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Talent Acquisition and Retention in Social Enterprises: Innovations in HR Strategies


Abhishek Bhati


Indian Institute of Management Bangalore

Mathew J. Manimala


Indian Institute of Management Bangalore

February 13, 2011

IIMB Working Paper No. 328

Abstract:     
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 about a 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 resource 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, etc, leading to high attrition and increasing the cost of acquiring and training new employees. It thus, 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 employees. Collectively these strategies seem to suggest that social enterprises adopt a ‘partnership paradigm’ for managing their employees.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 29

Keywords: Social Enterprise, Social Entrepreneurship, HRM, Talent Acquisition, Talent Retention

JEL Classification: M13

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Date posted: April 25, 2011 ; Last revised: August 4, 2012

Suggested Citation

Bhati, Abhishek and Manimala, Mathew J., Talent Acquisition and Retention in Social Enterprises: Innovations in HR Strategies (February 13, 2011). IIMB Working Paper No. 328. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1820643 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1820643

Contact Information

Abhishek Bhati (Contact Author)
Indian Institute of Management Bangalore ( email )
Mathew J. Manimala
Indian Institute of Management Bangalore ( email )

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