A job to believe in: recruitment in the Scottish voluntary sector

Dennis Nickson, Chris Warhurst, Eli Dutton, Scott Hurrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


The voluntary sector is an important source of employment in the UK and is increasingly providing services previously provided by the public sector. However, the ability of the sector to provide such services is dependent on the quantity and quality of suitable labour. This article examines recruitment issues in seven case-study voluntary organisations offering social care in Scotland. Interviews were conducted with 137 managers and employees in these organisations. In addition, to assess potential labour supply, interviews and focus groups were conducted with careers advisers and potential employees. The findings suggest that, with a tightening labour market, uncompetitive pay and misconceptions about the sector, recruitment is a problem. However, job satisfaction is high for current employees, and potential employees whose values are commensurate with the sector might be attracted. The findings thus have relevance not just for the case-study organisations, but for HRM in the voluntary sector generally.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-35
Number of pages16
JournalHuman Resource Management Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008


  • voluntary sector
  • Scotland
  • employment
  • human resource management


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