Tesco Jobs

Thursday, July 5th, 2012 - Tesco Jobs

Tesco Jobs

Last week, after we did Asda Jobs, we have had so many requests that I do the other big retail companies that I mentioned, so here this week is Tesco Jobs.

Tesco background

As I said last week, one of the things that always amazes me about the least successful jobs seekers, is that they never do research on companies that they apply for” “Oh, I do research!” Many of  those who spoke to me this week admitted that they do not even read beyond the organisations jobs portal, or even the Wikipedia page. Yet they wonder why they are still job seeking….

After being demobed from the First World War in 1919, Jack Cohen began to sell surplus groceries from a stall at Well Street Market, Hackney. The TESCO brand first appeared in 1924, after Cohen bought a shipment of tea from partner T. E. Stockwell: first three letters of the supplier’s name (TES), and the first two letters of his surname (CO), forming the word TESCO. The first Tesco store was opened in 1929 in Burnt Oak, Edgware, Middlesex, but did not expand greatly until:

  • 1947: Floated on the London Stock Exchange
  • 1956: Opened first self-service store opened in St Albans
  • 1956: Opened first supermarket in Maldon in 1956

Having now both the capital and systems to be the lowest cost operator, Tesco grew organically through acquisition, buying other regional operators and then changing them over to the Tesco brand and system, until it owned more than 800 stores.

It’s most memorable takeover was that of Dundee-based William Low in 1994, which in beating Sainsburys allowed it to acquire 57 stores in Scotland.

Before Asda reacted by expanding under a team lead by Archie Norman, Tesco took the lead that they still hold in the UK retail market thanks to a team lead by Lord MacLaurin, in which Terry Leahy was the marketing director. From 1993 the team had been investigating a replacement for Green Shield Stamps, and came across DunnHumby who had developed a barcode-based customer tracking system. After trials in 1994, MacLaurin commented: “You know more about my customers in 30days than I know in 30years!” Tesco today is still the market leader, greatly in part due to information gained from the Clubcard.

The fast expansion under MacLaurin and then Leahy (who introduced Tesco Metro, and used the information from Clubcard to add associated services like TescoBank), means that today, Tesco has a footprint from Japan through Asia and Eastern Europe to the UK, and has also started to grow in the western United States thanks to it launch of Fresh N’Easy in 2010. The current theory is that for every £7 spent on the British High Street, at least £1 is spent in Tesco.

However, presently the press and City are somewhat critical of Tesco. The fast expansion and high profitability under the old management is replaced by profit warnings, and withdrawls from certain global markets. Others – such as Asda and the German low-cost retaillers of Lidl and Aldi – have adapted more quickly to the post-2008 economic climate. But Tesco has new management in place, and is again investing heavily in its UK store base, creating new employment opportunities. Its management traning scheme is still seen as one of the best in the UK.

Tesco Jobs portal

Tesco has its own jobs portal, which can be found at http://www.tesco-careers.com/

It’s bright, white with mainly blue writing and grey buttons. There is realtively little red and the blue is weaker, so it looks less striking than their stores. On the day I visted the main photo looked like a “stock image” of a young couple strolling down a city street having just got engaged, which with graduate season on us was focused on part of the graduate jobs portal. Really not sure personally that’s a great first choice photo, but thankfully there are some real employees with real stories down the side bars that highlight current jobs that they focus on/want to hire.

The layout is much busier than many of the others jobs portals and job applications processes that we have reviewed, and this is reflected in the topline options:

These headers should tell you a lot about where they are looking to recruit, and where they are not.

None of these options has a drop-down menu, so you have to click through each to find out more. This then explains the jobs portal webpage layout, where by the top menu and side bars stay consistent, while the main central photo and core page text changes, with a small navigation template in the top left side bar. This made me more confused, as when I clicked into the “About Us” page – expecting to read about Tesco – that main image now was advertising a Productivity Programme manager, with the “About Us” text below it (Note: I clicked back on the page a few times, and the chosen job advert chnaged each time). Other portals generally answer the question that the tab suggests, not pose job seekers with jobs. The design hence personally seems created to make you apply over answering your questions as a job seeker.

Is it well organised? The balance of the screen is on getting you to apply over information that I suspect most would conclude was behind that tab. Yes, the information is all there to make a great job application, but it is not well laid out or easily findable/accessible. There is a “Did You Know” section, but I found it dated – lots of 2005/2006 dates, which makes the information appear dusty.

I conclude that’s why there is an FAQ tab at the top as opposed to an option in the page footer, which itself is a bit too wordy inside the unclear web navigation.

Every Little Helps

As you read through the portal, you will find the phrase “Every Little Helps” smattered around on a regular basis. It even has its own section under “Visions and Values” within the jobs portal to explain it further. Every Little Help is explained as:

At Tesco, the philosophy behind Every Little Helps is at the very heart of everything we do. It’s not just a marketing slogan, it’s what makes us different.

Job Applicants Note: picking up on approach and philosophy is as important in job application as knowing that you have the right SQE. “Every Little Helps” is a strong identifier at Tesco, so you need to understand it.

Tesco Jobs Application

Lets now apply for a job. For the purpose of this exercsie I will look at retail jobs.

I started in the top tab labelled “Application Process” which is actually under a URL labelled recruitment – poor SEO. I am also meet with another “big photo job opportunity” for a security analysts position in Welwyn Garden City – this is getting frustrating now, as well as boring!

In summary, I have to say that its the least useful Job Application Process guide I have come across in a while. It doesn’t reflect the size, scale and shear brand value of Tesco and why people would want to work for them. In fact personally, it is far less enticing and clear than some small regional coffee shop chain job application processes that I have seen and reviewed. Very disapointing.

Job Seekers Note: I now know why – according to Google Adwords – there are 4,400 people per month tapping in the exact words Tesco Jobs Application Form. It’s about as clear as mud to find/navigate!

So, for clarity, here’s the process:

All this confusion seems to have come about, because the main jobs portal needs updating, and a corporate choice to move the careers advice and actual jobs application process to a series of separate jobs portals per division. For instance, if you are a graduate and are looking for graduate jobs, then there is a separate Tesco Graduate Jobs portal, which is far clearer and has URL’s that reflect the far clearer and better labelled tabs. The interesting thing on reviewing each of these portals, is not only do they reflect that division, but also have different job application procedures.

Where Do You Fit In

Here’s the problem with the main jobs portal. The actual information that most job seekers and job applicants really want is sat under the tab labelled “Where Do You Fit In?” which is under a URL labelled You. Secondly, it starts out with the following text:

At first glance, finding your perfect role at Tesco could seem a bit daunting – but here’s the interesting bit – because we’re pretty big, there’s bound to be a role to suit.

Tell me something that I don’t already know!

Tesco Jobs Apply Online

Lets get back to applying for our instore retail job! Firstly, go to the dedicated Tesco Stores Jobs Portal. Select the tab “Application Process” and it outlines the Tesco Jobs application process:

  1. Go to the Jobs Search tab, and find a job
  2. Apply online
  3. You will hear back within a short period of time (Note: any idea on how long or in which form?)
  4. If successful, you will be invited for an interview
  5. You will also be given an opportunity to “have a go” at working on the shop floor. This will give you the opportunity to decide if Tesco is right for you and if we think you are right for Tesco
  6. You will then be given a decision within 10days

I then tried searching for a store job within 10miles of the Cardiff area:

  • The format of the search form is very clear (first thing I noted that was far superior to that of Asda)
  • I was looking for all retail jobs within a 10mile radious of Cardiff
  • The display initially shows a Google map, with coloured pins – I still don’t know what the colours mean, and there is no obvious explanation
  • 28 jobs appeared in a clear list below the map, graded on distance from my selected postcode
  • I choose the first, a Fresh Food Assistant – Shift Pattern 01 – Cardiff Roath Metro – South Glamorgan, reference: 2241 FF FX1
  • The layout within is clear, precise, and makes clear the required attitude, SQE and what will be expected of you (Note: I checked a few jobs, all equally as clearly laidout and explained)
  • At the bottom of each page is a RED “Apply Now” button. This will take you to the Tesco Jobs application portal, with the details of that job already filled-in (Note: Tesco use CandidateManager.net software underlying the portal to manage the jobs application process)
  • The first thing you will be met with is confirmation that: you can work in the UK (plus a list of supporting documents); can work the required hours; and are located no more than 30miles from the store. Confirm the three Yes/No answers (Two Yes, then one No)
  • At this point, on five occasions, I got a fail! Having selected YES on the first two and NO on the third question, I got a rejection: why? Because the combination of CandidateManager.net, the webpage layout and my browser on the laptop that I was using meant that actually I was selecting the NO answer for all three! It also seemed to remember my IP address, so which ever job I then applied for on that computer, I got rejected for
  • Moving computers to a desktop got me through! (Job Applicants Note: don’t apply via a small sub-15inch screen laptop or a smartphone. You may be rejected)
  • Having passed the three initial questions, the portal then confirms that they would like you to apply – click YES
  • You will then be met with what looks like a long form. At the top are all the normal detail requirements, a legal section covering convictions, and then two references. Then there is section labelled “Additional Information” where you can add something that you may feel would enhance your job application
  • There are then a series of multiple-choice screening questions. I won’t give them away, but if you read and understood the section on Every Little Helps, then if I tell you that they are mainly customer service orientated, I am not giving much away/guiding you in the right direction. There were 17 such questions in my job application for a bakers position, but not sure that a baker with experience would be required or even be trained to man a checkout?
  • Lastly, you are asked to confirm to submitting your data as accurate under the Data Protection Act, and the next steps – now including potentially a group selection exercise – are also briefly outlined. Press submit!

Tesco Jobs application: summary

After a frustrating ponder through the out of date main Tesco Jobs portal, the application for a retail job was relatively easy and painless.

But I don’t think that the job application process adequately reflects the Tesco brand, or the desire of many to work there. I’d even go as far as to say it errs on the side of detering job applicants.

The choice to have different portals for different divisions means that the main jobs portal has been neglected. Its once logical tabs have been serially adjusted for each new sub-jobs portal, but its guide is wowfully out of date. I would suggest that its made simpler, and clearly explains that it is a general guide to job application for Tesco Jobs, and if you want to apply for a job in X division, click here.

The integration between then the sub-portals and the underlying job application manager was then dispointing in execution. Its a simple fix, and some decent laboratory testing should have shown that up. But if you don’t correlate what are inevitable updates at text and software level between employer, web designer and application provider, these computer-level job applications fails happens far, far too regularly.

I think Tesco is a great place to work. But the current jobs portal set-up doesn’t reflect this, or put them on a par with their competitors. As a recruiter, I’d suggest this will eventually mean that the flow of talent will go elsewhere. Sorry Tesco, could do so much better – 5/10.

Good Luck!


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3 Responses to “Tesco Jobs”

  1. Dave Swyers Says:

    Great read, I’ll be sharing the information!

  2. Linda Albert Says:

    Really great post nice work i love your work and it’s really helped me in my research. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Peter Sjerven Says:

    Very educational thank you!

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