This paper provides an overview of the Walt Disney Company, particularly its recruitment and selection process. In addition, three intercultural issues are separately identified, the identification of which can lead to recommendations for improving this process.
Introduction: Company Overview
The history of the Walt Disney Co company began with a small animation studio founded by the Disney brothers – Walter and Roy Disney. The foundation took place in 1923, and at the beginning of March 1924, the first animated film was released (Wasko, 2020). Since then, the company has begun to actively develop, releasing classic cartoons for children, adventure films for teenagers and adults. Today, the Walt Disney Company is a conglomerate that not only shoots and produces cartoons and family movies. Through a series of acquisitions, Walt Disney Co is now represented not only in film but also on television, streaming services, record labels, consumer goods, and amusement parks worldwide (Wasko, 2020). Television and radio broadcasting is not limited to children’s audiences – the company also owns, for example, the sports holding ESPN.
Introduction: Company Overview
The company’s mission reflects its main business guidelines: technology, innovation, entertainment. The Walt Disney Company’s mission is to entertain, inform and inspire people worldwide through unparalleled storytelling, reflecting the iconic brands, stories, creative minds, and innovative technologies (Walt Disney Co – Our Mission, 2021). The company employs about 203 thousand employees worldwide – compared to last year due to the pandemic and restrictions on visiting public places, the company lost almost 20 thousand employees, or 9% (Macrotrends – Disney Number of Employees, 2021). The reductions affected absolutely all large companies around the world. However, whether there will be a short- and long-term recovery trend remains to be seen.
International Recruitment & Selection
The process of attracting people promptly, in sufficient numbers, and with the appropriate qualifications to apply for work in an organization is recruitment. Even at the local level, this process has many critical aspects. The employer must consider all laws on health and safety, safety, insurance obligations, adherence to vacation schedules, and more (Hamza et al., 2021).
Labor market conditions and broader issues can govern the price of wages and the magnitude of supply and demand. International recruitment includes, in addition to legal issues, cultural and social aspects and characteristics. The selection of candidates is a negative recruitment process because candidates who meet the requirements are only offered a job, and unqualified candidates are denied opportunities. The selection process aims to select the most suitable candidate whose contribution will be most valuable to the organization (Kanagavalli et al., 2019). In an international organization like Walt Disney, opportunities for recruitment increase, but the selection process becomes more complex.
At Walt Disney, the recruitment process takes place in several steps. The first involves sending a job application form and takes place remotely. The second involves a telephone conversation with the answer to several basic questions. A large mass of marks will be obtained in the third stage, which involves passing specific exams for various qualifications required for the position. Upon completing the three stages, the participant will have a face-to-face interview in the company, where questions about experience and necessary practical skills are already specifically clarified (Ingelsson et al., 2019). Finally, the selected specialist undergoes training to get to know the company in detail, deeply immersing himself in its history and current tasks. It should be borne in mind that each participant is selected not only for their qualifications but also for life principles and social adaptation since the company is actively involved in social responsibility.
The phased passage of the selection of candidates allows simultaneously processing a relatively large number of incoming forms and achieving careful control and understanding of which person will hold the position. The only drawbacks of this approach are the long time it takes to complete all the stages for each vacancy and the need to constantly check the relevance of the issues of the assessment center.
Walt Disney Co is primarily a media company; so much attention is paid to social skills. Representatives should follow current trends, respect human rights, and encourage inclusiveness, especially given that the company’s media products are educational. Given the international experience, Wal Disney Co needs to apply it in its creations to convey the core values of humanity, especially to young viewers.
The cross-cultural challenges faced by international companies have similar trends. First of all, it is worth highlighting the language barriers, as well as the resulting understanding of cultural values. Professional communication can be limited and ineffective due to these barriers. In addition, different cultures have different attitudes towards professional etiquette (Jain & Pareek, 2019). Considering the different approaches and working conditions dictated by law in different countries, it can lead to conflicts in an international company. Integration in teamwork can be complicated by prejudice and stereotypical thinking about specific members of other cultures (Jain & Pareek, 2019). The social responsibility of any large company is to define its policy, etiquette, and mission in such a way as to avoid all kinds of conflicts on this basis.
Understanding cultural values, especially a market that is new to the company, is essential in the context of the Walt Disney Co. Once, having opened an amusement park at Disneyland in Paris, the developers did not pay enough attention to the peculiarities of European culture, not adapting the park for visitors, as a result of which the park began to grow in debt. Despite the uniqueness of the service, the contradiction lay precisely in the intercultural challenge that the company faced and failed to cope with.
Since then, integration into intercultural approaches and inclusiveness has become one of the company’s benchmarks, reflected in their creativity: more and more, the company began to produce cartoons based on oriental and Latin fairy tales and stories (Khan, 2021). By applying cross-cultural integration at the stage of recruiting and selecting employees, the company can become more attractive to representatives of different nationalities because of its approach and progressively maintaining professional ethics within the team.
Other challenges that a company can improve are the emphasis on the equality of different cultures and the maintenance of a uniform professional etiquette that reflects the company’s inclusiveness and core values. Cultural equality will ensure that all employees are equally likely to be heard within the team and concerning management. Achieving this equality is possible through a fair appointment of wages, which will depend only on the employee’s professional success. The hiring process must consider the specifics of the law and the culture of work, which the company must adopt to the work process itself.
This kind of adaptation supports exceptional professional etiquette, which is aimed at supporting innovation on the part of employees, encouraging the representation of different cultures, and reflecting these values in the products and activities of the company.
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Ingelsson, P., Eriksson, M., & Lilja, J. (2019). Can selecting the right values help TQM implementation? A case study about organisational homogeneity at the Walt Disney Company. Total Quality Management & Business Excellence, 23(1), 1-11.
Jain, T., & Pareek, C. (2019). Managing Cross-Cultural Diversity: issues and Challenges. Global Management Review, 13(2), 23-32.
Kanagavalli, G., Seethalakshmi, R., & Sowdamini, T. (2019). A systematic review of literature on recruitment and selection process. Humanities & Social Sciences Reviews, 7(2), 01-09.
Khan, S. (2021). Disneyland Paris: Financial Difficulties. SAGE Publications: SAGE Business Cases Originals.
Macrotrends – Disney Number of Employees. (2021). Web.
Walt Disney Co – Our Mission. (2021). Web.
Wasko, J. (2020). Understanding Disney: The manufacture of fantasy. John Wiley & Sons.