This paper aims to explore the extent to which participation in a previous graduate recruitment programme affects graduates’ organisational affective commitment and their desire to remain.
With the support of a Portuguese organisation that annually operates a trainee programme to attract the best graduates from top universities, a questionnaire with human resource management (HRM) practices, affective commitment and turnover intention scales was used, with data collected from 168 recent recruited graduates representing two groups: graduates with previous participation in the trainee programme and graduates non-trainees.
Despite the company’s expectation that graduate trainees would present higher levels of affective commitment and lower intentions to voluntarily leave than employees recruited by traditional procedures, the t-test results show no significant differences between groups. However, correlations for both groups show a significant positive association between perceived HRM practices and affective commitment and a negative relation with turnover intention. These results suggest that placing a high value on HR practices leads to reinforcement of employment relations and a decrease in the desire to voluntarily leave.
The findings suggest the need for organisations to rethink their recruitment strategies and raise an interesting question with regard to organisational strategy: is it useful or fair to create two groups of graduates within the same organisation, because we may be promoting the development of two micro-cultures?
The study with this specific group is needed because of an increased implementation of trainee programmes all over Europe as a means of attracting graduates. The literature is scarce, focusing only on trainees’ attitudes compared to those recruited through traditional procedures.
Cesário, F. and Chambel, M.J. (2017), "A previous trainee experience: does it matter for retention of young graduates?", International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 270-281. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOA-02-2016-0977
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