Recruitment Information Source, Content and Organisational Attractiveness: The Role of Jobseekers Decision-Making Style

  • Yu-Lun Liu

Student thesis: Phd


Recruitment is a mission-critical process for human resources management. Due to the high turnover rate and lack of specific skill requirements, the retail sector has an acute need to hire new employees to fill vacancies. Therefore, recruiting a relatively large number of new employees in a limited period of time is crucial for companies in the retail industry. Existing studies have suggested that by designing recruitment activities and utilising appropriate recruitment sources to promote and announce a job, employers are able to attract jobseekers to apply for jobs and join the organisation. The social communication theory highlights four major elements involved in any information communication: the information communicator (source), the information receiver (audience/jobseeker), the response (the receiver's attitude towards the information received and the decision taken to apply or not) and the stimulus (the message/information content that is transmitted by the communicator). An individual's 'attitude' towards the recruitment information can significantly affect their 'intention' of making a job application decision, and this intention can significantly influence their actual decision-making 'behaviour', such as accepting a job offer. Consequently, most of these studies focus on the effectiveness of the stimulus (e.g., how the design of the recruitment information content can attract more jobseekers).However, there are divergent results in the literature. For instance, numerous researchers have attempted to investigate how different recruitment information sources can impact jobseekers' application and recruitment decisions. Some researchers claim that the formal, company-controlled, recruitment information sources, such as advertising and corporate websites, are less effective than informal. By contrast, other researchers indicate that formal sources are used and accepted more often by jobseekers because this information is regarded as considered to be more objective and reliable than the experience-based route (e.g., word-of-mouth). Some researchers suggest that employers should provide objective, hard information (confirmable information such as salary and location) and provide the message in the employer's tone' using company-controlled sources; thereby not to convey too much soft, experience-based information from employees. Only very limited research has considered the influences of receiver's differences (individual differences) on the stimulus (content) and communications (source) as a moderator. The receivers' differences could be the essential information that can be used to interpret the divergent findings in the literature. Psychologists have demonstrated that individual differences will influence personal values and will be translated into personal preferences. Decision-making research suggests that every decision-making process involves individuals' decision habits and preferences. People tend to keep their decision habits and preferences throughout different decisions. Therefore, individual traits should be considered when seeking to understand how jobseekers evaluate information to make decisions. A well-known classification of individual differences that has been shown to affect decision-making preference is an individual's decision-making style: maximisers (those who always try to find the best possible result and carefully evaluate all types of information from different sources) and satisficers (who aim for good-enough results and tend to save time resources). The present study aims to address the gap in the existing literature by exploring the possible reactions of different decision-making styles (maximiser vs. satisficer) in response to recruitment messages with different lengths, valences, forms and provider backgrounds that are provided from various sources.Study 1 and Study 2 are employed as groundwork studies to provide a deeper understanding of maximiser-style and satisficer-style retail-trade j
Date of Award1 Aug 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorKathy Keeling (Supervisor) & Nadia Papamichail (Supervisor)


  • decision-making style
  • maximizer
  • satisficer
  • organisational attractiveness
  • recruitment
  • credibility

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