Effectiveness of corporate employment web sites: How content and form influence intentions to apply
Marcel J.H. van Birgelen
Martin G.M. Wetzels
Willemijn M. van Dolen
Purpose – Although research is emerging, the knowledge base on the evaluative determinants of the effectiveness of corporate employment web sites is still limited. This paper attempts to narrow this gap by investigating how potential job applicants' evaluations of web site content- and form-related attributes contribute to corporate employment web site effectiveness. Design/methodology/approach – The approach takes the form of an empirical study using PLS path modeling. Findings – Applicants' attitude toward a corporate employment web site is found to be differentially influenced by the web site's content- and form-related evaluations. In turn, attitude toward the web site influences intentions to apply. This relationship is fully mediated by attraction toward the organization. The latter is also influenced by attitude toward corporate employment web sites in general, which consequently contributes indirectly to application intentions. Research limitations/implications – Using a non-laboratory setting and a broader sample, future research should further apply a person-organization fit perspective to corporate online recruitment and investigate effects of personality-related factors such as risk/security-seeking tendencies. Furthermore, it may be worthwhile to include technology-oriented variables such as technological self-efficacy as well. Practical implications – Corporate employment web sites used to inform potential applicants about employment opportunities should be easy to use. In addition, firms should provide applicants with updated information and make sure that the information provided matches the applicants' needs during their information search process.. Persons who hold a more favorable overall predisposition toward corporate employment web sites are more attracted toward an organization using such sites. This suggests that corporate employment web sites may be particularly effective for certain groups of applicants, beyond the effects of web site content and form. Originality/value – Drawing on literature in areas such as job applicant decision making, information systems, and web site effectiveness, the paper develops the understanding of the role of web site features in determining intentions to apply for a job via corporate employment web sites.
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