Recruitment and Socialization

Recruitment and Socialization

Organizational Communications

Recruitment and Socialization

Chapter 6: Recruitment and Socialization


Case Study: Job Seeker

Sodexho, a food and facilities management company, used avatars to interview potential job candidates

Many organizations now use avatar-based recruiting processes

Requires applicants to demonstrate technology skills

Helps organizations move toward technology-focused work environments

A Virtual Job-Seeker

Recruitment and Retention

The process of finding and hiring new members of the organization

Used to find new employees that best fit an organization’s existing culture

Success of an organization hinges on its people and the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) they possess



Human Capital

The economic value of an organization’s employee skill set

One of the most important, if not the most important resource for any organization

Particularly important to effectively assess the job-relatedness of an applicant’s KSAs in the recruiting process

An organization must first thoroughly understand the requirements of the job in terms of the knowledge, skills, and abilities that will provide for top performance


The Cost of Human Capital

Hiring costs include advertising positions, screening applicants, interviewing potential employees, evaluating qualifications, and processing any successful candidates offered jobs

May also include relocation costs and housing arrangements

Benefits are also substantial expenses

Workers satisfied with the job and the compensation are more likely to stay with the organization

Making the Right Choice

Process of selecting an employee is a process of predicting the future

These tools, which assess the job-related KSAs of applicants, usually include the “big three” basics of

Job applications or resumes


Reference checks

Providing realistic job previews that emphasize both positives and negatives also important

Critical Thinking Questions – Human Capital

What are some ways that employers can provide realistic job previews?

In what ways does providing realistic job previews also allow the employer to evaluate potential human capital?


Case Study: An Ohio Reboot of Human Capital

A plant was shut down in a small Ohio town, causing a large number of people to lose their jobs

A new company came in and began interviewing potential workers

Instead of reviewing qualifications, applicants were observed as they worked on a task

Looking for critical thinking skills and ability to work with others (work sample)

What types of experiences have you had in job interviews?

What “Great” Managers Do Differently

Buckingham and Coffman (1999) focus on four core activities:

Select a person for talent, not simply experience, intelligence, or determination

Set expectations by defining the right outcomes, not the right steps

Motivate someone by focusing on strengths, not weaknesses

Develop the person by helping them find the right fit, not simply the next rung on the ladder


Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Of the 17 factors most important in helping graduating college students obtain employment, Windsor, Curtis, and Stephens (1997) found that the top three skills were:

Oral (speaking) communication

Written communication



The Importance of Attitude

Attitude is an evaluative statement – either favorable or unfavorable – concerning objects, people, or events that reflect how one feels about something

Attitudes have three intertwined components:

Cognition – an opinion or belief (“my supervisor is unfair”)

Affect – the emotional or feeling segment (“I dislike my supervisor”)

Behavior – the intention to behave in a certain way (“I will quit” or “I will complain about my supervisor”)


Case Study: The Southwest Airlines Case

A highly decorated military pilot applied for a position with Southwest Airlines

On his way to Dallas for the interview, he was rude to the customer service agent when he received his transfer pass

At the interview he appeared cold and arrogant

The pilot was automatically disqualified because he did not appear to have the appropriate attitude for the airline

Why would Southwest be so concerned about attitude when the pilot is obviously highly qualified?

The Socialization Process

Socialization is the process that helps new employees adjust to the prevailing culture of an organization

Can also be referred to as assimilation

Process where an employee:

Learns the ropes

Becomes part of the organizational environment

Adopts the organization as part of their individual identity


Case Study: The New Guy

After his first week at a new job, Jason learned of a company picnic to be held that Saturday

Jason’s son was swimming in an important swim meet that same day, so he opted to go to the swim meet instead

The following Monday, Jason’s new boss scolded him for not attending the picnic

Jason had misunderstood the company culture and expectations

Have you ever misunderstood a cultural expectations in an organization of which you’ve been a part?


Anticipatory Socialization

A phase of socialization that begins even before an employee interviews with an organization

Has to do with the experiences one has had with the industry and the effect those have on the individual’s expectations

Organizational encounter socialization occurs when the employee begins a new position

Typically a time of uncertainty, where the employee must determine whether expectations are being met


Information Seeking

Case Study: Asking Questions

Pat began a new job and was supposed to be trained by a coworker, but that coworker was unavailable

Pat gave information to a customer that he believed to be correct based on his previous work experience – he didn’t want to look unsure, so he didn’t ask

The information was incorrect, costing the customer thousands of dollars

The customer severed ties with Pat’s new company

Should Pat be fired?

The Role of Leadership in Socialization

Leadership can set many different tones for effective information seeking from new employees

Asking questions is one of the quickest and most effective ways for new employees to becoming socialized

The responsibility of learning lies both with the employer and the employee

Socialization and Role Development

Supervisor-subordinate relationships are vital in the development and understanding of one’s role within an organization

Leader-Member Exchange Theory (LMX) suggests leadership is a relationship of exchange, which develops over time

Leaders typically establish relationships with small number of subordinates (the in-group)

Subordinates given certain perks as members of the in-group

People in the in-group comply with different rules than people in the out-group

Cultural Fit

Person-Organization Fit argues that people are attracted to and selected by firms that match their values and personalities, and that they eventually leave organizations that do not

Fit is important for employee satisfaction and success

“Organizational osmosis” refers to the idea that absorbing the organization’s values, beliefs, and understandings in a relatively effortless way



Represents a profound change when an employee moves from being a new hire to becoming “one” with the organization

Typically a gradual process but can happen quickly for some

Often related to personality and attitude of the employee, coworkers, and fit within the culture of the organization

Organizational Exit

Downsizing can be a serious threat to employees of an organization

In most cases, however, firms want to keep employees, though downsizing and layoffs may be the only way for an organization to survive

There are many ways to exit an organization, though it is a good idea for any organization to conduct an exit interview when an employee leaves

Recruitment and Socialization: New Technologies

As we consider recruitment, socialization, and role development within the organization, we should consider the potential impact social media and technology in general might have on this process


As we interact more via technology, we are going to have to discover new cues to guide us in our interpretation of the interactions

Social Media

Having affected our lives beyond simple social networking, this technology has expanded into the organizational socialization and recruitment spectrum

Technology is ubiquitous, fast-moving, and it is obviously here to stay

This provides yet another forum for organizations to enhance their selection and socialization processes

Social media has revolutionized recruitment processes


Some organizations are moving employee selection processes to the online environment

Use of avatars has shown to:

Be cost effective

Reach a worldwide audience

Serve as an “ice-breaker”

Help to demonstrate technology skills

Lead to more engaged interviews

Context Matters

For-Profit Organizations

Larger corporations often have more flexibility and resources for recruitment and retention

Small Businesses

Social media is important as these businesses often have fewer resources

Nonprofit Organizations

Socialization often centers on commitment to the cause

Government Sector

Recruitment can draw from a national pool but is often constrained by government regulations