1 Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave (PORTUGAL)
2 University of Minho (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN20 Proceedings
Publication year: 2020
Pages: 724-725
ISBN: 978-84-09-17979-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2020.0270
Conference name: 12th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-7 July, 2020
Location: Online Conference
Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) have difficulty in implementing policies and practices of human resource management (HRM). There are contextual variables that predict the existence or not of HRM practices in companies and their degree of formality. According to Jackson et al. (1989) the variables are: the size of the company, strategy, technology and the structure. Training in SMEs is described as informal and developed in the workplace, with little or no management involvement (Kotey and Sheridan, 2004). For Barber et al. (1999) structured training systems are more likely to be implemented in large companies than in small companies. Management tends to consider training as expensive and inoperative, rather than as a future investment, being small business managers more skeptical about the benefits of training (Wong et al., 1997). It is much more difficult for SME employees and employers to find time for training. Another relevant issue that limit the development of this HRM practice is that small companies sometimes find limitations in identifying and selecting the types of training they need, from the extensive set of offers on the market (Wong et al., 1997). Training is generally perceived as an unbearable luxury involving not only paid courses, but also the cost of lack of production (Kotey and Sheridan, 2004).

Cosh et al. (1998) present a set of antecedents that predict the use of training and development programs in SMEs. According to these authors, the determinants of training reveal that businesses in certain companies are more capable of providing training than in other companies. In this research, the authors found links between the probability of using training and a set of variables, namely:
• Background of innovation;
• Number of employees;
• Job growth;
• Existence of difficulties in recruiting new employees.

Cosh et al. (1998) found no connection between the maturity of the business and the likelihood of training, or between training and increasing business objectives.

The literature on training and development in SMEs suggests that business managers assess the value of training in their company in an informal way and tend to use several types of subjective assessments (Jameson, 1999).

The purpose of this paper is to identify the role of training and development in the context of human resource management in small and medium-sized companies, in particular:
• level of use of training and development practices;
• role of training and development in attracting and retaining talent;
• role of training and development in career management.

The perceptions of human resources directors / managers / technicians were collected through a questionnaire survey of 186 Portuguese SMEs. For the analysis and interpretation of the results, the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences program was used.

The results suggest that training and development is one of the most used HRM practices in SMEs and that it has a relevant role in attracting and retaining talent in SMEs. Although more than 50% of companies assume that they do not have career management practices, those that do assume that training is an integral part of the career development of an SME employee. As for the role of HRM in SMEs, for a large number of SMEs one of the functions is to manage the training of employees.
Training, SME, HRM, Research project.