Case | HBS Case Collection | October 2004

Sales Force Training at Arrow Electronics (A)

by Jason R. Barro, Brian J. Hall and Aaron Zimmerman

Abstract

In the mid-1980s, Arrow, the world's largest electronics distributor, implemented a college recruiting program to hire salespeople. The program was part of an effort to increase the professionalism and skill set of the sales force in an industry where few salespeople had college degrees. After an expensive and thorough training program, many of the new college grads hired were poached by Arrow's competitors for higher salaries. Arrow was ultimately unsuccessful in persuading the college grads to stay, and the recruiting program ended after five years. In 1997, CEO Steve Kaufman decided to start a new college recruiting program, determined not to repeat the mistakes of the past. A rewritten version of an earlier case.

Keywords: Human Resources; Compensation and Benefits; Recruitment; Retention; Selection and Staffing; Salesforce Management; Competition;

Citation:

Barro, Jason R., Brian J. Hall, and Aaron Zimmerman. "Sales Force Training at Arrow Electronics (A)." Harvard Business School Case 905-041, October 2004.