Recruitment and Retention in Front-line Services: The case of childcare

M. Carroll, M. Smith, G. Oliver, Sirin Sung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This article highlights how problems of recruitment and retention in front-line services create a particular challenge to traditional HRM models and solutions. Private day nurseries make an interesting example of the challenges facing managers in the service sector as the combination of a feminised workforce, a price-sensitive service, public-private competition and state regulation create particular difficulties. We report on a study of 33 day nurseries involving interviews with managers and employees over an eight-month period. Our findings show that childcare providers have to cope with recruitment and retention problems associated with high-end interactive service provision compounded by gender segregation and small business characteristics. Our analysis of employer and employee perspectives examines labour market issues affecting recruitment, and categorises the reasons for staff turnover into internal 'push' factors, external 'pull' factors, outside factors and functional turnover.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-74
Number of pages16
JournalHuman Resource Management Journal
Issue number1
Early online date23 Dec 2008
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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