Recruiting Through Job Advertisements: The Effects of Cognitive Elaboration on Decision Making


*Address for correspondence: David A. Jones, PhD, School of Business Administration, University of Vermont, Kalkin Hall, 55 Colchester Ave. Burlington, VT 05405-0158


We applied a model of persuasion – the elaboration likelihood model – to investigate whether individuals' decisions about responding to job advertisements are affected by how deeply they process recruitment messages (i.e., elaboration likelihood, EL). We manipulated individuals' (N=112) motivation and ability to carefully process job advertisements (ads). As hypothesized, individuals in the lower (vs. higher) EL conditions chose more ads containing cues unrelated to the job (e.g., bolded font), and fewer ads containing higher quality arguments. Participants also reported that they “skimmed” and carefully read job ads in the past, providing evidence for variability in EL among job seekers. We discuss the implications of the findings for recruiters who wish to increase the size of their applicant pool.