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Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal (2012) . Vol. 4, No.

A Study of Public Sector Organizations with

Respect to Recruitment, Job Satisfaction
and Retention
Safdar Rehman
Director (HR), Super Solutions Consultancy, Canada

In todays competitive environment Human Resource Management has

become a valuable part of each organization especially for public sector
because HRM policies are directly linked with the overall job
performance. The main purpose of the paper is to study the recruitment, job
satisfaction and
job retention policies implied by the public sector of Pakistan. By deep
analysis of problems and challenges study suggest the implementation of
various HR
policies to enhance the job performance resultantly improved job satisfaction
and lower turnover. Previous studies on recruitment, job satisfaction and job
retention have been performed mainly in western context. The distinction
of this paper is that it studies recruitment, job satisfaction and retention
practice s merely in public sector of Pakistan. The paper proposes a
conceptual framework linking various psychological factors and strategic
HRM perspectives, examining how various strategies adopted by
organizations help in recruiting and retaining talented emplo yees.
Hypotheses were developed with the help of framework. The study was
conducted in 15 public sector organizations and a sample size of 568 was
selected. Five point likert scales were used to get the responses. Mean and
standard deviation were calculated to know the relationships of variables and
at last bi -variate test was applied to conclude.
Job Satisfaction,
Performance, Public Sector Organizations




Paper type: Research Paper

Purpose of this study was to analyze the major challenges in the area
recruitment, job satisfaction and job retention faced by public sector
organizations of Pakistan, the impact of strategies have been adopted far to
overcome these issues on image of the organization. For this purpose public
sector regulatory authorities and organizations being regulated by these
authorities were selected. Various studies are available that address the
challenges of recruitment, job satisfaction and job retention, but many of
them are not directly related to problems and challenges faced by public
sector to recruit and retain the best employees to be an employer of choice.
The closest areas in which some amount of literature is available are:
Employee retention in relation to customer retention (Jamal & Adelowore,
2008; Yavas, et al..,
2003) and quality service (Redman & Mathews, 1998) and how training,

Business and Management Research: An International Journal (2012) . Vol. 4, No.
recruitment and development reduces
turnover rate.

pp. 76-88


Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal (2012) . Vol. 4, No.
There is a well-developed best practice HRM literature which argues that employment
practices oriented to employee engagement deliver win-win returns in employee motivation,
commitment, retention and quality of work. The study highlights recruitment, job
satisfaction and retention efforts of Public sector of Pakistan to become an employer of choice
in todays competitive environment.
According to Rehman Safdar et al., (2010) Pakistan is an emerging economy in south Asia and
rapidly trying to meet challenges of modern world economy and maintaining the momentum of
economic constancy. The regulatory authorities claims to be an employer of choice due to its
heavy investment in its employees as it is offering a number of opportunities of personal and
professional growth i.e. Change Management Programs, Training of new staff and benefits like
excellent working conditions, job satisfaction, superior leadership, and conducive
environment for growth. Employees have an opportunity to excel their entire potential and
overcome the challenges in their career paths.
Literature Review
Recruitment, knowledge, skills and abilities
Taylor & Collins, (2000) studied recruitment as one of the most critical Human Resource
which was vital for the organizational success. Boudreau & Rynes, (1985) studied that it was
not so easy for organizations to attract potential employee as the organizational attraction
influenced the effectiveness of successive selection. Barber, 1998; Chapman, Uggerslev,
Carroll, Piasentin
& Jones, 2005 conducted an extensive research in the area of recruitment and
attraction during the last 25
Barber, (1998) discussed the recruitment
function more closely related to the
strategic human resource planning. From the organizations perspective, developing
a recruitment strategy involves three basic decisions, determining the target
population, determining the applicant source, and deciding how to attract applicants to the
organization. Recruiting is not just a game of human numbers anymore. For HR
professionals, this means going a step further than developing a recruitment plan. It means
working closely with management on shaping organization culture and looking closely at the
job attribute preferences of its current and future employees. One liability of the HR
professional is to converse the attributes of a particular job undoubtedly.
Rynes, Bretz, & Gerhart, 1991 discussed that HR professionals have to play a vital role in the
overall recruitment process as they have to communicate information about the job itself and
the organization. Barrick & Zimmerman, 2005 further studied that source of information
about the job and the organization influenced similar to perceived person-job fit and subsequent
attraction and job retention. Wanous, 1977, Breaugh, 1992; Breaugh & Starke, 2000 studied
that the fundamental assumption was that precise and pragmatic job information enables
applicants to think about the degree of similarity between their knowledge, skills and abilities
(KSA) and the other job requirements.
Phillips, (1998) and Meglino, Ravlin, & De Nisi, (2000) studied that precise and pragmatic job
information during the recruitment and selection process was linked with positive work
outcomes like job satisfaction, low turnover and enhanced job performance. Applicants who
felt a better fit between their knowledge, skills and abilities (KSA) and their job requirements
were likely to accept a job offer. Beadles et al. (2000) found a positive and significant
correlation between job performance and job retention. Campion (1991) found that inescapable
turnover was characteristically viewed as critical to an organization. Most of the researchers
have supported the notion that turnover decreases organizational performance.

Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal (2012) . Vol. 4, No.
Job satisfaction
One of the most used research definition of job satisfaction was narrated by Locke in 1976,
who defined it as a pleasant or optimistic arousing state consequential from the evaluation of
job or job experiences (p. 1304). Inherent in Lockes definition was the significance of
both affects, or emotion and cognition or thoughts. Whenever we imagine, we have belief
about what
we consider. On the contrary, when we feel, we assume about what we believe. Cognition
and influence are thus inextricably related in psychology and even in biology. Thus, while
the jobs most important factor was both thinking and feeling involved.
Fried & Ferris, 1987; Parisi & Weiner, 1999; Weiner, 2000 studied that foremost job satisfaction
area was dependent on the nature of the job itself, which integrated job challenges, autonomy,
skill variety and job scope, best predicted overall job satisfaction, and other important
outcomes like job retention. Thus, to comprehend what made people to be satisfied with their
jobs, nature of job itself was one of the first places for researchers to spotlighting. There was
an emerging interest amongst the human resource researchers and professionals to find a degree
to which employees were satisfied with their jobs, and more usually in comfort at job. Marks,
(2006) discussed a positive linkage between employees happiness and productivity.
Previously, Layard in 2005 has studied this interest in employee happiness which reflected in
other fields, especially within the new economics of happiness literature
In order to explore the association between HR practices and job satisfaction, there has been
extensive debate in the literature over the sound effects of HR practices on job
satisfaction. Guest, (2002) identified that job satisfaction as a key variable mediating
or intervening any positive link between human resources ( HR ) practices and
organizational performance. Gree n, (2006) studied that in disparity, researchers suggested
that in UK, the implementation of human resources practices has been related with higher
levels of job intensity resultantly lowered the levels of job satisfaction. Appelbaum, (2002)
noted that human resource practices adopted as part of a high-performance work system
were not mainly premeditated to increase job satisfaction, in practice, they might or
might not have such effect. It might be the case that human resource practices impact
on job satisfaction such as satisfaction with sense of achievement or satisfaction with
salary. Hence, future research is required to assess the actual effects of human resource
practices on individuals job satisfaction and overall job satisfaction. Human resource practices
were not the only factors influencing job satisfaction. Job effort, for example, could be seen
as one other important factor, hence, higher work intensity might be expected to lower
reported job satisfaction, other things being equal. Green, (2004) found that higher work
effort in Britain, in conjunction with decreasing task discretion, was a key factor behind the
fall in reported job satisfaction among British workers over the 1990s. In addition, job security
has been viewed as an important influence on satisfaction with work, with higher job
security positively related to higher satisfaction with work.
Job retention
Regular or permanent employees were investigated in the most of the literature on job
retention. Causes, effects and results of turnover were addressed in the majority of the studies.
turnover has been defined as the total number of employees hired during six months to
replace those were dropped from the workforce. Employee retention was also defined as the
to keep daily wager employees in service at a temporary housing facility beyond a one
year period. Several studies by Boles, Ross, & Johnson, 1995 and MacHatton Van Dyke, &

An International
(2012) .
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1997 found
that and
rate wasResearch:
found related
with employees
1and demographic, by and large job satisfaction, work environment, motivation, external
absenteeism and job performance.


Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal (2012) . Vol. 4, No.
Beadles et al. (2000) found a positive and significant correlation between job retention and
organizational performance. Campion (1991) found that inescapable turnover was
characteristically viewed as critical to an organization. The notion that turnover decreases
organizational performance was supported by the most of researchers. Mobley (1982)
suggested that turnover might interrupt job performance when an employee who intended to
leave became less efficient and effective. Shaw, Gupta, & Delery, 2002 found empirically
that voluntary turnover was associated with the inferior organizational performance. Other
researchers suggested that turnover could improve performance. One probable advantage of
turnover was the exclusion of poor performing employees (Price, 1989). Furthermore, Staw et
al; (1986) proposed that turnover might enhance performance if most of the turnover was by
employees with longer or very short tenure.
Price, 1989 and Abbasi & Hollman, 2000 discussed that turnover was an importunate dilemma
in the organizations. Abbasi & Hollman, 2000; Beadles, Lowery, Petty, & Ezell, 2000 noticed
this in every type and size of organization and at every organizational level. Abbasi and
Hollman (2000) stated that turnover was one of the most significant causes of declining
productivity and slumped morale in both the public and private sectors (p. 333).
Turnover was also very expensive for the organizations. It was estimated in a study by Abbasi
& Hollman in 2000 that American industries incurred $11 billion annually as a result of
voluntary and involuntary turnover. This cost was due to termination, advertising, recruitment,
selection and hiring. Turnover also produced ethereal costs, such as declining morale, and the
interruption of social and communication patterns as noticed by Mobley, in 1982. Beadles et
al., (2000) stressed the study of turnover as a well-researched area which was one of the
major interests in organizational behaviour
Job Satisfaction and Job retention relationship
Cohen 1993; Hom and Griffeth 1995 and Allen, Shore & Griffeth 2003 discussed the evidences
from theoretical as well as empirical studies which indicated that turnover intentions
a reliable indicator of actual voluntary turnover and were heavily influenced by job
satisfaction. For instance, Hom and Griffeth (1995) noted that employees decided to leave
their organization
when they become dissatisfied with their Jobs. Likewise, Meyer and Herschovitch (2001)
argued that when employees were dissatisfied with their jobs, their desire to remain in their
started to erode. In fact, initial consequences of these negative affects, in the form of low job
satisfaction were turnover cognitions.
Research by Allen and Griffeth (2001), Allen et al. (2003), and Chiu and Francesco
(2003) described that job satisfaction was a strong predictor of turnover intentions.
Elangovans (2001)
extensive research reflected that job satisfaction predicts both turnover intentions
and commitment and in return commitment predicts only turnover intentions. It was enlig
htening to note that, according to Jaros et al. (1993) and Wasti (2003), organizational
commitment depicted the strongest negative relationship with turnover intentions.
Van Breukelen, Van der Vlist, and Steensma 2004 , Abbott, White, and Charles 2005;
suggested through extensive review of literature that organizational tenure influenced job
attitudes and turnover intentions. For instance, Steers (1977) strongly agued that tenure was the
single best predictor of turnover because it represented an employees past behaviour and
summarized his or her relationship with the organization. The attraction selection attrition
hypothesis presented by Schneider and Reichers, (1983) suggested that employees were
attracted and selected by organizations that satisfied their needs and desires and long term and
short term goals. In such cases where there was a good fit, it was expected low levels of
attrition and longer tenure. In cases of mismatches, however, it should be expected that high

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Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal (2012) . Vol. 4, No.
correlate with climate perceptions, job satisfaction, organizational commitment and
turnover intentions.
Recruitment and retention of knowledgeable employees has become a global issue. In
increasingly competitive global economy, the success of an organization is dependent on its
ability to attract, retain, and engage high-value employees having skills, performance, and
motivation helpful in achieving organizations strategic objectives (Schweitzer & Lyons, 2008).
The required skills to be effective both in terms of profitability and performance varied time by
time. Organizations need grow fast, efficient, profitable, flexible, adaptable, and future-ready
and without these qualities, it is almost impossible (Schuler & Jackson, 2001). The public
sector is somehow different, according to Zheng, (2009); Budhwar et al., (2009), services
come only from people and for success of service organizations attracting and retaining
high quality employees has become a key problem. Recruitment is one of the major
functions of HRM. It helps the manger to attract and select best candidates for the
organization. Parry & Wilson, (2009), stated that recruitment includes those practices and
activities carried out by the organization with the primary purpose of identifying and attracting
potential employees. As success of service sector is depending upon the human capital so
selecting and recruiting the right people into the service business is crucial to achieve business
success (Zheng, 2009).
Theoretical Frame Work and Research Hypothesis
The preceding literature review suggests the research model which reflects the association of
practices with the dependent variable job performance with an intervening role of the
and than employs psychological factors i.e. Job satisfaction and job retention. The
demographic variables are gender, age, and tenure in the organization, job level, Education, and
H1. Each psychological factor (i.e. Job satisfaction and job retention ) has a positive
relationship with each other.
H2. Each psychological factor (i.e. Job satisfaction and job retention) has a positive
H3. Each psychological factor (i.e. Job satisfaction and job retention) has a positive






HR practices

KSA (Knowledge,
Skills, Abilities)


Global Business and Management Research: An International Journal (2012) . Vol. 4, No.

Figure 1: Theoretical Framework


Sample and Data Collection

This research employed a 5-point Likert scale questionnaire to measure all items. The study
was conducted in Rawalpindi / Islamabad, the one of the largest twin cities in Pakistan.
sending the questionnaires to the fifteen ( 15 ) targeted organizations a pilot survey
was conducted in three organizations from the selected sectors so that validity of the
questions could be checked. The employees were asked to rate statements about questions in
a likert scale from 1 to 5, where 1 means, strongly disagree; and 5 indicates the strongly
with the statement. The questionnaire for the pilot survey included 45 questions and
10 background questions; the respondents were also asked to evaluate the language and
understanding of the statements and the length and the depth of the
A pilot study was carried out among 45 employees from Pakistan Telecom Authority,
Electric Power Regulatory Authority and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan
to test the questionnaire. A number of employees highlighted the importance of the
questionnaire, as it is capable to confine many diverse sides of being an employee. After having
composed results from the questionnaire, a through interview was held with these employees.
As a result, the wording and spirit of some questions were altered. The pilot study helped to
revise the questionnaire and prepare it for the final survey. In addition seven more questions
were added to capture the diverse aspects in which perceived recruitment process reveals.
Results and Discussion
Respondents average age was 47 % (25 to 35 years), and 74 % were men. Their average
in present organization was 26.1% (1 to 2 years) and 32.9% (3 to 5 years). The education level
of the respondents was 1.2 % (PhD), 66.4 % (Masters degree), 5.6% (Engineering), 18.3%
(Graduations) and 6.9% (Intermediate). The job status of the respondents was 64.4 %
(Permanent), 31 % (Contractual), 2.8% (Deputation), and 1.6 % (Daily wagers), job category
of the respondents was 28.7 % (Technical), 47.5 % (managerial), 23.8% (others). The job level
of the respondents was 4.9 % (Top management), 44.9 % (Middle management), 23.2%
(Supervisors) and 26.9 were non-managerial. Mode of the appointment of respondents was
% (Direct recruitment), 28.2 % (promoted) and 4.2 % were on
Variable measures by principal component
In an attempt to determine if the variables measuring instrument contained any underlying
factors, a principal components analysis with an Obliman rotation was conducted. The
factor, labelled
Recruitment KSA accounted for 3.40% of the variance. It consisted of knowledge, skills
and abilities and matching of job demand with the level of eligibility. The second factor,
Job performance accounted for 3.20% of the variance. It consisted of six performance
items that measured an individuals ability to achieve the organizational goals and
enhancement of performance on job, monetary and non-monetary performance awards
and objectivity of the performance evaluation system. The third factor, labelled job

accounted for 2.92% of the variance. It consisted of six items that measured an
individuals satisfaction upon sense of fulfilment, internal satisfaction, peers support, referral
to the others
and organization support. The forth factor, labelled job retention, accounted for 2.77% of
the variance. It consisted of six items that measured an individuals ability to retain his or her
job on
the basis of pay, expectations, monotony of the job, other job options and changing of the
Job performance
In this study, job performance was measured in two dimensions i.e., working performance
and monetary performance. Working performance was defined in terms of employee
achievement of the goals of organization, employee productivity and objectivity of

evaluation system. Monetary performance was measured in terms of monetary and nonmonetary benefits of the employees (Figure 1).
Job performance was measured with 6 items on a 5-point likert scale, respondents were asked
respond to the different aspects of their jobs like performance enhancement on job, objective
achievement and consistency with the goals of the organization, objectivity of the performance
evaluation system, monetary and non-monetary benefits. The measure has good reliability
properties. Cronbachs alpha value was 0.77
Recruitment, knowledge, skills and abilities
Recruitment KSA was measured with 5 items on a 5-point likert scale, respondents were
asked to respond to the different aspects of their skills, knowledge and abilities. The
provides detail of items which has been used to measure Recruitment. The measure has good
reliability properties. Cronbachs alpha value was 0.73
Job satisfaction
Job satisfaction was assessed Respondents indicated the degree to which they were satisfied
with the six factors inner satisfaction, respect, sense of fulfilment, peer support, cared
by the
organization. Five point likert scale was used. 1 (strongly disagree), 2(disagree), 3 (neither
agree nor disagree), 4 (agree) and 5 (strongly agree). Cronbachs alpha was calculated to
test the
reliability of the data and was found to be
Job Retention
Retention was measured with 6 items, respondents were asked to respond, on a 5-point
scale, 1 (strongly disagree), 2 (disagree), 3 (neither agree nor disagree), 4 (agree) and 5
(strongly agree). The Appendix- A provides detail of items which has been used to measure job
retention. The measure has moderate reliability properties. Cronbachs alpha value was 0.57
Table 1:








































Table 2: Number of items and means and standard Deviations of the variables N= 568
S. No.
Number of
Recruitment KSA
( Knowledge, skills and Abilities)

Job Performance




Job Satisfaction




Job Retention



Table 3: Association between distinct variables by using Pearson Correlation Coefficient in

all organizations

1 HR Practices


2 Recruitment















Job Performance
Job Satisfaction

5 Job Retention

** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level


* Correlation is significant at the 0.05

As indicated above in table 3, positive correlations of recruitment, KSA was found with job
performance r=0.47 (p<=0.01) within high effect size, job satisfaction r=0.19 (p<=0.01)
within low effect size and job retention r=0.08 (p<=0.01) within low effect size. There was no
negative correlation. The positive correlations of job performance was found with job satisfact
ion r=0.52 (p<=0.01) within high effect size and job retention r=0.23 (p<=0.01) within low
effect size. There was no negative correlation. The positive correlations of job satisfaction was
found with job retention r=0.34 (p<=0.01) within medium effect size. Correlation between job
retention and job performance was r=0.23 (p<=0.01) which was moderate statistically
significant. Correlation between job satisfaction and job retention was r=0.34 (p<=0.01) which
was moderate statistically significant.
This shows that job satisfaction although affect the other independent variables but its
impact on Job Performance, dependent variable is much greater. This also means that if
employee is more satisfied with their jobs they will be more committed with the
organization ultimately their chance of leaving the organization will be low. If the
employee is not leaving the organization and also he is committed with the organization,
he will produce high quality material will increase the job performance of employees. Job
satisfaction is also positively correlated with job retention (0.340). This result indicates
that these practices can improve their productivity and will improve their performance.

Bi-Variate Analysis
Chi-square value (11.47) shows a significant association between age of the respondents and
outcome variables (i.e. job satisfaction, recruitment and retention) with public
organizations opportunities as per table 3. The Gamma value also shows a strong
positive relationship between the variables. Its mean higher the age of the respondents, higher
will be the
satisfaction with public sector organizations opportunities. Chi-square value (7.36) indicates a
significant association between gender and outcome variables (i.e. job satisfaction,
and retention) with public sector organizations opportunities. The Gamma value shows a strong
positive relationship between the variables. Its mean male employees were more satisfied
Chi-square value (17.22) indicates a significant association between tenure in
organization and outcome variables (i.e. job satisfaction, recruitment and retention) with public
sector organizations opportunities. The Gamma value also shows a strong positive relationship
between the variables. Its mean higher the tenure, higher the satisfaction with public sector
organizations opportunities. Chi-square value (45.40) shows a highly significant
association between education and outcome variables (i.e. job satisfaction, recruitment and
retention) with public sector organizations opportunities. The Gamma value shows a strong
positive relationship between the variables. Its mean higher the education of the respondents,
higher will be the satisfaction.
Table 4: Association between demographic and outcome variables (i.e. Job
satisfaction, recruitment and job retention)
Association between age and outcome
variables (i.e. job satisfaction,
recruitment and job retention) with
public sector organizations opportunities.
Association between gender and
outcome variables (i.e. i.e. job
recruitment and job retention) with
sector organizations
between tenure in
organization and outcome variables (i.e.
job satisfaction,
recruitment and job retention) with public
sector organizations opportunities
Association between education and
variables (i.e. job satisfaction,
and job retention) with public
sector organizations
* Correlation
is significantopportunities
at the 0.05 level


















This study reveals a diverse aspect of a practical operation of human resource management in
Pakistan. It shows that human resource planning, the most critical element of personnel
function is emerging. The task of acquiring sound and credible employees belongs to
the Human

Resources Management (HRM). Since, HRM is a known field under the concept
of management, it is expected that several theories, models and tools have been
developed to promote its manifestations.
In an increasingly competitive and turbulent market, organizations are largely dependent on
their employees for success. The challenge of identifying the right man for the right job,
individuals to fill public sector positions is to be met. A large number of potential workforce is
available in the employment market but the challenge for organizations is to identify and select
those candidates who could perform effectively and efficiently. The research highlighted that
the starting point in any recruitment process is an accurate analysis of the job. This
important aspect of human resource management was being ignored particularly in public
sector jobs. Selection and the assessments chosen for the selection process should be done on
the basis of the requirements of the job. Knowledge is essential on part of the organization in
terms of what constitutes good job performance; what kind of knowledge, skills and abilities
are required and what measures would be effective in assessing these.
Various psychological factors like Job satisfaction and job retention has a positive and
contribution in making a public sector organization, the employer of choice, recruitment and
retention policies. Statistical analysis reflects that all hypothesis H1, H2, H3 developed in study
were proved. The employees who perceived the public sector organizations as a place with less
opportunities to move ahead and have a poor governance system with poor level of
professionalism were more intended to leave the organization and are reluctant to get a job
there in todays competitive market as compare to satisfied respondents. The study has
proved that more psychologically satisfied employees will retain in organization and will help
to attract new talent pool and will develop the image of organization as an employer of choice.
The study was in Pakistani context and it proved that Pakistani public sector organization
can become an employer of choice for all intellectual candidates by providing psychological
satisfaction to its current employee, and more able to retain them. Moreover, this will also ease
the recruitment process.
Generally, the findings of this study were found reliable with the studies co nducted in
western countries on the contribution of human resource practices related to the job
performance. Consequently, the worth of present study lies in the reality that it offers a
requisite rationale of theoretical models built on the basis of studies conducted in the western
organizations. The present study illustrates the efforts looking for establishing a linkage by
developing a specific theoretical framework to demonstrate the progression by which the HR
practices, job performance and outcome variables (i.e. job satisfaction, recruitment and job
retention might be correlated and by testing it with empirical data from a non-western
country. It should be emphasized that the likelihood of HR practices- job Performance
relationship has not been expansively explored in the South-Asia or even in the western
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Corresponding Author
Safdar Rehman can be contacted at: msafdarrehman@gmail. com

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