Case Study – As Apple’s Store Expansion in China Strains Recruiting, U.S. Employees are asked to relocate
As Apple moves to fulfil its repeated promise to rapidly increase the number of retail stores in China, the initiative’s recruiting limitations are starting to show—Apple is asking U.S. employees to consider a relocation to China, to help fill managerial positions and maintain the company’s high standards for customer service. The plea for applicants outside China indicates a level of urgency that overrides the complexities of sending U.S. employees abroad. And yet, despite the complexities, Sr. VP retail and online stores Angela Ahrendts says about 200 employees from the U.S.from diverse background in terms of ethnicity, age and gender, as well as nationality have already offered to make the trip to China, indicating that the job offers may be lucrative. These candidates can be categorised broadly into two: American born Chinese and Indians.
Apple’s expansion into China is testing the company’s ability to find, recruit, hire and train employees infused with the company’s culture that promotes a high level of customer service.
The simple solution might seem to rest with the large pool of existing retail store employees in the United States and other countries. But there are hurdles, the first of which is language. Apple’s China retail stores fall mainly within a Mandarin-speaking geographic territory, but there are many local dialects within China that U.S. employees don’t likely speak.
A major factor for both the company and employees is a proper compensation package. It must take into account the sacrifices of working abroad, the exchange rate of the two currencies, income tax rates and the costs of housing. Apple might be providing a relocation and local transportation allowance, and paying for periodic visits back to the U.S., especially if the employee left behind a family.
A non-trivial consideration for employees working in China is health care benefits, including for unexpected illness or injury. But there might also be some Apple compensation for the long-term effects of living and working in cities with chronic air pollution above international standards.
In contrast if Apple considers recruiting local Chinese educated in the US Universities, this also requires going through all those phases that starts with HR planning and then providing exposure of the Corporate culture and conduct of Apple. But infusing Apple culture provides the rationale for paying a premium to current to U.S. employees. It will guarantee that Apple’s brand will be faithfully duplicated in China. And that’s an extremely valuable commodity that will ultimately lead to more success for Apple as it grows worldwide.
Write a 2,000-word report (you are allowed to go over or under by 200 words >10% of the overall word count) in response to the case study questions below:
a) What are, and what should be, the basic considerations and strategies of HR Apple in the case of such an approach of expansion - considering the productivity and performance of the organisation in line with diversity and transfer of knowledge??
b) Critically analyse the staffing strategies available to Apple in their expansion to China.
c) Provide three (3) justifiable recommendations for the most suitable staffing approach for Apple Inc.
In completing the formal business report, students are expected to:
a) Referencing : Incorporate the use of 12 academic sources (minimum) to support the discussion and use Chicago 16th edition referencing style. Failure to use a minimum of 12 academic sources will result in a penalty of 0.25 marks per missing source.
b) Word count: Adhere to the 2000-word limit (with a leeway of +/- 10%; does not include the cover page, executive summary, contents page or the reference list). Failure to adhere to the word limit will result in a penalty of 0.25 marks deducted for every 20 over or under the word limit.
c) Structure: Use a formal report-writing structure where numbered headings are utilised and the appropriate format used (cover page, executive summary, contents page, introduction, discussion, conclusion, recommendations and reference list)
d) Submission: Submit the assignment via Turnitin on Blackboard under the Assessments tab.
• A student must apply for an assessment extension on the Assessment Extension Form, as prescribed by the Academic Registrar. The form is available on the Forms page at http://students.curtin.edu.au/administration.
The student will be expected to lodge the form and supporting documentation with the unit coordinator before the assessment date/time or due date/time.
• If a late submission of assignment is accepted, students will be penalised by ten percent per calendar day for a late assessment submission (eg a mark equivalent to 10% of the total allocated for the assessment will be deducted from the marked value for every day that the assessment is late).
e) Academic writing: Use the conventions of academic writing:
• The assignments must be typed on white A4 paper with 1.5 spacing, and a 2.5cm margin at the top and bottom of the page, and on the right-hand and left-hand sides. You should use 12 point font for the text (14 point font for headings, if you like), Times New Roman (preferred).
• The assignments should be grammatically correct and well punctuated. As a tertiary level student, a high standard of written English is expected. Your assignments should be clear, concise, neatly presented, and easy to read. Failure to comply with these requirements will result in a significant loss of marks.