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Chapter 18: The Effect of Small Firms’ Recruitment Practice Portfolio Composition on Recruitment Success
18 The eﬀect of small ﬁrms’ recruitment practice portfolio composition on recruitment success Ian Williamson and Jeﬀrey Robinson Introduction One of the most diﬃcult but important goals for many small ﬁrms is to locate and hire new employees. A recent Conference Board survey of leaders of small and mid-size US ﬁrms found the scarcity of qualiﬁed employees to be the most often cited threat to business growth, and this was identiﬁed by almost 50 per cent of those surveyed (Muson, 2001). Consistent with these ﬁndings a UK Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development survey found over 40 per cent of small ﬁrms did not receive any applications for some vacancies (Anon, 2005). Yet, despite the importance of employee recruitment to the growth and success of small ﬁrms, there are still many questions about how small ﬁrms can eﬀectively recruit a high-quality workforce. To date, the vast majority of the recruitment research has focused on large organizations (Barber et al., 1999; Williamson, 2000). However, because of their greater ﬁnancial resources, social standing, and formalization of recruitment practices, large ﬁrms are likely to use diﬀerent recruit methods than small ﬁrms (Barber et al., 1999). Thus, there are reasons why prior recruitment research based on large ﬁrms may not generalize to the case of small ﬁrms. Past research examining small ﬁrm employee recruitment has often only focused on describing the types of practices used by small ﬁrms to hire employees (for example Barber, 1998; Barber et...
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