Southwest Airlines HR Programs and Corporate Strategy

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How did the specific HR programs (recruit, select, train, performance management, etc.) fit with, and support the Southwest corporate strategy at the time of the case?

Southwest had an edge over its competitors because of its people and their people management. The culture practiced at Southwest ensured progress towards their primary goal of customer service and low cost. The HR programs at Southwest were based on the preserving the values and special culture of Southwest Airlines (SWA).

Recruitment: Very Selective

• Southwest looks for candidates with creative minds to fit in their corporate strategy of customer service

• It emphasizes on peer recruitment to conduct easier background checks and offers free-space pass to employees who recommend candidates to fill in critical positions

• It involves customer while interviewing flight attendants to further screen and check for their compatibility with the company’s spirit

• SWA’s manager calls the rejected candidates and provides counselling to help them keep up their self-esteem

Selection: Very thoughtful

• Selection process consists of application forms, phone screening, group and three additional interviews, a consensus assessment and a vote

• The key components of selection are effective performance and behavior

• 35 existing top pilots were interviewed to identify common characteristics (for example team player), in order to select new pilots based on those characteristics

• The most important quality that the company looks for, is the right attitude in candidates to fit their culture unlike expertise or skills

Compensation and benefits: Comparatively Modest

• The pilots and flight attendants are paid by the trip as the leadership believes that the airpl...

... middle of paper ...

...ld’s largest low-cost carrier now, by deploying the above strategies

Works Cited

[1] "Southwest Airlines' Seven Secrets for Success." Wired.com. Conde Nast Digital, n.d. Web. 4 Mar. 2014.

http://www.wired.com/cars/futuretransport/news/2008/07/portfolio_0708

[2] "Southwest Airlines Reports Record Fourth Quarter And Full Year Profit; 41st Consecutive Year Of Profitability." - Jan 23, 2014. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Mar. 2014. http://southwest.investorroom.com/2014-01-23-Southwest-Airlines-Reports-Record-Fourth-Quarter-And-Full-Year-Profit-41st-Consecutive-Year-Of-Profitability

[3] "Workperks." Southwest Airlines Careers. N.p., n.d. Web. 4 Mar. 2014.

http://www.southwest.com/html/about-southwest/careers/workperks.html

[4] "Southwest Airlines." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 3 Apr. 2014. Web. 3 Mar. 2014.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Southwest_Airlines

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