Asda scours bingo halls for staff

Asda is scouring the nation’s bingo halls in a drive to recruit more staff
over the age of 50.

The supermarket giant currently employs 17,500 older staff but is looking to
increase that to more than 21,000 after benefiting from their high performance.

David Smith, Asda’s people director, said that older staff were more
reliable, enthusiastic and had better customer service skills.

"They bring a degree of maturity to the workplace and have great skills
when they are dealing with customers," he said.

Stores with higher numbers of older workers have a staff turnover rate below
the group’s average and absenteeism has dropped to a third of Asda’s national

The ‘Goldies’ campaign will see recruitment teams visiting bingo halls,
coffee mornings and pension queues advertising the benefits of returning to
work after 50.

As part of a package Asda offers three months of unpaid leave as well as
grandparents leave, which allows a week off for the birth of a grandchild.

The supermarket chain is also launching an in-store promotion campaign
across its 252 outlets using posters and shelf labels to encourage its over-50
customers to join as staff.

Testing times for recruiters

Asda has introduced a new
psychometric test into its recruitment procedure for retail staff to try to
improve customer service.

The test, developed by OPP, is being used for the first time to
recruit more than 400 staff for a new store in Dewsbury, which is opening on 20

Asda’s resourcing director, Philip Horn, said the online test,
which assesses prospective employees’ written communication and basic
calculation skills, is quick and easy to complete.

He said: "Our existing selection process, which focused on
looking for the ‘Asda personality’, only involved verbal interaction, and we
subsequently found that some employees were experiencing difficulties with
certain aspects of customer service.

"We expect our colleagues to be able to assess situations
and advise on which products would suit customers’ needs," he added.

The online test presents questions in the form of signs, labels
and tables to try to recreate information staff might have to interpret on the
shop floor.

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