Objective and Scope: The aim of this dissertation is to gain an understanding of recruitment and selection practices in the Irish IT sector. With the proliferation of technology, SMEs in the IT sector are a major economic driver. In Ireland, SMEs account for $10 billion annually and employ more than 900,000 people. However, research on recruitment and selection in SMEs is scarce and – given the numerous challenges and accelerating competition – SMEs face, it is ever more important for them know how to allocate their limited resources most effectively to find and recruit the best talent, since human resources is the life blood of any company. This research, consequently, aims to fill the gap in the literature regarding recruitment and selection in SMEs and seeks to identify ways SMEs can improve their recruitment and selection to attract and motivate employees, with a focus on millennials, the generation now entering the workforce. Ultimately, this study intends to provide SMEs with actionable insights and recommendations that they can implement to increase recruitment effectiveness.
Methodology: This study is based on a qualitative analysis of interviewees with technical participants involved in recruiting in four different SMEs in the IT sector based in Dublin.
Results: The interviewees reveal many insights, some of which are in accordance, some of which are in contrast to the consensus in the literature. Among the many issues that we identified, the two most important ones are the importance of cultural fit and the value of a strong founding team. Hiring for cultural fit is important particularly for SMEs, as a strong culture forms the foundation for the company’s long-term vision. On the other hand, a strong team is valuable for its role in building a culture, for the people it attracts, for its impact on the company’s reputation, and – finally – as a foundation for the company’s most important recruitment instrument, its own network. Author keywords: Recruitment and selection, SME, IT sector