The influence of the internal stakeholder view on recruitment practice – a Swiss and German case study
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The human resource management department of organisations is facing more and more challenges. Those challenges are partly caused by the beginning demographic change and the so-called ‘war for talent’ that puts strong pressure on the recruitment tasks of human resource managers. New approaches and perspectives are needed to face this situation. This study looks at the stakeholder theory and brings it together with the recruitment function of human resource departments. The stakeholder theory has already been studied and applied in several fields of business, but not very intensively in human resource management. The literature demonstrates that the work has just begun on developing human resource systems that take advantage of relationships of organisations with their external stakeholders and information that is obtained through those relationships. However, within the field of human resource management, stakeholder management has never been studied regarding organisations’ recruitment function. The aim of this study was to explain how and why the adoption of a stakeholder perspective may influence the recruitment of an organisation. For that, the perceived influence of the internal stakeholder perspective in regards to recruitment and employer branding as well as risks, benefits and further potentials were investigated. A qualitative research approach was chosen for this study. This allowed the author to collect rich information to find answers to the research questions. Two organisations were selected for a multi-case study. In the first phase, a document analysis in both cases was conducted. This formed the basis for the second phase where internal semistructured in-depth interviews with a broad selection of employees were run. The analysis of both cases has demonstrated the legitimacy for the choice of methodology for this study. This methodology allowed for a deep insight into the recruitment activities of the organisations and the involvement of their employees and stakeholders. From the collected data, stakeholder maps for recruitment were drawn. A strong perceived influence of the internal stakeholder perspective on the success of recruitment activities and the employer branding of the organisations was found. This study contributes strongly to the literature as it addresses the named gap. Furthermore, it suggests forms of visualisation of complex stakeholder networks in recruitment. It also raises related benefits, risks and opportunities connected to the stakeholder perspective for recruitment and therefore sets the basis for further discussions.