The Impact of Organizational Culture on Attraction and Recruitment of Job Applicants

Abstract

Purpose

This research examined how job pursuit and application decisions of male and female job applicants are impacted by beliefs about the organization’s culture.

Design/Methodology/Approach

Participants responded to questions regarding job pursuit intentions, organizational preference, and organizational choice for two hypothetical organizations, depicted in recruitment brochures as having either a competitive (“masculine”) or supportive (“feminine”) organizational culture in a 2 × 2 repeated measures design. Choosing the supportive culture required the trade-off of lower salary.

Findings

The results indicate that organizational culture interacts with gender to influence applicant attraction. Men were more likely than women to intend to pursue a job with the competitive organization; however, the majority of both men and women reported stronger interest in working for the supportive organization, even though salary would be lower.

Implications

This provides an empirical basis for organizational decision makers to integrate more supportive “feminine” values into the organizational culture and to highlight these values in recruitment literature. Perceived organizational culture plays a significant role in applicant decision making and both male and female applicants indicated a willingness to accept a lower salary in return for a supportive organizational culture. This has significance for organizations that seek to attract high quality applicants but whose direct compensation is lower than that offered by competitors.

Originality/Value

This is the first study to use an experimental design to manipulate organizational culture and salary trade-offs depicted in recruitment literature to examine the impact on applicant attraction.

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Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Diane Catanzaro.

Additional information

Received and reviewed by former editor, George Neuman.

Appendix

Appendix

Job Pursuit Intentions Scale (Adapted from Aiman-Smith et al. 2001)

Directions: Based on the company brochure you just read, please respond to these following statements. Please indicate your agreement with each item by circling one answer for each question.

  1. 1.

    I would accept a job offer from this company after graduating.

    Strongly disagree Somewhat disagree Slightly disagree Neutral Slightly agree Somewhat agree Strongly agree
  2. 2.

    I would request more information about this company after graduating.

    Strongly disagree Somewhat disagree Slightly disagree Neutral Slightly agree Somewhat agree Strongly agree
  3. 3.

    If this company visited campus I would want to speak with a representative.

    Strongly disagree Somewhat disagree Slightly disagree Neutral Slightly agree Somewhat agree Strongly agree
  4. 4.

    I would attempt to gain an interview with this company after graduating.

    Strongly disagree Somewhat disagree Slightly disagree Neutral Slightly agree Somewhat agree Strongly agree
  5. 5.

    I would actively pursue obtaining a position with this company after graduating.

    Strongly disagree Somewhat disagree Slightly disagree Neutral Slightly agree Somewhat agree Strongly agree
  6. 6.

    If this company was at a job fair I would seek out their booth.

    Strongly disagree Somewhat disagree Slightly disagree Neutral Slightly agree Somewhat agree Strongly agree

Organizational Preference Measure

Directions: Please read each of the following statements. Think about the preferences you have towards the values in an organization. Please indicate your agreement with each item by circling one answer for each statement.

  1. 1.

    I would prefer to work in an organization that values collaboration with other employees in my department.

    Strongly disagree Somewhat disagree Slightly disagree Neutral Slightly agree Somewhat agree Strongly agree
  2. 2.

    I would prefer to work in an organization that would allow me to balance my work and family life, even if it meant earning a lower salary.

    Strongly disagree Somewhat disagree Slightly disagree Neutral Slightly agree Somewhat agree Strongly agree
  3. 3.

    I would prefer to work in an organization that values my working independently from other employees.

    Strongly disagree Somewhat disagree Slightly disagree Neutral Slightly agree Somewhat agree Strongly agree
  4. 4.

    I would prefer to work in an organization that values my being supportive and helpful to others in my department.

    Strongly disagree Somewhat disagree Slightly disagree Neutral Slightly agree Somewhat agree Strongly agree
  5. 5.

    I would prefer to work in an organization that provides me the opportunity to have high salary earnings, even if it meant sacrifices regarding my personal and family life.

    Strongly disagree Somewhat disagree Slightly disagree Neutral Slightly agree Somewhat agree Strongly agree
  6. 6.

    I would prefer to work in an organization that allows me to be competitive with my colleagues for rewards.

    Strongly disagree Somewhat disagree Slightly disagree Neutral Slightly agree Somewhat agree Strongly agree
  7. 7.

    I would prefer to work in an organization that views high salary and career advancement as the main focus of my life, even if the job was very demanding and required 60 h work weeks.

    Strongly disagree Somewhat disagree Slightly disagree Neutral Slightly agree Somewhat agree Strongly agree
  8. 8.

    I would prefer to work in an organization where rewards are distributed equally in my workgroup.

    Strongly disagree Somewhat disagree Slightly disagree Neutral Slightly agree Somewhat agree Strongly agree
  9. 9.

    I would prefer to work in an organization that values being a winner and outperforming my peers.

    Strongly disagree Somewhat disagree Slightly disagree Neutral Slightly agree Somewhat agree Strongly agree
  10. 10.

    I would prefer to work in an organization that realizes I have a life outside of my career, even if the salary is less than I could earn in a more demanding job.

    Strongly disagree Somewhat disagree Slightly disagree Neutral Slightly agree Somewhat agree Strongly agree

Organizational Choice Measure

Directions: Based on the two company brochures you just read, please respond to the following questions.

  1. 1.

    What is the probability that you would choose to work at one organization over the other? (Please indicate your response by placing a check by one of the probability statement options).

    • Example: If you would strongly prefer to work at Hampton Roads Bank & Trust over Tidewater Savings & Loan, you could choose option (f) below: 100% HRB&T and 0% TS&L

    • Example: If you would strongly prefer to work at Tidewater Savings & Loan, you could choose option (a) below: 0% HRB&T and 100% TS&L.

      Hampton Roads Bank & Trust (HRB&T) Tidewater Savings & Loan (TS&L)
    _____ a. 0% HRB&T 100% TS&L
    _____ b. 20% HRB&T 80% TS&L
    _____ c. 40% HRB&T 60% TS&L
    _____ d. 60% HRB&T 40% TS&L
    _____ e. 80% HRB&T 20% TS&L
    _____ f. 100% HRB&T 0% TS&L
  2. 2.

    Based on the two brochures you have read, which organization would you prefer to work?

    a. ____ Hampton Roads Bank & Trust b._____ Tidewater Savings & Loan
    Please explain your choice:
    ________________________________________________________________________________________
    ________________________________________________________________________________________
    ________________________________________________________________________________________
    ________________________________________________________________________________________

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Catanzaro, D., Moore, H. & Marshall, T.R. The Impact of Organizational Culture on Attraction and Recruitment of Job Applicants. J Bus Psychol 25, 649–662 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10869-010-9179-0

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Keywords

  • Organizational culture
  • Recruitment
  • Sex roles
  • Work-life balance
  • Organizational attraction
  • Salary