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Employing Electronic Human Resources Management to Support Recruitment

Problem Statement

In spite of dynamic and technical innovations, Human Resources Managers (HRMs) in organizations find themselves in the midst of financial crises because HRMs fail to hire the right people to manage their workforce productively (Rahman, Islam & Khan, 2015). Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) have moderate electronic human resources management (e-HRM) functions where 62.1% of HRMs in these enterprises lack the knowledge of e-HRM implementation (Roman, 2017). The general business problem is that some HRMs require expertise with e-HRM functions to increase profitability (Hosain, 2017). The specific business problem is that some HRMs lack e-HRM strategies to support the successful recruitment of qualified employees.

Purpose Statement

The purpose of this qualitative multiple case study is to explore e-HRM strategies used by HRMs to support the successful recruitment of qualified employees. The targeted population will consist of at least 10 HRMs from four different organizations located in the southern and northern cities of Thailand. The participating HRMs are appropriate since they must have demonstrated success in the use of e-HRM for the recruitment of qualified employees. The implications for social change are that by improving recruitment and selection of qualified employees through the use of e-HRM functions, businesses will be able to implement cost-saving processes that could improve the profitability of an organization and result in investment in other projects, which reduce unemployment rates.

Nature of the Study

Researchers use three main research methods, qualitative, quantitative, and mixed (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, 2015).  The qualitative research method is used by researchers to explore the what, why, and how of a research problem (Yin, 2014). I selected the qualitative research method because I will explore the what, why, and how of a research problem, which are effective strategies for employing e-HRM recruitment platforms to select the best-qualified candidates.

Quantitative research methods involve hypothesis testing or other statistical techniques to examine the relationships or differences among variables (Rutberg & Bouikidis, 2018). A quantitative researcher requires statistical analysis of data, which would not be appropriate for this study because I will not use statistical analyses or numerical data to explore how HRM have implemented e-HRM effectively for recruitment and selection of the best-qualified candidates.

Researchers use the mixed method, which is a combination of the qualitative and quantitative methods, to investigate complex research questions (Taguchi, 2018). To explore the e-HRM strategies HRMs use to support the successful recruitment of qualified employees, the mixed methods approach would not be suitable due to the incorporation of analytical procedures to examine numerical data, which is the quantitative portion of mixed methods study.

The principal qualitative designs include case study, ethnography, grounded theory, and phenomenology. Researchers use a case study design to study an organization, group, or person to generate in-depth insights to understand the underlying issues of a phenomenon (Yin, 2014). A case study is suitable for this study compared to other qualitative designs as it has a level of flexibility that is not readily offered by different qualitative approaches, such as ethnographic, grounded theory or phenomenology (Yin, 2014).

Researchers use the ethnographic research design to explore the characteristics of a community culturally and from a holistic and all-encompassing view. Ethnographical studies involve researchers who lived among those whom they studied, to observe and talk to them to produce detailed cultural accounts of their shared beliefs, behaviors, interactions, language, rituals, and the events that shaped their lives. The purpose of the ethnographic research design is for researchers to study the culture of a group (Ellis, 2015). The ethnographic research design will not be suitable for the proposed study because I am not exploring the behaviors and ritual traditions of a cultural group. The grounded theory approach is used by researchers to identify context, causal, and intervening factors of a given issue under study for the discovery of a practical theory (Wiesche, Jurisch, Yetton & Krcmar, 2017). I do not intend to create or generate a theory making the grounded theory approach unsuitable for the study. A phenomenological researcher seeks to explore the meaning of experiences from participants’ subjective perspectives (Thompson, Grocke & Dileo, 2016). I do not intend to explore lived experiences of a particular phenomenon but explore multiple experiences in a real-world setting. Therefore, a phenomenological approach is not appropriate for the study.

Research Question

What e-HRM strategies do HRMs use in the successful recruitment of qualified employees?

Interview Questions

  1. What technology-related strategies does your organization use for employee recruitment?
  2. To what extent do you provide training to your HR department in the use of e-HRM tools to assist in employee recruitment?
  3. Based on your organization’s experience, how have e-HRM tools been effective in relation to the previous recruitment and selection process?
  4. What were the key challenges your HR department experienced in implementing the strategies and tools for using e-HRM tools to recruit qualified employees?
  5. What solutions has your organization used to overcome the key challenges experienced by your HR department in implementing the strategies and tools for using e-HRM to recruit qualified employees?
  6. What else can you share with me about the successful strategies your organization has used to support e-HRM the strategies and processes for recruitment and selection of employees?

Conceptual Framework

I will use the six-sigma framework designed by Smith (1993) at Motorola for this qualitative multiple case study. SME HRMs and business leaders could use the six-sigma framework to provide organizational leaders with structure, processes, and tools to improve the capability of their business processes (Devi, 2015). The six-sigma process has five interconnected phases: Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control (DMAIC), which are used to develop or improve the competitive advantage of a firm by increasing the number of innovations (Erturk, Tuerdi & Wujiabudula, 2016). I will verify the indicators of process improvement measured by benchmarking competitors and with the past performance of the firm to understand my study findings.

I will verify the six-sigma’s relevance to understand the processes for mentoring, training, and coaching of HRMs. I will identify the differentiated techniques, processes, strategies, and tools in six-sigma employed by the organizations to enhance the knowledge, skills, and abilities of HRMs. The advancement of the knowledge, skills, and abilities enables DMAIC teams to effectively lead and conduct improvement projects (Zu & Fredendall, 2009). The use of the DMAIC interconnected phases could also align with my study’s findings because it could help SME owners and HRMs to obtain expertise in e-HRM functions to accomplish recruitment and selection of the best-qualified applicants.

Significance of the Study

The significance of this study is that SME business owners and HRMs could benefit from my study’s findings through understanding how e-HRM could be used to support the selection of best-qualified employees.

Contribution to Business Practice

Empirical findings indicate that HRMs face several challenges when conducting recruitment of the best-qualified candidates (Zinyemba, 2014). First, HRMs face the challenges of recruiting and selecting candidates who are inexperienced and who may present false qualifications (Zinyemba, 2014). Second, some HRMs face the challenges of (a) the expenses for advertising, recruiting, orienting, and training employees with no guarantee of success, and (b) the increased time to review the applications of potential employees. I will seek to demonstrate the importance and necessity of e-HRM functions that could benefit SME business owners and HRMs to overcome the challenges of recruiting and selecting candidates and reduce the expenses for advertising, recruiting, orienting, and training employees. The organization may improve its HRM services through reduced cost and time during the recruitment and selection process (Khashman & Al-Ryalat, 2015)

Implications for Social Change

The implications for social change include the potential to identify how SME business owners and HRMs may improve e-HRM functions that could benefit business leaders, HRMs, employees, and job seekers. The job seekers could have a better platform to seek and apply for jobs in a more convenient way (Khashman & Al-Ryalat, 2015). The cost savings could improve the profitability of an organization and result in investment in other projects, which reduce unemployment rates in communities. Increased profitability might also result in firms investing more in corporate social responsibility within the societies they operate to effect general beneficial social change.


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