Title: Recruitment challenges in family firms: the effects of message content and type of applicant on organisational attractiveness

Authors: Isabel C. Botero; Christopher Graves; Jill Thomas; Tomasz A. Fediuk

Addresses: Aubry Group LLC, 253 N Ash, Wood Dale, IL 60191, USA. ' The University of Adelaide Business School, Adelaide SA 5005, Australia. ' The University of Adelaide Business School, Adelaide SA 5005, Australia. ' Aubry Group LLC, 253 N Ash, Wood Dale, IL 60191, USA

Abstract: Research suggests that family firms face big challenges when recruiting qualified non-family employees. In this paper we explore the effects of information about family ownership and organisational size on perceptions about a firm and attractiveness to a firm. One hundred and eighty seven participants (Undergraduate = 92, MBA students = 95) read one of four job advertisements created by manipulating information about organisational size (50 vs. 500 employees) and family ownership (explicit vs. implicit). Results indicate that explicitly communicating information about family ownership does not make a difference on perceptions about the firm and attractiveness to it. Information about organisational size affects applicant perceptions about job security, advancement opportunities, compensation, prestige, and organisational attractiveness particularly for MBA students. Implications of these results for research recruitment practices in family firms are discussed.

Keywords: organisational attractiveness; recruitment challenges; family firms; experimental research; family firm perceptions; message content; applicant types; qualified employees; non-family employees; family ownership; organisational size; undergraduate students; MBA programmes; master's degrees; business administration; MBA students; universities; higher education; job advertisements; explicit ownership; implicit ownership; applicant perceptions; job security; advancement opportunities; compensation; prestige; Australia; management practice; family businesses; competiveness; business performance.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMP.2012.050314

International Journal of Management Practice, 2012 Vol.5 No.4, pp.343 - 360

Published online: 14 Nov 2012 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article