Employee Review Websites as Source of Recruitment Communication: The Role of Source Credibility, Realistic Information, and Specific Information

Employee Review Websites as Source of Recruitment Communication: The Role of Source Credibility, Realistic Information, and Specific Information

Tavleen Kaur (ICFAI Business School (IBS), IFHE University (Deemed), India) and Ritesh Kumar Dubey (Institute of Management Technology, Hyderabad, India)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/JECO.2020070105


Persuasive research shows that more credible sources of information are more influential in changing the attitude and gaining behavioral compliance. In this article, the authors examine whether perceptions regarding source credibility, realistic information and specific information in the web recruitment context differs on three different recruitment media. The three different recruitment media taken in this study are employee review website (www.glassdoor.com), professional networking website (www.linkedin.com) and the company's own webpages. The employee review website and professional networking website belong to the company independent website category since they are not controlled by a particular organization. The company's own webpages belong to a company dependent website category as every organization has its own website. This study compares and investigates company independent websites versus company dependent websites as a tool for providing recruitment communication on three different parameters, namely source credibility, realistic information, and specific information. The study is conducted in India and the results are based on responses obtained from 283 students actively looking for jobs. The results suggest that job seekers perceive company independent websites (employee review website and networking website) to be more credible. These websites provide more realistic and specific information than the company dependent website. The authors also examine the role of realistic information, source credibility and specific information as antecedents to organizational attractiveness. How social media can be instrumental in employee engagement is also discussed.
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Recruitment consists of organizational activities carried out by the organization with the primary purpose of identifying and attracting potential employees. Barber (1998) divides the recruitment into three stages where the first stage of recruitment focuses on targeting the applicant population from which the final candidates would be selected. This stage is characterized by persuasion as it aims at stimulating the candidates to apply in the organization. This stage is also characterized by lack of information. Both the parties of recruitment (prospective employees and employers) do not have complete information about each other. The second stage of recruitment includes shortlisting the candidates from the targeted population. This stage is characterized by interpersonal contact and employee engagement between the prospective employees and employers. The parties of recruitment try to gather as much information about each other as possible. Moreover, in this stage, the employers try to persuade and engage the candidates to stay interested in the company. The third stage of recruitment focuses on ascertaining that applicants accept the job offer and begin employment with the organization. Among all the stages of the recruitment cycle, the initial stage is of utmost importance as it is characterized by information asymmetry. It is the first stage, which decides whether or not the prospective candidate will apply in the organization. If a candidate losses interest in the organization in the first stage and fails to apply in the organization during the initial stages then, even the most effective recruitment program in the later stages cannot bring him/her back in the process. The candidate will remove the organization from his/her consideration set. Therefore, an effective recruitment program should include or begin with questions like what recruitment sources would it use to woo the desired applicant pool? What should be the content of the recruitment message or what information would the organization like to convey? To address these questions, we examine job seekers' perceptions regarding source credibility, realistic information, and specific information in the context of web recruitment on three different recruitment media.

Credibility is of critical importance in persuasive communication and attitude change (Perloff; 1993) and it is also an important variable in recruitment process (Breaugh 2017, 2013; Breaugh & Starke 2000). Sources of recruitment differ in terms of perceived credibility which implies that recruitment sources differ in the degree to which the job applicant perceives them to be credible. Credibility refers to a person’s perception of the truth regarding a piece of information. Source credibility framework explains that more credible sources of information are more persuasive in changing attitude and attaining behavioral compliance (Eisend, 2004; Pornpitakpan, 2004). In the recruitment context a job applicant receives information about a job and an organization from variety of sources like interviewers, other company employees or friends, or from acquaintances not directly associated with the organization. Not all sources are deemed to be equally credible by the job seekers. The expertise dimension of source credibility suggests that, people who are closest to work situation like job incumbents are seen as more informed sources of information. The trustworthiness dimension suggests that receiving information that is less predictable from the message source is perceived to be more credible. Full time recruiters are seen as less trustworthy as they present an overly positive picture about the job and organizational attributes. Communicators who express information that detracts from communicator’s position are rated as more trustworthy and credible.

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