Beeco: Effectiveness of CEO Blogs as a Recruiting Tool: Impact of Message Congruence with Applicant Personality and Implicit Leadership Theories

Name: Rebekkah Wills Beeco
Title: Effectiveness of CEO Blogs as a Recruiting Tool: Impact of Message Congruence with Applicant Personality and Implicit Leadership Theories
Chair: Dr. Pat Raymark
Committee Members: Drs. Rich Pak, Cindy Pury, and Mary Anne Taylor
When and Where: July 12, 2012 at 3:00pm, Brackett 419.
Abstract:
Organizational recruitment websites have become an important tool for both recruiters and job seekers. The structural characteristics of such websites (e.g., aesthetics, usability) have received some attention but less research has examined the content of these websites. A blog, specifically a leader or CEO blog, is one novel way that organizations can impact recruitment through their website. Although research is limited, anecdotal evidence suggests that blogs may be a powerful recruiting tool. It has been suggested that a key advantage of blogs compared to more traditional organizational web site features is the ability to communicate with a conversational tone (Kelleher, 2009). Therefore, with this unique tool, an organization’s leader could positively impact perceptions by communicating organization information to job seekers using his/her interpersonal communication style. The types of messages communicated through CEO blogs have not been thoroughly examined. In line with research that suggests followers prefer leaders who are similar to themselves (e.g., Keller, 1999), the effectiveness of leader blog messages for recruitment purposes may be a function of how well the content and/or style match the characteristics of the job seekers. This study examined job applicant personality characteristics as well as implicit leadership theories (ILTs; Offerman, Kennedy, & Wirtz, 1994) as predictors of leader preference, and subsequently attraction to the organization, using an organizational recruitment website with leader information presented in a weblog. Perceptions of the leader were found to be more favorable when the content of the blog was consistent with participants’ ILT, such that increases in ratings of the corresponding ILT component were associated with increased preference for the leader. The current study provides support for the position that ILTs are important for understanding ratings of leader preference, and furthermore, that these effects can be found simply by reading a blog on a website.

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