, the Human Resource Department has a responsibility to the company to ensure that once the applicant becomes an employee, the investment that is made in that employee will not be wasted due to high employee turnover.

Large companies, such as Universal Studios that invest largely in time and resources in early training and constant programs have a lower turnover rate. What qualities are vital for cast members at Universal Studios and what programs does Universal Studios use to retain its employees? Universal Studios uses numerous avenues to recruit potential cast members including internet advertising, referrals, and print advertisements.

Once a prospective employee applies, the recruitment process is completed by recruiters, who then discuss the best role that suits the individual’s skills and desires, while focusing on the person’s potential to provide exceptional guest experiences. While an applicant’s skills are important to identify so that the applicant can be best matched to a position for which he/she is qualified, Universal Studios hires based on attitude, rather than aptitude. An individual with a positive attitude is more likely to spread that attitude to others and make an enjoyable work environment.

After an applicant becomes a cast member, Universal Studio’s unique approach to preparation and recognition programs contribute to its below-average turnover rate. Key retention factors include providing knowledge, resources, and a supportive work environment. Whether the cast member is a waiter or a manager, the extensive training and support programs undertaken by Universal Studios employee have a high success rates in retaining those employees. Training begins at the Universal Studios where cast members are taught to be leaders, regardless of their job descriptions.

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Educational experiences at Universal Studios are geared to meet the learning style of the individual cast member. Universal Studios utilizes instructor-led, computer learning, a gaming simulation, a media object on a mobile device, or an on-the-job training session to best meet the learning needs of its cast members. In addition, cast members are given a 90 day period in which to find the position that best matches their talents and abilities. If their first assignment turns out not to be a good fit, they are given others during the first three months until their best skill is found.

Although many companies have a thirty-day probationary period in which the employer evaluates the new hire and has the option to terminate the employment without notice, Universal Studios does not believe in this pressure tactic. Instead, Universal Studios believes, management looks beyond the original reason for the new hire and tries to identify where the cast members can be the greatest assets to the Universal Studios and as a result, happiest in their jobs. Landing in exactly the right job role is important at Universal Studios, given its belief in allowing employees flexibility to make their own decisions.

Training does not end after the initial three months of employment. In addition to implementing an enterprise wide learning management system and learning content storage area, the organization has begun offering rapid development and electronic performance support systems as a component of the learning solution. The importance on continually adapting to the newest technologies and teaching techniques helps cast members to grow in the company and advance to new position.

Through continuing education and training, Universal Studios ensures its cast members do not become stale in their positions while new abilities and capabilities are developed and identified. Employee empowerment plays a large part in retention at Universal Studios. Through training, Universal Studios makes its employees understand they are empowered to solve guest problems with no set amount of money if they think it’s required. This empowerment extends beyond attending to guest needs through the co-worker recognition program.

Every member is empowered to recognize another member’s quality of work and effort to make the guests experiences exceed their expectations. Managers who observe an employee being remarkably helpful or hard-working at their job are encouraged to reward their employee with cards, trinkets, gift cards, or just a pat on the back. Such individualized, immediate recognition has proven to be one of the greatest deterrents to employee turnover for the Universal Studios. The final element that helps Universal Studios retain its cast members where ther travel industry companies have high turnover comes from the fact that Universal Studios is constantly surveying the guests and cast members for ideas that will improve the corporate culture and environment of the theme parks and organization. Universal Studios listens to its cast members, recognizes them for their contributions, and actually implements their ideas. In addition, Universal Studios regularly hosts celebrations for its cast members and their families to celebrate the ideas that are suggested.

By including the families in the celebrations, Universal Studios reinforces to its cast members that the organization is a family-oriented business in which their contributions help all the Universal Studios family to be successful in making it the Happiest Place on Earth. The recruiting and retention programs are some of the best in the world, Universal Studios is not known for paying the highest salaries or for paying its cast members for all the work that they do.

The area in which Universal Studios has the greatest difficulty in retaining or recruiting cast members does not relate to its payment system the company uses. Finally, Universal Studio’s internship program is highly sought by college students, the program’s directors need to be more aware of the interns complaints of abuse by the regular wage cast members. Such disgruntled participants can result in a downswing in applicants for the Universal Studios Company.

Ranked one of the most desirable employers by the next generation of college students, the Universal Studios Company enjoys one of the lowest turnover rates in the travel industry. This is primarily due to its philosophy of seeking employees who have positive attitudes and by individualizing the training for each employee so that employee’s greatest potential can be reached. Job matching the talents of a cast member, rather than trying to force an employee to match the job’s description results in a happier employee in the long run.

Recognizing cast member’s accomplishments and ideas also aids the Universal Studios Company in not only attracting the best applicants, but retaining them after they have been hired. However, Universal Studio’s greatest weakness in its recruitment and retention process is its wages and time management process. With the current recessive economy, increases in wages is unlikely, however changes in time management training can help to alleviate discontent amongst the cast members for unpaid work-time. Works Cited Nbc Careers. Retrieved June 8, 2011 ttp://www. nbcunicareers. com/ Universal Studios. Retrieved June 8, 2011 http://www. universalorlando. com Orlando Tourist Bureau. Retrieved June 10, 2011 http://www. orlandotouristinformationbureau. com Human Resource Retention. Retrieved June 11, 2011 http://www. managementparadise. com/forums/human-resources-management-h-r/220439-employee-retention-universal-studios. html Management Paradise. Retrieved June 11, 2011 http://www. managementparadise. com/forums/company-profiles-news/221816-company-profile-universal-studios. html


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