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Broadening Partner Benefits to Improve Recruitment and Retention Among LGBT Employees in United States Institutions of Higher Education

PAQ, Vol. 40 No. 1, (2016)

Many universities in the United States have responded to calls for incorporating the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) population into diversity management. universities, however. Universities that have lagged behind may face challenges recruiting LGBT employees. In contrast, There is notable variation in response across major public research Attraction-Selection-Attrition and Spiral of Silence theories suggest that organizations actively welcoming LGBT employees may improve employee recruitment and retention. Organizations may address LGBT employee needs through domestic partner benefits. Using semi-structured questionnaires with human resources personnel at several universities, this study examines how and why domestic partner benefits and alternatives affect recruitment and retention of LGBT employees in public organizations. Findings reveal that domestic partner benefits are important for successful LGBT recruitment and retention and may provide opportunities for improved voice. Soft benefit alternatives were found mainly at universities without domestic partner benefits and offered primarily as good will gestures. Theoretical and practical implications, including contemporary diversity management discussions and organizational performance, are discussed.

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