The impact of gender and profit margin on the duration of hiring process for professional service firms

Publication Date06 August 2018
Date06 August 2018
AuthorVikas Agrawal,Leigh Hartman,Clayton Rasberry,Gordon Arbogast
SubjectHR & organizational behaviour,Global HRM
The impact of gender and profit
margin on the duration of hiring
process for professional
service firms
Vikas Agrawal, Leigh Hartman, Clayton Rasberry and
Gordon Arbogast
DSIM/Management, Jacksonville University, Jacksonville, Florida, USA
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of recruiter gender and profit margin on the
duration of the hiring process in professional services firms (PSFs).
Design/methodology/approach In evaluating over 500 recruiting transactions in a PSF, a factorial
ANOVA was performed to determine if there is a significant interaction between recruiter gender and profit
margin on days it take to fill an open position.
Findings The results suggest a significant interaction exists between the recruiter gender and profit
margin variables in effect on days that it takes to fill an open position. At lower job position profit margins,
female recruiters were found to outperform their male counterparts. Conversely, at higher job position profit
margins, male recruiters appear to outperform female recruiters.
Research limitations/implications This research is focused on the duration of the recruiting process
and does not address the quality of candidate selection. An evaluation of the quality of candidate selection
contrasted with the time it takes to hire should be an essential consideration for future research.
Practical implications If job vacancies remain vacant at client firms for an extended period, this could
adversely impact the financial and reputational health of small PSFs. By focusing on key variables that
impact the recruiting timeline, management may be able to consider interventions that would improve both
the recruiting process and firms financial health.
Originality/value This study provides a unique contribution by focusing on the recruiting timeline,
recruiter gender, profit margin, and the resulting ability of a PSF to proactively manage its revenue.
Keywords Revenue management, Recruitment process, Gender impact, Duration of hiring, Job profit margin,
Professional services firms
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
Professional services firms (PSFs) are any organization or profession that offers customized,
knowledge-based services to clients. Unlike other businesses that manufacture and sell
products, PSFs sell only services. PSFs may include firms such as engineering, advertising,
consulting, accounting, and law firms. In addition, PSFs are firms that are in the business of
recuriting knowledge-intensive workers to satisfy workforce needs at their client firms.
Offering a service for sale is vastly different from selling tangible goods, and so too is the
path to success for such businesses. The unique nature of these organizations creates
management and leadership challenges that other companies dealing with tangible products
do not have to worry about. To be successful such PSFs must focus their efforts on
providing quality services that will help them attract more clients and subsequently,
increase their revenue growth.
This study specifically focuses on small PSFs that supply knowledge workers to
augment their customer firms (in this case government agencies) permanent workforce to
support the needed service requirements at the time desired. Services required could range
from scientific research support, technical services, information technology, accounting, and
financial services to armed security guards. Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) are the
Evidence-based HRM: a Global
Forum for Empirical Scholarship
Vol. 6 No. 2, 2018
pp. 153-165
© Emerald PublishingLimited
DOI 10.1108/EBHRM-10-2017-0055
Received 15 October 2017
Revised 31 January 2018
Accepted 9 February 2018
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
Hiring process
for PSFs

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