Linking academic research based on theory to what happens in the real world has always been a challenge. This is unfortunate, because both academic and real world research have a lot to offer. It is very common for academic research to occur in very controlled situations in a manner that often limits the usefulness of results in the real world. On the other hand, real world research often requires significant compromises that can limit the ability to find meaningful results. I have tried very hard to maintain my academic roots in terms of research while focusing on the practical concerns that have value and relevance to my clients. As part of this initiative, I have been working with some researchers at the University of Kentucky and the University of Maryland to help collect information that I feel can have tremendous value to those actively involved in the recruitment profession. I sincerely hope that recruiters who are part of the ERE community will agree with me and take a few minutes of their time to complete a short survey, the results of which will be shared here several months from now. The survey link is here: http://hcit.rhsmith.umd.edu/survey/takeSurvey.asp?surveyID=145, but please read on to learn more about it. The use of the web as a recruitment tool has expanded rapidly in recent years, with many benefits accruing to those using it to source job applicants. However, use of the web also involves potential problems of large applicant pools consisting primarily of unqualified applicants. The nature of these applicant pools tends to reduce, rather than enhance, the overall utility of this recruitment source. This study is being conducted by researchers at the University of Kentucky and the University of Maryland to delve into issues of applicant pool quantity versus quality in an attempt to uncover how various approaches to web-based recruitment may be related to more or less optimal recruitment outcomes. A secondary purpose of the research is to examine how the various approaches used to advertise jobs via the web are determined in the first place by recruiters. More specifically, this study examines which environmental, organizational, or job-related factors lead recruiters to adopt either a screening or marketing approach to recruitment via the web. That is, recruiters might present neutral or even negative information about a position in order to facilitate job seeker self-screening prior to application decisions, or they might market the position in an attempt to make the position as attractive as possible to job seekers. In turn, the researchers will relate these various orientations (screening versus marketing) to recruitment outcomes. Finally, we seek to merge these two perspectives to investigate whether there are combinations of environmental, organizational, and job-related factors that suggest a focus on either a screening or marketing approach in order to realize the most optimal outcomes. To accomplish these goals, we have generated a questionnaire that will ask recruiters to consider a position they currently have posted on one or more web-based job boards. After asking for an assessment of the criticality of this position and the perceived labor market for the position, we will ask for an indication of current outcomes for the position posting in terms of applicant pool size, quality, diversity, and overall optimality. We will then ask for information about how the position posting was generated and the effort taken to generate it, the focus of the advertisement in terms of a screening versus marketing orientation, recruiter incentives, and more general questions about organizational recruitment strategies. We will also directly access the position posting indicated via the web, content code it, and relate its content to recruiter responses. As a participant in this project, you will receive a full report on the results. We will also publish our findings in a later ERE article. Other discoveries we hope to make through this research that will be valuable to ERE readers include:
- Learning about approaches being used by other Web recruiters, and how those approaches relate to the optimality of recruitment outcomes.
- Understanding the relative impact of (a) environmental factors, (b) company strategy, and (c) job factors on recruitment outcomes, as well as how these may differ depending on company size.
- Understanding when a screening approach might be more optimal than a marketing approach, and vice versa, depending on environmental, company, or job factors.
- Gaining a better understanding of how recruiter incentives do or do not relate to recruitment outcomes in terms of applicant pool characteristics.
- As an added benefit to those interested, we will create a portfolio of the job postings indicated by project participants and feature these as “jobs of interest” to several hundred prospective job seekers at our respective universities.
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Guide: Practical Tips for Remote Hiring
The survey should take about 15 minutes to complete. You can click on the link below to access it. http://hcit.rhsmith.umd.edu/survey/takeSurvey.asp?surveyID=145 I look forward to publishing a summary of the survey here in a few months. The results will help all of us better understand the framework underlying our recruiting decisions ó and hopefully help us make those decisions that much more intelligently.