Strategic recruitment and selection in Malaysian small and medium enterprises: unravelling the evidence of fit

Abraham, Mathew (2020) Strategic recruitment and selection in Malaysian small and medium enterprises: unravelling the evidence of fit. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Organisations that demonstrate effective human resource management (HRM) practices experience higher productivity from employees. The antecedent is to establish and implement human resource functions or processes that bring out the best in employees. Generally, larger organisations have more sophisticated and wellstructured HRM practices. The perception is HRM practices in large organisations are easy to replicate in small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Certainly, SMEs face many challenges unique to their business environment hence the solutions are specific to these challenges. Therefore, issues affecting people, in this instance HRM issues would require highly specific human resource process interventions to suit the SMEs needs. A very vital and highly specific element is the strategic recruitment and selection process in SMEs. Hence, this study focuses on the importance of strategic recruitment and selection practices in Malaysian SMEs and the significance of fit specifically person-job (PJ) and person-organisation (PO) fit. Literature indicates there is a lack of sufficient studies that look at the effect and application of PO and PJ fit dimension in the recruitment and selection function specifically in Malaysian SMEs.

This qualitative study encompasses the development of a priori themes drawn from literature as the initial fundamental guide. The first level a priori themes are the precursor in developing the initial a priori template. The main data collection methods used are in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. The research adopts the interpretivist approach infusing a practitioner-researcher viewpoint that embraces ‘sense-making’. It combines the practical rationality and utility of the problems of practising managers. Data collected is analysed using the combination of template analysis and qualitative analysis software encompassing the thematic organising and analysis of interview data.

The interpretation and understanding of the importance of PJ and PO fit among the SMEs when recruiting and selecting talent is ambiguous. Hence putting in place a structured human resource policy and the system is the biggest challenge. The final template produced five important first-level a priori themes; strategic considerations, recruitment practices, selection criteria, fit dimension and link-outcome between fit and retention. These five level one themes together with key sub-level themes serve as a guide for SMEs to implement a strategic and structured recruitment and selection process. An effective hiring system incorporates business strategy linked dimensions of PJ and PO fit in the overall process. Employee retention in SMEs tend to be higher because of the intrinsic job factors experienced by potential applicants in the hiring process. SMEs should consider using specific and systematic hiring-costing template that achieves cost-effective methods. Second, adopting a targeted recruitment and selection approach, for example, referrals, internships, sourcing from technical and vocational education or training institutions are effective methods for SMEs. Speed, simplicity and cost efficiency are strong drivers in SMEs recruitment and selection process. Hence using a highly focused recruitment and selection targeting applicants with specific trade based skills produces better PJ and PO fit. Ultimately, as a way forward the findings shape the foundation in developing a strategically focused recruitment and selection framework and template that facilitates SMEs to hire the best person that fits the job and the organisation.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Kaliannan, Maniam
Mohan, Avvari
Keywords: recruitment and selection, human resource management (HRM), small and medium enterprises (SME), person-job fit (PJ fit), person-organisation fit (PO fit), qualitative study, template analysis
Subjects: H Social sciences > HF Commerce
Faculties/Schools: University of Nottingham, Malaysia > Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Nottingham University Business School
Item ID: 59806
Depositing User: C.Abraham Mathew, Mathew
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2020 04:40
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2022 04:30

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