Date of Award


Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (Research)


Cork Institute of Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Angela Wright


Employee productivity is a critical element of business success. Employee engagement has a significant impact on an employee’s level of motivation and productivity. Due to the importance of engaged employees, this research will focus on engagement levels and what common motivators are driving engagement for employees within a recruitment agency. Specifically, the context of this study is focused around the researcher’s place of work, a small to medium sized recruitment agency with offices in Cork and Dublin, that recruit nationally for the life sciences sector. The researcher adopted a mixed methods approach, based on a sequential explanatory strategy for the purpose of this research case study. This method involves conducting quantitative research first which is then followed by qualitative research. The findings from both quantitative and qualitative research are combined through the use of triangulation to give an overview of the research topic. The researcher completed online surveys with recruitment consultants and semi-structured interviews with the senior leadership team to answer the research question of this study. This method allowed the researcher to gain a better insight into managements perception of engagement levels within the organization and compare them to the consultant’s perception of engagement, as well as how engaged they currently are in their role. Due to ethical considerations, participants for both the online surveys and semi-structured interviews have remained anonymous.

The researcher’s findings reveal that while employees overall are generally engaged, there are particular areas within the organization that need to be addressed in order to keep employees engaged and productive. These key areas include reward and recognition, career progression and communication. Research findings from this study also highlight that there is a slight disconnect between the Senior Leadership Team and the consultants in particular areas which may be problematic for the future. Engagement has been found to be beneficial within an organization regarding employee retention and productivity. It could be said that this is even more critical within a recruitment agency given the general nature of a high staff turnover. It is essential for senior management to have an insight into what keeps employees engaged in order to positively impact on the business across a number of areas. This study will be of benefit to senior management by providing a crucial insight into how employees perceive engagement and what engages them personally. This study will also benefit Eluman Resource practitioners and researchers who may not have studied employee engagement on a smaller scale such as an in-depth case study.

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