Maximising the credibility of realistic job preview messages: The effect of jobseekers’ decision-making style on recruitment information credibility

Yu-Lun Liu, Kathleen Keeling, Konstantinia Papamichail

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Recruiting the right talent is crucial, particularly in sectors, such as the retail industry, with a high turnover and low commitment levels. In today’s job marketplace, jobseekers receive recruitment messages from various sources. Recruiters are increasingly concerned about the effectiveness of their job recruitment messages. Previous research has indicated that recruitment information credibility is critical to mediating a jobseeker’s willingness to join an organisation. However, research on how to maximise the credibility of job recruitment messages has not led to conclusive results. Taking an individual-differences perspective, this research presents two scenario-based experiments to explore how retail-trade jobseekers respond differently to experience-based information that is provided by a company-controlled source depending on their decision-making style. Study 1 (746 participants) shows that when the message is presented in the employee’s tone (staff word-of-mouth, SWOM-formed) and contains employee descriptions and opinions, satisficers perceive the message to be more credible. Maximisers, on the other hand, are less likely to be affected by how the message is formed. Study 2 (351 participants) reveals that the joint effect of job-type and the provider’s background information moderated satisficer-style but not maximiser-style jobseekers’ perceptions of credibility. While satisficers are more likely to perceive an employee’s tone (SWOM-formed) message as credible when the message presents a match between the background of the employee and the job type under consideration, maximisers are not affected by this joint effect. The study has theoretical implications that explain the divergent results in the existing recruitment-message studies, and has practical implications for recruiters who are seeking to maximise their candidate pool and increase the credibility of their recruitment messages.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1330-1364
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number7
Early online date6 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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