Diversity Cues on Recruitment Websites: How to Stand Out to Jobseekers

Topic(s): diversity, recruiting
Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology (Jan 2012)
Article: Diversity Cues on Recruitment Websites: Investigating the Effects on Job Seekers’ Information Processing
Authors: H. J. Walker, H. S. Field, J. B. Bernerth, J. B. Becton
Reviewed by: Samia Shaikh

In a complex and competitive business world, many organizations seek to recruit a diverse workforce. This diverse workforce is often sought through the use of the Internet, as most modern day jobseekers turn to company websites to learn about organizations and their opportunities. But with so many websites available to jobseekers, how can an organization present itself online in order to make sure minority individuals remember it?

So far, research has shown that individuals who thoroughly evaluate information presented to them will have strong attitudes that can be predictive of behavior. In recruiting, the content or attributes of the recruitment information (e.g., the attractiveness of a website) is related to how thoroughly an individual will process the information. In the case of a recruitment website, thorough information processing can be demonstrated through lengthier website viewing time, as well as the amount of website information recalled. Additionally, research has indicated that racial minorities will likely be more concerned with an organization’s diversity climate, or how accepting and inclusive an organization is of minorities.

In the study by Walker and colleagues, the researchers tried to understand how diversity cues on recruitment websites affect how Black and White viewers process the information presented. They found that diversity cues induced organizational attraction for Blacks; this attraction motivated them to evaluate the recruitment website further. Interestingly enough, diversity cues also lead White viewers to evaluate the website more, though this was not due to organizational attraction. More research is needed to clarify this finding. The presence of diversity cues also helped both Black and White website viewers to remember the recruitment information they viewed.

The findings suggest that adding images of diverse employees and diversity initiative information to recruitment websites may initiate more attentive information processing in both minority and non-minority jobseekers. More attentive information processing may help jobseekers to develop strong attitudes, and if jobseekers develop strong attitudes towards an organization they perceive as positive, then this could lead them to apply for openings.