Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Charles Scherbaum

Committee Members

Harold Goldstein

Wei Wang

Andrea Bazzoli

Ken Yusko

Subject Categories

Industrial and Organizational Psychology


recruitment, job advertisements, job seekers, job candidates


Organizations currently lack research-based best practice guidance on what information is most helpful for job seekers when deciding which jobs and organizations to apply to. This lack of guidance is a detriment because, typically, recruitment strategies are designed from the perspective of the organization’s needs –which is effective when the job market is organization, rather than candidate-driven. When the market is candidate-driven, it would benefit organizations to view the recruitment process through the lens of job seekers. The current studies focus on understanding one of the beginning stages of recruitment through the lens of job seekers: job advertisements. Through a qualitative pilot study, it was found that human needs information (i.e., information characterized by Alderfer’s (1969) Existence, Relatedness, Growth (ERG) model), when shared, was commonly depicted in organizational descriptions while human motivation information (i.e., information characterized by Hackman and Oldham’s (1976) Work Design Theory and Job Characteristics Model) was commonly depicted in task statements on job advertisements. Thus, these theoretical frameworks were used to design two experimental studies. This work is timely because, currently, organizations may need to expand their recruitment strategies to attract job seekers in a candidate-driven market, and job advertisements are often the first interaction that job seekers have with organizations. The current research specifically sought to assess which job advertisement information persuades job seekers to perceive a needs fit and ultimately influences them to apply to the vacancy. In the first study, human needs (i.e., ERG) information was manipulated as part of the organizational description. The second study manipulated human motivation (i.e., JCM) information as part of the task statements. Results showed that manipulations in the organizational description (i.e., Study 1) influenced the participant’s intentions to apply, whereas manipulations in the task statements (i.e., Study 2) did not influence the participant’s intentions to apply. The current paper provides the theoretical rationale, description, results, and discussion for the three studies.