Boost Recruiting by Advertising Corporate Social Performance

Topic(s): ethics, organizational reputation, recruiting
Publication: Journal of Business and Psychology (2009)
Article: Effects of pro-environmental recruiting messages: The role of organizational reputations.
Authors: T.S. Behrend, B.A. Baker, L.F. Thompson

Reviewed by: Sarah Teague

Effective recruitment is crucial to the development of a cohesive workforce and a successful organization. It directly affects the quality of a potential applicant pool. Organizational websites have long played a key role in the recruitment process, as organizations can use them to reach mass quantities of potential applicants and simultaneously advertise the organization’s merits, all while keeping costs low.


The current article examined the effects of including a pro-environmental message on a corporate website. The researchers (Behrend, Baker, & Thompson, 2009) were specifically interested in whether the messages were related to applicants’ perceptions of a simulated organization. In this case, the term pro-environmental message refers to something called corporate social performance – essentially the commitment to various stakeholders, including the greater community. Participants in the study were shown a corporate web site that either did or did not include a pro-environmental message. Individuals who were shown the web site with the message saw the company as more prestigious and were more likely to pursue a job with that company.


Organizations that emphasize their commitment to the greater community will draw more applicants than those that do not. This strategy allows organizations to tap into a much larger applicant pool and allows them to be more selective in their hiring process. This will ultimately lead to a more qualified and competitive workforce.


Behrend, T. S., Baker, B. A., & Thompson, L. F. (2009). Effects of pro-environmental recruiting messages: The role of organizational reputations. Journal of Business and Psychology, 24(3), 341-350.