We investigate job seeker visual and verbal attention, and perceptions regarding company web sites in the applicant generation phase of recruitment.
We report three studies using varied methodological approaches including eye-tracking, verbal protocol analysis (VPA), and survey data.
Eye-tracking results suggest Web-based job seekers focus visual attention on information containing hyperlinks and on text more than graphic images or navigation tools. VPA suggests Web-based job seekers focus verbal attention on content more than design, especially job opening information. Survey results suggest content, design, and communication features are all related to applicant attraction. Design explains the most incremental variance in web site evaluation, while perceptions of communication features explain the most incremental variance in attitude toward the organization and intentions to pursue employment.
We provide multi-method evidence concerning features that attract applicant visual and verbal attention, and influence attraction and intentions to pursue employment. The findings also provide practical implications for designing recruitment web sites.
We report three methodologically distinct perspectives on an important and timely issue: Web-based recruitment. We are aware of no other psychomotor eye-tracking studies in the recruitment literature, and only one other VPA. Combining multiple methods in this way provides unique perspective.
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Portions of this research were funded by Office of Naval Research and the Fogelman College of Business and Economics. This research was in large part designed and inspired by Dr. Mitzi Pitts prior to her untimely passing. We dedicate this research to the memory of her scholarship, care for students, and joyful spirit.
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Allen, D.G., Biggane, J.E., Pitts, M. et al. Reactions to Recruitment Web Sites: Visual and Verbal Attention, Attraction, and Intentions to Pursue Employment. J Bus Psychol 28, 263–285 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10869-012-9281-6