Labour Market Need

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The oft-repeated explanation for these outcomes is a labour market need for migrant workers to fill jobs that indigenous workers reject (Fellini et al., 2007; Massey et al., 1998; Piore, 1979). However, this is not a spontaneous process and it is important to recognize the role played by labour market actors, particularly employers (or their agents) and the state (Bach, 2007; Rodriguez, 2004). Employers engage in active recruitment strategies to attract immigrant workers already in national labour markets or to recruit directly from abroad, often through employment agencies operating in the communities of origin (Fellini et al., 2007; Piore, 1979). In addition to meeting labour shortages, cost minimization is often cited as the…show more content…
Examining patterns of migration, Piore (1986) points to the changing share of manufacturing and services in total employment, labour market regulation and the changing motivations of migrant workers as important factors determining employer demand for migrants to work in secondary sector jobs. There are interesting parallels between segmented labour market analysis and current debates within the HRM literature. ‘Resource based’ theories of HRM and ‘business case’ logic are typically invoked to rationalize the employment of marginalized groups such as female workers, ethnic minorities, and increasingly migrant workers (Centre for Economic and Social Inclusion, 2004; Richard, 2000: 165–6). ‘Business case’ and ‘resource based view’ logics downplay the importance of macroeconomic and social context to understanding employer strategies. Instead, these contributions focus inwards on how the management of diversity fits with other HRM levers as part of a ‘soft’ HRM approach (see Dickens, 2005; Noon, 2007). The danger is, however, that business case rhetoric is not inconsistent with a more calculative, ‘hard’ approach to HRM, in which more sophisticated approaches to the development of HRM systems are absent. In the case of migrant workers, the celebration of a culturally diverse workforce in ‘business case’ or ‘resource based view’ terms typically involves stereotyping the perceived attitudes to work of different
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