Research interest increased substantially last 30y; understanding in certain areas increased but researches still failed and methodologies weaknesses (failure to measure key variables) made it difficult to clear conclude from them, so, there’s a mix of optimism and pessimism: research increased and progress in understanding the effects of recruitment activities but some progress in understanding recruitment process not. The recruitment process is complex, which has been frequently overlooked, recruitment literature is narrow and future research must be stimulated (e.g. interaction of recruitment variables and their link with other variables)
Much research focused on effects of recruitment sources, recruiters and realistic job previews (all rec. activities) but more attention should focused in entire process to understand whether employer’s recruitment activities will accomplish its objectives
Establishing recruitment objectives (1st phase of rec. process) and strategy development. The process has 3 phases, as certain recruitment activities influence the number and type of individuals who apply for and whether applicants withdraw during recruitment process and certain recruitment actions influence whether offer is accepted.
The factors hypothesized to explain the relation activities-outcomes (intervening/process variables) are useful when deciding about activities to undertake (strategy development) as there’s a need to understand why certain activities result in certain outcomes. Generate potential applicant attention with message vivid in nature, that convey unexpected info, personally relevant info and conveyed in face-to-face conversations, communications should be understandable and credible, generate initial interest to message effectiveness and be aware of the effects of activities relatively to the accuracy of applicants’ job expectations and degree of self-insight of own capabilities and desires.
The activities likely to influence process variables ultimately influence several outcome variables and can be seen on recruitments sources: (little recent data on frequency of usage) where why sources differentially associated with outcomes can be explained by Realistic Information Hypothesis (persons recruited via certain sources likely to have more accurate info about what job entails to enable them to make a more informed decision whether to pursue a job) and Individuals Difference Hypothesis (sources differ in types of individuals they reach and result in different outcome), on recruiters (why affect job candidates via informativeness, personable and credible)
Signals of unknown org attributes: recruiter personableness signals how people may be treated if hired, how likely is to receive the offer, female/minority signals diversity (value system +attractive to certain) and on realistic job previews. Also, other message attributes are important, besides whether message is realistic: breadth of topics, specificity and timing of communications.
The review of recruitment research
On Recruitment sources, the Realistic info and individual preference hypothesis aren’t consistently supported by empirical data. The failure to support implies validity concern but some methodological limitations/weaknesses due to the samples used and major data from new employees instead of applicants. Experienced hires evaluated more highly in technical/interpersonal skills, realism of expectations and likelihood of success but new college graduates higher ratings for willing to learn new so above-averages ratings appear on informal referrals, newspaper ads, private search firm and direct application while below-average are college placement services, professional associations and online employment exchanges
On Recruiters, the applicant perceptions of recruiters’ behaviors/attitudes are linked to expectations of receiving an offer and then to the probability of accepting it but the effects of recruiter experience and training are mixed. Nevertheless, there’s considerable evidence that more personable and informative is linked to beneficial outcomes but some studies didn’t find it and others link of modest magnitude, leading to inconsistent findings. Job incumbents are perceived as more credible than full-time corporate recruiters.
On RJP, there’s no effect for turnover but positively affect satisfaction. Somewhat pessimistic conclusions on whether RJP medium makes a difference, having prior exposure moderates the impact of receiving it or higher quality applicants less likely to pursue job openings. Also, economic conditions made self-selections unlikely in some RJP studies because difficult labor market probably reduced an individual’s freedom to reject a job offer. Many RJPs didn’t involve communication of specific info as applicants wanted. As creating an RJP can be expensive, there’s an alternative, the expectation lowering procedure (ELP) that involves an individual participating in a workshop.
On other topics, firms spend considerable money in recruitment advertising but there’s little research, the site visit also has little research and mixed findings as entering expected job attributes as predictor variables led to no effect on applicants’ ratings of organization attractiveness or likelihood of accepting. The timing issues stated that being timely is important but few studies (some of them contradictory) are premature to attach too much significance; nevertheless, long delays between phases of process were common and applicants often drew negative inferences about it as they affected the willingness to accept offers; most marketable job seekers often saw delays as reflecting something was wrong with the organization.
In summary, research increased substantially but it’s poorly designed, narrow in focus and not grounded in theory. Recent reviews are somewhat pessimistic and criticisms are valid and we still don’t know a great deal abut why activities using certain sources have certain effects; so, future research must appreciate the complexity of the recruitment process. The existing literature has inconsistent results but is critical that recruiters be informative and personable and RJP and signals employers may unintentionally send to applicants are important.