Job-matching and employee
diversity: an exploratory study
Geoff Ruggeri Stevens
Brighton Business School, Brighton, UK
Purpose – The investigation reported here aims to: adapt existing recruitment theory to add to tools
available to small business recruiters for job matching; provide job-speciﬁc scoring methods to help
employers in recruitment processes; and enhance the consideration of reasonable adjustment issues in
the possible employment of disabled individuals.
Design/methodology/approach – A total of 32 interviews were conducted on-site with managers
to devise and test templates combining person speciﬁcations with job characteristics, based on
managers’ judgements of what is important. The methods devised and used are an original adaptation
of repertory grid principles. Where there were disabled employees, indications of the employees’
success and difﬁculty were elicited.
Findings – A simpliﬁed derivative of repertory grid method to give a combined abilities/tasks
matrix was found usable and clarifying by respondents.
Research limitations/implications – The investigation was conﬁned to hotel and leisure small to
medium-sized enterprises in Sussex, UK. As they stand, the methods could be used in business sectors
beyond the sector to which the research reported in this paper has been conﬁned, but further work is
needed on resource consequences, and on the implications for state beneﬁts and related support in the
case of disabled applicants.
Originality/value – Results of the analysis could be used almost immediately by a company: for
future applicants, the company could make direct use of the completed matrix by scoring the applicant
on the matrix variables, superimposing the applicant matrix on the requirements matrix, and
calculating the percentage of desirable scores met.
Keywords Recruitment, Jobs, Disabled employees, Hotels, Leisure facilities, United Kingdom
Paper type Research paper
In the human resource management (HRM) literature, advice can readily be found on
how to recruit employees so as to match the content of jobs to the qualities of people to
ﬁll them, but most of the published advice is addressed to large businesses and often
will be unsuitable for small businesses. Furthermore, the advice, whilst good, does not
usually present tools and methods for direct use. A similar comment may be made
about employee diversity. Businesses large and small have found good reasons to
create and maintain diversity in their workforces but in the last decade, and especially
in the last two years, there have been various legislative actions to inﬂuence or
prescribe employee diversity. These actions call on small businesses to respond, not
only larger enterprises, but offer relatively little practical guidance on how to do so.
Notes on context and relevant literature 1: job matching
Major concerns of HRM are, after analysing the role or job to be performed, to specify
the attributes needed by a successful applicant (Plumbley, 1985; Herriot, 1989;
Montgomery, 1996). The seemingly independent needs, for recruitment purposes, to
describe jobs and to specify the desired characteristics of people to carry them out, will
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Journal of Small Business and
Vol. 14 No. 4, 2007
q Emerald Group Publishing Limited