Boomtown

Ms. K. is an assistant manager for an AutoServe service center in Boomtown, Colorado. Boomtown sits in the middle of a huge, newly developed coal field and a great deal of oil and gas exploration is going on as well. Boomtown has grown from 30,000 to 60,000 in three years and the unemployment rate in town is less than 3%. Those not working simply would rather not.

Ms. K.’s AutoServe store is normally staffed with three mechanics, two “grease monkeys” who do the less skilled work, and three tire changer/clean-up persons. The wages paid for these job titles are dictated from corporate headquarters in an effort to maintain common rates between all stores nationwide.

Unfortunately, the wages offered (although very competitive elsewhere) are well below what people can make in either the coal mines or with the oil exploration companies. The last mechanic (who made $35,000 a year) quit on Wednesday to go to work repairing diesel earth-moving equipment at $48,000 a year plus overtime. The store had also been unable to replace the grease monkeys and tire changer/clean-up persons. The last one quit a $9.00/hour job two weeks ago to work in the mines at $17.25/hour.

Ms. K’s boss, the store manager, has just given her the assignment of recruiting and filling the vacant positions. The store is losing business without employees and the manager would like the problem fixed quickly.

Respond to ONE of the following by 11:59 PM EST/EDT Thursday:

  1. How does this case illustrate the lack of HR planning?
  2. What strategic approaches could be used to recruit for the store?