Does the type of job matter? Recruitment to Australia's Northern Territory

Dean Carson, K Coe, K Zander, Stephen Garnett

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)


    Purpose: The aim of this paper is to synthesise three separate but similar studies into the motivations of accountants, engineers, and nurses to come to Australia's Northern Territory. Gordon's job structures model and the labour force development implications of staples thesis are to be used to provide a view of the differences between types of jobs. Design/methodology/approach: Separate surveys of accountants, engineers and nurses registered in the Northern Territory were conducted in 2006 and 2007. Similarities in design between the studies allowed comparisons to be made regarding responses to questions about motives to move to the Northern Territory. Comparisons between the job groups were made on the basis of responses to individual motives, and a principal components analysis was used to identify groups of motives. Findings: Nurses were more likely than engineers to be motivated to work with indigenous people and by their own family and social issues. Accountants were similar to engineers with regards to working with indigenous people, and similar to nurses with regards to family and social migration motives. Practical implications: Growing the professional workforce in the Northern Territory is a prominent government policy objective. This study shows that different approaches to recruitment need to be taken with workers in different professions. Originality/value: One of the weaknesses in existing academic literature on recruitment and retention of professionals in rural and remote areas is a lack of studies comparing rural migration motives of labour employed in different types of jobs. This study covers those aspects of the field.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)121-137
    Number of pages17
    JournalEmployee Relations
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


    • Australia
    • Government policy
    • Professional associations
    • Recruitment
    • Rural regions


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