International Handbook of Entrepreneurship and HRM
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International Handbook of Entrepreneurship and HRM

Edited by Rowena Barrett and Susan Mayson

This invaluable reference tool has been designed in response to the growing recognition that too little is known about the intersection between entrepreneurship and human resource management. Paying particular attention to the ‘people’ side of venture emergence and development, it offers unique insights into the role that human resource management (HRM) plays in small and entrepreneurial firms.
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Chapter 18: The Effect of Small Firms’ Recruitment Practice Portfolio Composition on Recruitment Success

Ian Williamson and Jeffrey Robinson


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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