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Recruitment messaging, environmental fit and public service motivation: experimental evidence on intentions to apply for public sector jobs

Recruitment messaging, environmental fit and public service motivation: experimental evidence on intentions to apply for public sector jobs
Recruitment messaging, environmental fit and public service motivation: experimental evidence on intentions to apply for public sector jobs
Purpose Public organisations face increasing challenges to attract young and highly qualified staff. Previous studies have shown that public service motivation (PSM) is associated with a higher propensity to apply for public sector jobs, but the implications from these findings for the design of the recruitment process are still unclear. The study investigates how differently framed recruitment messages (i.e. inspirational and rational) affect perceptions of person-job (PJ) and person-organisation (PO) fit, how these associations are moderated by PSM and how they translate into application intentions.

Design/Methodology/Approach We conducted a survey experiment and tested our hypotheses in a sample of 600 students in Germany. The experimental stimuli were hypothetical job advertisements in which inspirational and rational messages on organisational missions and job tasks were varied.

Findings Results show that recruitment messaging, as mediated by perceived PJ and PO fit, can increase application intentions depending on the framing of the messages. Inspirational framings are more effective in attracting personnel than rational framings, especially when such messages convey specific and extensive information about job tasks. The extent to which recruitment messages translate into perceptions of fit depends, in part, on the level of the applicant’s PSM.

Originality By focusing on recruitment messages and their framings, this study is among the few that explore how human resource management (HRM) can capitalize on previous findings of research on PSM. The findings have implications for the selection and presentation of information on organisational missions and job tasks in the recruitment process. In a more theoretical vein, results contribute to the emerging consensus on the role of perceived PJ and PO fit in the attraction to public sector jobs. We deepen this reasoning by introducing self-discrepancy theory to the field of public management.
0951-3558
Asseburg, Julia
113e6253-4c86-42cd-9df1-01f675734516
Homberg, Fabian
31042a5c-cd37-46a1-bdde-53abb55f1072
Vogel, Rick
06612412-eb15-4ab6-84a0-54728a870343
Asseburg, Julia
113e6253-4c86-42cd-9df1-01f675734516
Homberg, Fabian
31042a5c-cd37-46a1-bdde-53abb55f1072
Vogel, Rick
06612412-eb15-4ab6-84a0-54728a870343

Asseburg, Julia, Homberg, Fabian and Vogel, Rick (2018) Recruitment messaging, environmental fit and public service motivation: experimental evidence on intentions to apply for public sector jobs. International Journal of Public Sector Management. (doi:10.1108/IJPSM-08-2017-0217).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Purpose Public organisations face increasing challenges to attract young and highly qualified staff. Previous studies have shown that public service motivation (PSM) is associated with a higher propensity to apply for public sector jobs, but the implications from these findings for the design of the recruitment process are still unclear. The study investigates how differently framed recruitment messages (i.e. inspirational and rational) affect perceptions of person-job (PJ) and person-organisation (PO) fit, how these associations are moderated by PSM and how they translate into application intentions.

Design/Methodology/Approach We conducted a survey experiment and tested our hypotheses in a sample of 600 students in Germany. The experimental stimuli were hypothetical job advertisements in which inspirational and rational messages on organisational missions and job tasks were varied.

Findings Results show that recruitment messaging, as mediated by perceived PJ and PO fit, can increase application intentions depending on the framing of the messages. Inspirational framings are more effective in attracting personnel than rational framings, especially when such messages convey specific and extensive information about job tasks. The extent to which recruitment messages translate into perceptions of fit depends, in part, on the level of the applicant’s PSM.

Originality By focusing on recruitment messages and their framings, this study is among the few that explore how human resource management (HRM) can capitalize on previous findings of research on PSM. The findings have implications for the selection and presentation of information on organisational missions and job tasks in the recruitment process. In a more theoretical vein, results contribute to the emerging consensus on the role of perceived PJ and PO fit in the attraction to public sector jobs. We deepen this reasoning by introducing self-discrepancy theory to the field of public management.

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Asseburg Homberg Vogel 2017l_AAM - Accepted Manuscript
Restricted to Repository staff only until 20 March 2020.
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 20 December 2017
e-pub ahead of print date: 13 August 2018
Published date: 13 August 2018

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 416667
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/416667
ISSN: 0951-3558
PURE UUID: ab7ada48-d26b-4227-8341-009f75779bb0

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Date deposited: 04 Jan 2018 17:30
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 19:03

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