Attracting Today's Educated Workforce: Opportunities and Challenges for Small Business Firms

Authors

  • Karen A. Froelich North Dakota State University

Abstract

Attracting quality employees is particularly critical for the small business; the increasingly required advanced skills of today's educated workforce present an additional challenge. This segment of the workforce is reputed to make job selection decisions based on lifestyle preferences that may disadvantage many small firms. This survey of 476 college graduates from 1979, 1989, and 2000 does not support new popularized views of job choice criteria. Results of the study suggest that small firms frequently possess numerous attributes highly valued by today's educated workforce - work challenge and variety, potential salary growth, congenial supportive co-workers, and more family-oriented atmosphere - that can be exploited in recruiting efforts. Important attributes that small firms need to improve upon include health insurance and pension plan benefits, and increased levels of autonomy. Overall, the study finds more opportunities than challenges for small businesses seeking to attract today's educated workforce.

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Published

2004-05-20

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Articles