Wanted: Company that is Well-Endowed, Reputable, and Ethical

Topic: Diversity, Recruiting, Staffing
Publication: Journal of Business Ethics
Article: Social desirability response bias, gender, and factors influencing organizational commitment: An international study.
Author: R.A. Bernardi, S.T. Guptill
Featured by: Lit Digger

Given today’s economy, job openings are drying up. However, for those companies that DO have open positions to fill, recruiters may still find it valuable to emphasize the aspects of the company that prospective applicants are looking for. So what are some key factors that job interviewees are seeking from potential employers?

Bernardi and Guptill (2009) examined the following five factors that have been found in previous literature to predict an employee’s willingness to stay committed to his/her company: the amount of  resources available from the company, fairness at work, the amount of care and concern that management has for employees, the degree to which employees are trusted by management, and the company’s reputation in the community. So are ALL of these also considered important by people interviewing for a job?  Well, the degree of importance may depend on the applicant’s country of origin.

The authors found that respondents from Ecuador, Columbia, and South Africa regarded the above five factors as more important than respondents from Canada,  Hong Kong, Ireland, and the United States. They also took out the effects of gender and for social  desirability bias in their study, which was a notable contribution for ethics research.

Okay, so there were differences across countries. But were there any differences between males and females overall?  Apparently, yes. Males didn’t rate any of the five factors as highly as females – but at the same time, females were generally more likely to answer in socially desirable ways than males. So, maybe recruiters and interviewers should keep in mind the country of origin and gender of each job candidate while deciding what points to emphasize in their attempt to attract and retain the best talent. Of course, these findings do not generalize toeveryone, but they still may provide some helpful hints along the way.

Bernardi,R.A., Guptill, S.T., (2009). Social desirability response bias, gender, and factors influencing organizational commitment: An international study. Journal of Business Ethics, 81, 797-809.