Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

Employer Attractiveness through Social Media: A Phenomenological Study

Academic journal article The Qualitative Report

Employer Attractiveness through Social Media: A Phenomenological Study

Article excerpt

The purpose of this paper is to gain insights into the subjective experience and perception of job seekers about the extensive use of social media as a source of recruitment and selection by the employers and its influence on the overall employer attractiveness. Four focus group interviews were conducted, audio-taped, transcribed, and analyzed by following the procedure of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) laid down by Smith and Osborn (2007). By employing IPA, the themes which emerged under the study are: ease of information; navigational usability and user friendliness; person-job fit and person-organization fit; reliability and timeliness; positive and cost effective marketing; value creation for the employers; and privacy concern. The present study posits to assist the human resource managers in formulating strategies pertaining to social media recruitment and selection so as to create an image of attractive employer. Although IPA has been predominantly used within health psychology, it has been uncommon in the recruitment literature so far. Since IPA is a phenomenological account of an individual's personal experience and perception about an object or event, it allowed determining the richness of job seekers' perception and the extent to which it is similar or different across each participant groups. Also, the current study is one of the pioneers in uncovering the perception of job seekers about social media recruitment and selection process in the Indian context. Keywords: E-Recruitment, Selection, Employer Attractiveness, Social Media, Job Seekers, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

In a highly competitive market scenario, being able to attract high-quality human resource is considered as a true competitive advantage for an organization (Gatewood, Gowan, & Lautenschlager, 1993; Turban & Greening, 1997). One way of doing so is via online recruitment, a method of attracting job seekers via internet (Cullen, 2001). In this regard, corporate websites have gained popularity in the last decade, making it essential for employers to grab the opportunities it offers in terms of reaching potential candidates and attracting them to apply for a given job position (Pfieffelmann, Wagner, & Libkuman, 2010; Walker, Feild, Giles, Bernerth, & Short, 2011). The effectiveness of corporate website facilitates the companies in differentiating themselves from their competitors, which in turn leads to overall organizational attractiveness (Cober, Brown, Levy, Cober, & Keeping 2003; Maurer & Liu, 2007; Scott & Lane, 2000; Van Birgelen, Wetzels, & van Dolen, 2008). However, on a contrary, recent study on e-recruitment suggests that there has been a decrease in the use of corporate websites by employers since late 2007 due to the paradigm shift towards social networking sites (Bradwell & Reeves, 2008). One of the main reasons for this changing trend can be attributed to the features of social networking sites which enable the recruiters to maintain constant connectivity and long term conversation with the job seekers (Bondarouk & Olivas-Lujan, 2013; Wandel, 2008). Furthermore, the advantage of using social networking sites lie in the ease of identity sharing, which can be utilized by the employers to develop and effectively communicate their own organizational identity (Smith & Kidder, 2010). In this regard, a survey conducted by Jobvite (2012) revealed that around 92% of employers in USA are currently using or planning to use social media recruiting, 43% of recruiters who use social media recruiting saw an increase in candidates' quality, 73% have successfully hired a candidate through social media recruiting, and 31% of recruiters using social media recruiting have seen a sustained increase in employee referrals. Additionally, Facebook officials declared the presence of more than 500 million users and 1 million companies and entrepreneurs from around 180 countries across the globe (www. …

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