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Attraction to employment advertisements: advertisement wording and personality characteristics.

"... seeking outgoing individual ..." (Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 2007).

"... established stable firm seeks conscientious general shop person ..." (Denver Post, 2007).

"... demonstrated assertive and outgoing personality...." (Hotjobs. com, 2008).

"... the perfect fit for our Sheetz team would be someone that is people oriented, self motivated, dependable ..." (Careerbuilder.com, 2008).

"... adaptable and comfortable to changing dynamics ..." (Monster. com, 2008)

A recruitment source that is frequently utilized to attract prospective employees is the employment advertisement. The quotes above are indicative of employment advertisements that seek applicants possessing certain personality characteristics. Through recruitment, organizations hope to build an applicant pool from which they can select one or more employees who best fit their organization. Recruitment sources that attract individuals who are more likely to fit with the organization and screen out those that do not will reduce the time and expense involved in the selection process. There is a developing literature in regard to this notion of person-organization fit (Kristof, 1996; Ravlin and Ritchie, 2006). The idea is that, when hiring people, it is to the organization's advantage to select individuals that fit with the organization's culture. The advantages of successful person-organization fit (P-O fit) include increased job satisfaction, organizational commitment, feelings of work group cohesion, organizational tenure, individual performance (Boxx et al., 1991; Bretz and Judge, 1994; Cable and Judge, 1996; Chatman, 1991; Downey et al., 1974; O'Reilly et al., 1991; Tziner, 1987) and decreased turnover and intentions to quit (Cable and Judge, 1996; Chatman, 1991; O'Reilly et al., 1991).

One way of viewing the notion of P-O fit is through Schneider's Attraction-Selection-Attrition (ASA) framework (Schneider, 1987; Schneider et al., 1995). According to this model, employees within an organization tend to be homogenous because they were attracted to, selected by, and chose to remain with the particular organization. According to the model, the key factor that influences the relationship between the person and the organization "is the fit of the individual's personality with that of the modal personality of the organization" (Schneider et al., 1998: 463). Research pertaining to the attraction-selection-attrition model has been supportive. For example, research on the attraction piece of the attraction-selection-attrition model has shown that people are attracted to organizations that fit their personality (Judge and Cable, 1997) and that fit their needs (Cable and Judge, 1994; Turban and Keon, 1993). Other research has provided support for the homogeneity aspect of the attraction-selection-attrition model (Ployhart et al., 2006; Schneider et al., 1998).

Given the advantages of successful P-O fit, it would seem to be advantageous for employers to attempt to recruit individuals who will fit their particular cultures. Ployhart et al. suggest that during recruitment, firms with high levels of particular personality traits should "emphasize this information as part of the organization's 'personality' because doing so will attract and retain individuals with similar personalities" (2006: 674). Previous recruitment research based on signaling theory (Spence, 1973) has shown that individuals use information obtained from the recruitment process as signals of organizational characteristics (Highhouse et al., 1999; Goldberg and Allen, 2008; Goltz and Giannantonio, 1995; Rynes et al., 1991). For example, in a laboratory study, Goltz and Giannantonio (1995) found that the perceived friendliness of interviewers was related to participants' positive inferences regarding unrevealed organizational characteristics.

One way of accomplishing Ployhart et al.'s suggestion would be to include personality-related information in employment advertisements as a way of sending organizational personality signals to prospective applicants. Although employment advertisements continue to be a common source of employee recruitment (Breaugh and Starke, 2000; Ruiz, 2007), very little research has been conducted to determine if these advertisements can successfully attract individuals that possess specific or desired characteristics (Barber, 1998; Breaugh and Starke, 2000). As Barber indicates, even though the effectiveness of different recruitment sources has been extensively researched, "this research has little to say about the primary outcomes of recruitment: the identification and attraction of applicants" (1998: 22). The recruitment source research that has been published tends to focus on the effect of sources on post-hire outcomes such as job performance and turnover (Rynes, 1991; Rynes and Cable, 2003). Rynes and Cable (2003) note that the results of this research have been inconsistent and relatively weak. They point out that such results have caused researchers to call for future source research to focus more on prehire outcomes. The present research answers this call by focusing on the relationship between characteristics of employment advertisements and applicant attraction.

In particular, the present research examines whether the wording of employment advertisements can potentially attract applicants with specific attributes. In addition to contributing to the research literature on recruitment sources, this study addresses a need for additional research on recruitment content. The vast majority of research that has been done on the impact of recruitment content on applicant decisions has largely focused on the impact of "compensation, location, and diversity or fairness policies on application decisions" (Barber, 1998: 42). An exception is a study by Mason and Belt (1986). They argued that job applicants try to match their interests and abilities with the requirements of advertised jobs. In a laboratory setting, student participants viewed four job advertisements for a fictitious electrical engineering position and indicated the likelihood that they would apply for the jobs. The advertised jobs differed in how specifically the job and the qualifications for the job were presented. Two groups of participants rated the advertisements--a "qualified" group of electrical engineering students and an "unqualified" group of nonelectrical engineering students. The study's results indicated that unqualified students were less favorable towards the advertisements where qualifications were specifically indicated (as opposed to a vague indication of qualifications). Thus, the Mason and Belt study provided initial evidence that people pay attention to how well their individual characteristics fit the stated qualifications within job advertisements.

Employers seek many different characteristics when recruiting and selecting employees. As can be seen from the above excerpts from employment advertisements, one such characteristic is personality. The use of personality as an employee selection criterion is receiving increasing attention today. Although the use of personality as a staffing criterion was once thought to be of little use (Guion, 1965; Guion and Gottier, 1965), recent research has seen a resurgence of interest in personality.

This resurgence in interest is largely due to the fact that in the past several years, personality researchers have begun to agree on a five-factor model of personality that can serve as a taxonomy for investigating personality-related issues (Digman, 1990). Origins of the five-factor model of personality lie in what is known as the lexical approach. This approach utilizes lists of words that are used to describe individual attributes of people (Digman, 1990; Hogan, 1991; Mount and Barrick, 1995). The notion is that personality characteristics have been encoded into the language that people use to describe one another. When self-report and peer ratings on terms derived in such a fashion have been factor analyzed, five dimensions (the "Big Five") have consistently been recovered (Digman and Takemoto-Chock, 1981; Goldberg, 1990, 1992). Furthermore, this factor structure has been found in a multitude of non-English languages and cultures (Mount and Barrick, 1995). These five factors of personality (the "Big Five") are Extraversion, Emotional Stability (Neuroticism), Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, and Openness to Experience. Research by Barrick and Mount (1991), Mount and Barrick (1995), and Salgado (1997) has demonstrated the usefulness of the five-factor model for predicting job performance. As such, there has been increased interest in using personality characteristics as a basis for making staffing decisions and in understanding the implications of personality for work outcomes. In this regard, little is known about how the use of various recruiting procedures, such as the ubiquitous employment ad, influences the personality composition of the applicant pool.

The present research attempts to discern whether the wording used in employment advertisements can systematically influence the attraction to the organization of individuals possessing higher levels of certain dimensions of personality. According to attraction-selection-attrition theory, people are attracted to organizations that are composed of individuals with personalities and values like their own (Schneider, 1987; Schneider et al., 1995). Similarly, according to the person-organization fit model (Kristof, 1996), individuals with higher levels of a particular characteristic (such as a particular personality dimension) should be attracted to organizations that epitomize this characteristic. This particular conceptualization of person-organization fit is often referred to as the needs-supplies perspective which maintains that person-organization fit "occurs when an organization satisfies individuals' needs, desires, or preferences" (Kristof, 1996: 3). Previous research by Mason and Belt (1986) provided preliminary evidence that job applicants pay attention to a job's required qualifications when determining their level of interest in an advertised position within an organization. The present research builds upon this finding to determine whether individuals with higher levels of specific dimensions of personality will be more attracted to organizations that advertise for characteristics of these personality dimensions than will individuals with lower levels of the personality dimensions. This study sets forth hypotheses related to three of the Big Five dimensions of personality--conscientiousness, extraversion, and openness to experience. The decision to use these three dimensions as opposed to all five was based both on the desire to create a concise and time-efficient advertisement measure and because of previous research related to the value of these three dimensions in predicting work-related outcomes (c.f. Barrick and Mount, 1991).

Conscientiousness. Conscientiousness "reflects dependability; that is being careful, thorough, responsible, organized, and planful" (Barrick and Mount, 1991: 4). Conscientiousness has been shown to be predictive of job performance and training proficiency in a wide variety of occupational groups (Barrick and Mount, 1991 ; Mount and Barrick, 1995). Additionally, Judge and Cable (1997) find that more conscientious individuals are attracted to organizations with demanding, achievement-oriented cultures as well as cultures where precision and attention to detail are important. Thus, firms with such cultures would be well served if employment advertisement wording could influence the propensity of conscientious individuals attracted to their organization. The words used in employment advertisements may serve as a signal to applicants about the culture and hence employee makeup of an organization. According to attraction-selection-attrition theory, conscientious individuals will be attracted to organizations with conscientious-oriented cultures and employees. Thus,

Hypothesis 1: There will be a positive relationship between conscientiousness and attraction to advertisements that list conscientiousness-related characteristics as requirements.

Extraversion. The extraversion dimension is frequently associated with traits such as "being sociable, gregarious, assertive, talkative, and active" (Barrick and Mount, 1991: 3). Extroverts enjoy people, large groups and social gatherings (Costa and McCrae, 1992). Introverts, on the other hand, are reserved and independent (Costa and McCrae, 1992). Extraversion has been shown to be predictive of the job performance of managers and salespeople as well as training proficiency in a wide variety of occupational groups (Barrick and Mount, 1991). Further, Judge and Cable (1997) find that more extraverted individuals are attracted to organizations with competitive cultures as well as organizations with team-oriented cultures. Hence, employment advertisements can be of greater service to such firms if their wording can influence extraverted individuals to be more attracted to the firm. Attraction-selection-attrition theory indicates that extraverted individuals will be attracted to organizations with extraversion-oriented cultures and members. Therefore,

Hypothesis 2: There will be a positive relationship between extraversion and attraction to advertisements that list extraversion-related characteristics as requirements.

Openness to Experience. Open individuals have intellectual curiosity, a preference for variety, and are interested in learning (Costa and McCrae, 1992). Those who are low on openness "tend to be conventional in behavior and conservative in outlook. They prefer the familiar to the novel" (Costa and McCrae, 1992: 15). Openness to experience has been shown to be predictive of training proficiency in a wide variety of occupational groups (Barrick and Mount, 1991). Additionally, Judge and Cable (1997) find that more open individuals are attracted to organizations with cultures that promote risk-taking and experimentation and to organizations that stress detail-oriented, precise cultures. Firms with such cultures would be well served if employment advertisement wording could influence the attraction of open individuals to the firm. Attraction-selection-attrition theory indicates that individuals with higher levels of openness will be attracted to organizations with openness-oriented cultures and employees. Thus,

Hypothesis 3: There will be a positive relationship between openness to experience and attraction to advertisements that list openness-related characteristics as job requirements.

METHOD

The study was performed in two steps. First, participants completed a personality inventory so that information on the Big Five personality traits would be available for the analysis. Second, after a three-month interval, participants completed an employment advertisement measure so that the extent to which they were attracted to each of seven advertisements with different personality descriptors would be available for analysis. Details regarding the participants, the personality inventory, and the employment advertisement measure are discussed next.

Participants

The participants consist of undergraduate students at a large midwestern university. The students were enrolled in four business-related courses and were from a variety of academic majors (57 percent indicated majors within the business college). Data were collected from 178 students. Incomplete data were provided by 27 of these students yielding a usable sample of N = 151. There were 76 male and 75 female participants. The age of participants ranged from 19 to 47 (M = 22.52, SD = 3.47).

Measures

Personality Inventory. Each participant completed the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (Costa and McCrae, 1992). This inventory (the NEO PI-R) consists of a booklet containing 240 statements on which respondents are asked to indicate their relative agreement on five-point scales ranging from "strongly disagree" to "strongly agree." This personality inventory was specifically designed to measure personality according to the five-factor model. A seven-year test-retest reliability study found reliabilities ranging from .63 to .81 for the five dimensions in men and women (Costa and McCrae, 1992). For the current study, all personality scores are expressed in standardized form (i.e., T-scores (M = 50, SD = 10), with higher T-scores indicating a higher level of the personality dimension).

Employment Advertisement Measure. The participants were given the Employment Advertisement Measure (EAM) three months after they completed the NEO PI-R. The EAM was created for the purposes of the present study and was designed to assess the degree to which people would be attracted to organizations with differing personality characteristics as qualifications. Specifically, the EAM presents seven employment advertisements (see Appendix). Common descriptors for the personality dimensions of extraversion, conscientiousness, and openness were included in the advertisements. The advertisements differ only in the personality characteristics that are required of applicants. All other advertisement text (with the exception of the advertisers' post office box numbers) is consistent across the advertisements. The seven employment advertisements include advertisements requiring applicant characteristics related to: (1) extraversion, (2) conscientiousness, (3) openness to experience, (4) extraversion and conscientiousness, (5) extraversion and openness to experience, (6) conscientiousness and openness to experience, and (7) extraversion, conscientiousness, and openness to experience. Five different versions of the instrument were prepared with the advertisements presented in five different random orders.

On a separate sheet of paper, participants were asked to indicate the extent to which they were attracted to each of the seven advertisements. Specifically, for each of the seven advertisements, participants responded to three statements: (1) "I would apply for this job," (2) "I would do well in this job," and (3) "I would pursue this job," using seven-point scales ranging from "very strongly disagree" to "very strongly agree." To determine how consistent responses to these three statements were, internal consistency reliability analyses were conducted for each of the seven sets of the three statements. The resulting alpha values were all equal to or greater than .89. Because of the high internal consistency of the ratings for the three statements that followed each advertisement, composites were computed for each scenario by averaging the responses to the three statements.

ANALYSIS

The hypotheses considered in this study are concerned with the interaction between a participant's levels of extraversion, openness to experience, and conscientiousness and the content of each advertisement. Though

the data conform to a policy capturing or hierarchical regression design, multiple regression analysis is used to test the hypotheses. The motivation behind this choice is the paucity of data for each individual participant. As the data include seven observations from each participant, computing a separate regression equation for each participant would not provide reliable estimates of coefficients. In contrast, by using interaction terms in a multiple regression analysis to capture the interdependence of variables' effects on participants' scores, a single regression can be performed with a much larger data set.

To that end, each of the 151 participants' seven ratings of the different advertisements was coded as a separate observation resulting in 1,057 (151 x 7) observations. In the corresponding seven observations for each participant, the between subjects variables (gender and the Big Five dimensions of personality) were duplicated for the seven advertisement ratings. These variables control for the relationship between the observations recorded from the same subjects. Each observation from the same subject has the same values for these control variables; therefore, the adjustment from the regression will be the same for each observation taken from each subject. Hence, the regression accounts for the dependence of the seven observations from each individual by making an identical adjustment for gender and the Big Five personality dimensions to each observation from the same subject. Though the same person provided all seven ratings, by including that individual's gender and ratings on the Big Five dimensions of personality in the regression, the study controls for that individual's characteristics so that the only remaining factor is stochastic error which is independent across the seven ratings.

Specifically, to control for between subjects factors in the regression model, gender is included as a dummy coded variable (0 = male, 1 = female) along with the participants' standardized scores on the Big Five personality dimensions (neuroticism, agreeableness, extraversion, openness and conscientiousness). To test the hypotheses, interactions are included between extraversion and a dummy coded variable EAD (0 = extraversion-related descriptors are not indicated in the advertisement, 1 = extraversion-related descriptors are indicated in the advertisement); openness and a dummy coded variable OAD (0 = openness-related descriptors are not indicated in the advertisement, 1 = openness-related descriptors are indicated in the advertisement); and conscientiousness and a dummy coded variable CAD (0 = conscientiousness-related descriptors are not indicated in the advertisement, 1 = conscientiousness-related descriptors are indicated in the advertisement). The resulting model appears below:

advertisement attraction = [[BETA].sub.0] + [[BETA].sub.1] x gender + [[BETA].sub.2] x neuroticism + [[BETA].sub.3] x agreeableness + [[BETA].sub.4] x extraversion + [[BETA].sub.5] x openness + [[BETA].sub.6] x conscientiousness (1)

[[BETA].sub.4] = [[alpha].sub.0] + [[alpha].sub.1] x EAD (2)

[[BETA].sub.5] = [[alpha].sub.2] + [[alpha].sub.3] X OAD (3)

[[BETA].sub.6] = [[alpha].sub.4] + [[alpha].sub.5] x CAD. (4)

Equation 1 represents how advertisement attraction depends on the respondent's personality and gender. Equations 2, 3, and 4 represent how the importance the respondent places on a particular personality dimension depends on the inclusion of descriptors of that personality dimension in each advertisement.

Substituting Equations 2, 3, and 4 into Equation 1, a single composite regression model for analysis can be obtained. The composite model uses new variables (eproduct, oproduct, and cproduct) representing the product of the personality dimensions (extraversion, openness and conscientiousness) and the advertisement content variables (EAD, OAD, and CAD). That is,

eproduct = extraversion x EAD (5)

oproduct = openness x OAD (6)

cproduct = conscientiousness x CAD. (7)

It is these new variables with which the hypotheses are concerned as they take on the value zero when the relevant personality dimension is not listed in an advertisement and the value of the personality dimension when it is listed in an advertisement. The resulting composite regression model for analysis appears below and a classification of the variables as "control," "independent," and "dependent" appears in Table 1.

advertisement attraction = [[BETA].sub.0] + [[BETA].sub.1] x gender + [[BETA].sub.2] x neuroticism + [[BETA].sub.3] x agreeableness + [[alpha].sub.0] x extraversion + [[alpha].sub.1] x eproduct + [[alpha].sub.2] x openness + [[alpha].sub.3] x oproduct + [[alpha].sub.4] x conscientiousness + [[alpha].sub.5] x cproduct. (8)

RESULTS

Table 2 reports means, standard deviations, standard errors, and 95% confidence intervals for advertisement attractiveness ratings by position announcement and by personality factor. Table 3 reports means, standard deviations, and correlations for all variables examined in the analysis. As can be seen in Table 3, the correlations between the within subjects variables (EAD, OAD and CAD) and the between subjects variables (the Big Five and gender) are zero. This is because each subject evaluated the same seven advertisements. The nonzero correlation between the within subjects variables occurs because some of the advertisements listed more than one personality dimension as qualifications.

To test the relationships between the variables and advertisement attraction, the composite model was fit using ordinary least squares regression. The [R.sup.2], adjusted [R.sup.2,] and model significance appear in Table 4. The resulting coefficients, standard errors, standardized coefficients, significance levels, and variance inflation factors (VIF) also appear in Table 4. Low VIF values suggest that multicollinearity is not a problem for this regression model (Myers, 1990).

As indicated by the [R.sup.2] value, the model explains 15.6% of the variation in advertisement attraction (F = 21.483, p < 0.001). Furthermore, as indicated in Table 4, extraversion is significantly related to advertisement attraction independent of advertisement content ([BETA] = 0.248, p < 0.001), conscientiousness is given significantly more importance when the advertisement refers to conscientiousness-related descriptors ([BETA] = 0.224, p < 0.001), and openness is given significantly more importance when the advertisement refers to openness ([BETA] = 0.235, p < 0.001). The first result suggests that higher levels of extraversion contributed to advertisement attraction for all advertisements whether or not extraversion was indicated in the advertisement. The second result supports Hypothesis 1, suggesting that including conscientiousness-related characteristics as qualifications in an advertisement will increase the attraction of applicants who are higher on the conscientiousness dimension of personality. Finally, the third result supports Hypothesis 3, suggesting that including openness-related descriptors in an advertisement will increase the attraction of applicants who are higher on the openness dimension of personality.

DISCUSSION

The results of the present study have practical implications for improving the likelihood of success in an organization's recruitment efforts. As indicated above, the results provide support for Hypotheses 1 and 3. As hypothesized, there is a significant, positive relationship between conscientiousness and attraction to advertisements that list conscientiousness-related characteristics as requirements. Similarly, as hypothesized, there is a significant, positive relationship between openness to experience and advertisements that list openness-related characteristics as requirements. In other words, the more conscientious an individual is, the more he/she will be attracted to advertisements that stress conscientiousness as a requirement. Likewise, the more open to experience an individual is, the more he/she will be attracted to advertisements that stress openness as a requirement. Attraction-selection-attrition theory maintains that people are attracted to organizations that are composed of individuals with personalities like their own (Schneider, 1987; Schneider et al., 1995). Similarly, according to the person-organization fit model (Kristof, 1996), individuals with higher levels of a particular personality characteristic should be attracted to organizations that epitomize this characteristic. Thus, the present research indicates that it may be beneficial for organizations that have cultures that are epitomized by conscientiousness and/or openness to include descriptors of these personality dimensions in their recruitment advertisements. As Rynes and Cable (2003) have indicated, the recruitment source literature has primarily focused on post-hire outcomes (e.g., job performance, turnover). The results of the present research are a first step in answer to their call for future source research to focus more on pre-hire outcomes. Furthermore, the results also indicate that including personality-related wording in the content of employment advertisements may contribute to the attraction of individuals with these personality characteristics. This result furthers the content literature which previously has largely focused on the impact of "compensation, location, and diversity or fairness policies on application decisions" (Barber, 1998: 42).

Hypothesis 2 was not supported. It was hypothesized that there would be a positive relationship between extraversion and attraction to advertisements that list extraversion-related characteristics as requirements. However, it was found that extraversion was significantly related to advertisement attraction independent of advertisement content. In other words, the more extraverted an individual was, the more he/she indicated an attraction to all of the advertisements. A possible explanation for this result can be found in extraverts' desire to obtain rewards. According to Gray (1973), the more extraverted an individual is, the more sensitive he or she is to a signal of a reward. Stewart (1996) supported this notion by demonstrating that salespeople higher in extraversion excelled on job performance dimensions that provided the greatest reward.

Given the relationship between extraversion and the desire for rewards, it is possible that more extraverted individuals view obtaining a job offer as a reward (Kristof-Brown et al., 2002). In the context of the present study, if gaining employment is viewed as a reward, then it may be that more extraverted individuals indicate a preference for all of the advertisements because indicating a preference for and seeking out a larger number of employment opportunities increases the probability of obtaining a reward (job offer).

Another possible explanation for why more extraverted participants were attracted to all of the advertisements could be related to the sociable nature of extraverts. Given the extraverts' desire for social interactions, the inclusion of any personality-related wording in the advertisement may have caused them to be more attracted to the advertisement.

Limitations and Implications for Future Research

One possible limitation of the present study is the experimental design using student participants. While the use of students is not ideal, it is not unreasonable. The use of university students in studies of job and organization choice has a well-established history (Kristof, 1996). Further, given that the study participants are currently involved in the job search process or will be in the near future, the sample is prototypic (Sackett and Larson, 1990). Additionally, when researchers are concerned with universalistic research questions (i.e., whether at a fundamental level, relationships can be established), student samples and laboratory studies are particularly apropos (Kruglanski, 1975). Given the nascent level of this study, it seems appropriate to limit confounding factors and emphasize internal validity to establish relationships between variables of interest.

In light of the self-report nature of the present study, another potential limitation is the possibility of common method variance. However, to minimize this possibility, data were collected on two separate occasions. The advertisement attraction data were collected three months after the personality data were collected. Thus, while common method variance is a possibility, the length of time between when the two sets of data were collected minimizes this possibility.

Another limitation of the study is the use of only three of the Big Five personality variables. While the three personality dimensions in the present study are important, they do not fully describe all possible characteristics of an organization or its members. Thus, future research should explore the use of agreeableness and emotional stability-related wording in employment advertisements as well as descriptors for other individual difference variables.

A further limitation of the study is that the employment advertisement measure did not contain an advertisement that was devoid of all descriptors of the personality dimensions. While participants that were not attracted to any of the personality dimensions did have the ability to rate the advertisements on the low end of the attractiveness scales, having the option to rate a "non-personality" related advertisement would serve as a control and improve the measure and study.

While the present research does have its limitations, it also makes a valuable contribution. Research pertaining to the ability of advertisements to successfully attract individuals that possess specific characteristics is very limited (Barber, 1998; Breaugh and Starke, 2000). Further, no research to date has examined the ability of employment advertisements in attracting applicants with specific personalities. Given research findings regarding personality and employment (cf. Barrick and Mount, 1991; Mount and Barrick, 1995; Salgado, 1997), a finding that employment advertisements can potentially be used to attract individuals with desired personalities (e.g., higher levels of conscientiousness and/or openness to experience) is significant. Given the findings of the present research, further research is encouraged to investigate whether these findings will hold under other experimental settings and in the field. Research should be conducted to determine whether the current findings can be replicated in other experimental settings. Further, experimental research should be conducted to determine if the wording of employment advertisements can be used to attract individuals possessing other characteristics. Additionally, research should be conducted in the field to determine if the results of the present study will hold in actual recruitment settings.

SUMMARY

In summary, despite the widespread use of employment advertisements, little research has evaluated their efficacy in attracting individuals possessing characteristics that are deemed desirable by the advertising organization. The current study demonstrated that in a laboratory setting, individuals possessing higher levels of conscientiousness were attracted to advertisements that stressed conscientiousness as a requirement. Additionally, it was found that individuals possessing higher levels of openness to experience were attracted to advertisements that stressed openness as a requirement. Such findings provide valuable insight into the usefulness of a very common recruitment tool.

Appendix

Job Advertisement Measure

Help Wanted: Professional

A

Positions available in all areas of our business. These positions require applicants who are assertive and outgoing. Additionally, applicants need to be willing to try new tasks and have a preference for variety in their work. Positions available in locations throughout the U.S. Competitive salaries. Excellent benefits including 401k and full health coverage. Send applications to P.O. Box 843, Minneapolis, MN.

B

Positions available in all areas of our business. These positions require applicants to be willing to try new tasks and to have a preference for variety in their work. Positions available in locations throughout the U.S. Competitive salaries. Excellent benefits including 401k and full health coverage. Send applications to P.O. Box 123, Minneapolis, MN.

C

Positions available in all areas of our business. These positions require applicants who are dependable, achievement-oriented individuals. Applicants also need to be assertive and outgoing. Additionally, applicants need to be willing to try new tasks and have a preference for variety in their work. Positions available in locations throughout the U.S. Competitive salaries. Excellent benefits including 401k and full health coverage. Send applications to P.O. Box 220, Minneapolis, MN.

D

Positions available in all areas of our business. These positions require applicants who are assertive and outgoing. Positions available in locations throughout the U.S. Competitive salaries. Excellent benefits including 401k and full health coverage. Send applications to P.O. Box 918, Minneapolis, MN.

E

Positions available in all areas of our business. These positions require applicants who are dependable, achievement-oriented individuals. Positions available in locations throughout the U.S. Competitive salaries. Excellent benefits including 401k and full health coverage. Send applications to P.O. Box 218, Minneapolis, MN.

F

Positions available in all areas of our business. These positions require applicants who are assertive and outgoing. Additionally, applicants need to be dependable, achievement-oriented individuals. Positions available in locations throughout the U.S. Competitive salaries. Excellent benefits including 401k and full health coverage. Send applications to P.O. Box 913, Minneapolis, MN.

G

Positions available in all areas of our business. These positions require applicants to be willing to try new tasks and to have a preference for variety in their work. Additionally, applicants need to be dependable, achievement-oriented individuals. Positions available in locations throughout the U.S. Competitive salaries. Excellent benefits including 401k and full health coverage. Send applications to P.O. Box 785, Minneapolis, MN.

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Charles D. Stevens

Associate Professor of Human Resource Management

North Dakota State University

Joseph G. Szmerekovsky

Associate Professor of Management

North Dakota State University
Table 1
Classification of Variables

Classification                       Variables

Control          gender, neuroticism, agreeableness, extraversion,
                 openness, conscientiousness

Independent      eproduct, oproduct, cproduct

Dependent        advertisement attraction

Table 2
Mean Attractiveness Ratings for Each Stimulus Advertisement

Personality                Standard    Standard   Lower   Upper
Descriptors         Mean   Deviation    Error      95%     95%

Conscientiousness
  (C) Only          5.17     0.843      0.069     5.03    5.31
Extraversion (E)
  Only              4.62     1.042      0.085     4.45    4.79
Openness (O) Only   5.15     0.965      0.079     5.00    5.30
C and E             5.58     0.900      0.073     5.44    5.72
C and O             5.14     0.882      0.072     5.00    5.28
E and O             5.58     1.007      0.082     5.42    5.74
C, E and O          5.51     0.946      0.077     5.36    5.66
All
  Advertisements
  with C            5.36     0.912      0.037     5.29    5.43
All
  Advertisements
  with E            5.11     1.023      0.042     5.03    5.19
All
  Advertisements
  with O            5.36     0.967      0.039     5.28    5.44

Table 3
Means, Standard Deviations and Intercorrelations

       Label           Mean    SD          1           2

1. Neurotocism         47.64   10.54      --
2. Extraversion        52.22   10.77   -0.20 ***      --
3. Openness            47.52   10.36   -0.01       -0.01
4. Agreeableness       51.47   11.85    0.10 **     0.03
5. Conscienciousness   51.28    9.98    0.17 ***    0.03
6. Gender               0.50    0.50   -0.02       -0.07 *
7. CAD                  0.57    0.50    0.00        0.00
8. EAD                  0.57    0.50    0.00        0.00
9. OAD                  0.57    0.50    0.00        0.00
10 Ad attraction        5.20    0.98   -0.02        0.24 ***

       Label               3         4       5        6         7

1. Neurotocism
2. Extraversion
3. Openness               --
4. Agreeableness        0.20 ***      --
5. Conscienciousness   -0.05       -0.02     --
6. Gender              -0.10 **     0.04   0.01         --
7. CAD                  0.00        0.00   0.00       0.00      --
8. EAD                  0.00        0.00   0.00       0.00   -0.17 ***
9. OAD                  0.00        0.00   0.00       0.00   -0.17 ***
10 Ad attraction        0.00       -0.03   0.10 **   -0.04    0.18 ***

       Label               8          9

1. Neurotocism
2. Extraversion
3. Openness
4. Agreeableness
5. Conscienciousness
6. Gender
7. CAD
8. EAD                    --
9. OAD                 -0.17 ***     --
10 Ad attraction       -0.11 ***   0.19 ***

Note: Gender is coded 0 = male, 1 = female. N= 1057.
Reported significance
levels are two-tailed.

* p < .05; ** p <.01; *** p < .001.

Table 4
Multiple Regression Predicting Ad Attraction

                    Unstandardized           Standardized
Coefficient          Coefficients     SE     Coefficients

(Constant)              3.678        0.290
Neuroticism             0.001        0.003      0.012
Extraversion            0.023        0.003      0.248
Openness               -0.004        0.003     -0.042
Agreeableness          -0.004        0.002     -0.043
Conscientiousness       0.004        0.003      0.038
Gender                 -0.035        0.056     -0.018
Cproduct                0.008        0.001      0.224
Eproduct                0.000        0.001     -0.013
Oproduct                0.009        0.001      0.235

Coefficient         Significance    VIF

(Constant)             0.000
Neuroticism            0.675       1.092
Extraversion           0.000       1.114
Openness               0.167       1.124
Agreeableness          0.141       1.063
Conscientiousness      0.199       1.089
Gender                 0.536       1.022
Cproduct               0.000       1.117
Eproduct               0.660       1.123
Oproduct               0.000       1.129

Note: R = 0.395, [R.sup.2] = 0.156, Adjusted [R.sup.2] = 0.149,
F = 21.483, p <.001.
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Author:Stevens, Charles D.; Szmerekovsky, Joseph G.
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Date:Mar 22, 2010
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