Academic journal article Journal of Electronic Commerce Research

Electronic Portfolios in Recruiting? a Conceptual Analysis of Usage

Academic journal article Journal of Electronic Commerce Research

Electronic Portfolios in Recruiting? a Conceptual Analysis of Usage

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

Electronic portfolios constitute a prominent educational innovation which aims at the systematic self-controlled development of qualifications based on a meaningful collection of electronic items. As a commonly supposed interesting side effect, literature supposes e-portfolios also as particular suitable tools for recruiting employees, while systematic studies are missing. The current paper therefore critically examines this view using a parsimonious model of technology acceptance and uncovers diverse usage conditions. As the main result, recruiting e-portfolios have to be understood as a distinctly ambivalent concept, adoptable only in a restricted and contingent way, while there are several organizational and particularly technical measures that could improve future e-portfolio usage in recruiting.

Keywords: electronic portfolios, recruiting, electronic HRM, technology acceptance

1. Introduction

For some time past, electronic portfolios (also digital, virtual, web or online portfolios) have been constituting a prominent educational innovation which aims at the systematic self-controlled development of qualifications [e.g. Carney 2004; Abrami and Barrett 2005; Carliner 2005; Butler 2006]. Following the idea of portfolios in visual arts, relevant qualifications should be comprehensively planned, successively developed and systematically documented based on a meaningful collection of electronic items. Concordantly, the self-controlled way of learning with (co-) determination and development of learning objectives and content along with the self-reflective evaluation of learning outcomes by the learner is seen as the major advantage of the concept. Regarding the range of application, e-portfolios are understood as a broadly applicable concept which can be used from primary schools to postgraduate professional education to support the development of all kinds of qualifications. A large number of practitioner reports indicate a generally widespread and increasing adoption of e-portfolios. Moreover, there are diverse (inter)national e-portfolio initiatives, for instance the "e-portfolios for all"-initiative which pursues an ambitious target of a midterm exhaustive availability of e-portfolios within the European Union [European Institute for e-Learning 2009].

As a consequence of increased usage and widespread approval, e-portfolios are frequently also seen as a particular suitable tool for employers to recruit employees. Commonly, this is justified based on the improvement of information that should empower employers to find applicants that possess exactly the specific qualifications they need [e.g. Powell and Jankovich 1998; Arnaud 2006; Abrami and Barret 2006; Lyons 2008; Woodbury et al. 2008]. Given ever-increasing requirements in identifying qualified individuals [e.g. Anderson et al. 2004] e-portfolios indeed may contribute to recruiting. Since the growing research on e-portfolios is mostly done by educational disciplines [see e.g. Jaafri and Kaufmann 2006; Cambridge et al. 2008], this, however, is hardly examined at present. There are a few empirical studies that address the usage of e-portfolios in recruiting, mostly in an explorative and qualitative manner [Temple and Temple 2003; Leece 2005; Mosely 2005; Brammer 2007; Ward and Moser 2007; Brady 2008; Gehris and Fundaburk 2008]. Yet, the results are few and opposing, as findings reveal that employers consider e-portfolios as both particularly suitable [e.g. Brammer 2007] and obviously impractical [e.g. Brady 2008] for recruiting purposes.

The current paper hence aims at the first general evaluation of e-portfolio usage in recruiting. Supposed that e-portfolios constitute a quite unfamiliar tool in current recruiting, the concept is firstly generally depicted and peculiarities of e-portfolios in recruiting are elaborated (chapter 2). Subsequently, it is analyzed whether and which characteristics of e-portfolios basically match with major theoretical usage conditions, while propositions concerning usage are derived (chapter 3). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.