Talent Acquisition and Retention in Social Enterprises
Volume 1, Issue 1 (2011), pp. 39–53
Pub. online: 30 September 2011 Type: Article Open Access
30 September 2011
30 September 2011
Over the years there has been a phenomenal growth in the number of social enterprises in India. This is partly a consequence of a new policy of the government to gradually withdraw from social development activities. The gap thus created is being filled by social enterprises. A social enterprise can be a for-profit or not-for-profit venture engaged in income-generating activities with an agenda of bringing positive change in the society. While social enterprises are engaged in the development of people, it is rather paradoxical that they experience a variety of problems with respect to the management of human resources within their enterprises. It is common knowledge that social enterprises perennially struggle with various critical human resources issues such as getting employees at low rates of compensation, providing growth opportunities for employees within the organization, retaining talent especially in the middle management, providing clearly defined roles and tasks to employees, leading to high attrition and increasing the cost of acquiring and training new employees. Thus, it becomes critical for social enterprises to think out-of-the-box and try a variety of innovative strategies to overcome these problems. This paper discusses a few such innovative HR strategies adopted by social enterprises to attract and retain talent, such as offering jobs to people with vision and value congruence, enhancing the credibility of the organization through brand building, providing opportunities for personal growth, creating a sense of ownership among employees through participation in decision making, creating sense of ownership among employees by giving equity shares, creating entrepreneurial opportunities within the organization, finding employees from among beneficiaries, attracting employees to serene lifestyle in peaceful and scenic location and providing attractive fringe benefits to the employees. Collectively these strategies seem to suggest that social enterprises adopt a ‘partnership paradigm’ for managing their employees.