HUMAN RESOURCES

Clear message key to recruitment

Inspired by some of the responses my February column has provoked, I would like to look into some other aspects of the psychological contract that is so much a part of managing human resources, recruitment in particular.
Regardless of what information is actually presented during the recruitment process, it is better when both the employer and applicant describe the position to be filled in a clear and comprehensive manner. The message itself thus pre-selects the candidates, since it fails to attract those whose abilities and interests are a poor match for the position offered.


Stanislava Luptáková

Inspired by some of the responses my February column has provoked, I would like to look into some other aspects of the psychological contract that is so much a part of managing human resources, recruitment in particular.

Regardless of what information is actually presented during the recruitment process, it is better when both the employer and applicant describe the position to be filled in a clear and comprehensive manner. The message itself thus pre-selects the candidates, since it fails to attract those whose abilities and interests are a poor match for the position offered.

Recruitment, however, can get very clumsy when the parties to a future employment relationship come from different countries. As various cultural backgrounds come into play, the need for accuracy and comprehensiveness in recruitment information intensifies. This is partly because the implied meanings of words vary between cultures. Each party may have built up some assumptions from past experience, habits and practices, and may expect that these assumptions will work in the new relationship; when this is found not to be the case, a feeling of betrayal may result.

Knowing this, wouldn't it be easier for an international, multicultural employer to behave like a local player to avoid potential misunderstandings?

Research has established that it is generally better for international firms to hold on to their multicultural images. The name nd reputation of a company form an inseparable part of the recruitment message. When deciding about employment, people look at more than the profession or the occupation - they may prefer a specific industry or company. In the same way, when applying for a position in an international or global company, the applicant expects the company to be different from local firms, to have a different organizational culture, management systems and work conditions.

Needless to say, 'different' is often understood to mean 'better' than local companies. Applicants understand that the demands on them will be higher, but they believe that they get more in return than they would in a local company. A big part of the appeal of international companies lies in this 'difference', which frequently is not communicated in any other way than putting 'international' in front of the name of the company. Candidates simply assume that the company will be different ('better') without clarifying work conditions, processes or management style.

On the other hand, should those people who go abroad to find work just passively accept the new environment with its rules in order to avoid disappointment? Here too, when an individual rather than a firm crosses borders in search of an employment experience in a different country, the element of 'difference' is very appealing. The individual changing environment expects to get something in return for his or her willingness to change. Far too often, however, expectations about the offered position can give way to frustration and job dissatisfaction as working in a foreign country is discovered to mean more difficult conditions, cultural shock, different local customs and work habits and even a language barrier.

Here again, the quality of the message in the recruitment process is key. If it is important in the 'mono-cultural' work environment that recruitment information be precise and true, this is even more crucial in a cross-cultural environment. Future job satisfaction is a result of the quality of communication that occurs at the very beginning of any work relationship.

Stanislava Luptáková is a lecturer at Comenius University's Faculty of Management. Her column appears monthly. Send comments or questions to Stanislava.Luptakova@fm.uniba.sk.

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Top stories

Government announces a state mourning for the victims of the crash near Nitra

Flags will be raised at half-mast between 8:00 and 20:00.

A black flag was raised in front of the Government's Office.

UPDATED: Road accident near Nitra claims 12 lives

Pellegrini is considering a national mourning on Friday.

All the things that were left overdue

Last week brought a resignation and a half-hearted opposition deal.

Deputy Speaker Martin Glváč (left) and Smer chair Robert Fico (right) held a press conference on October 29, 2019

The alleged driver in the Kuciak murder case may confess his guilt in court

Tomáš Szabó could be the third of five accused to confess their guilt.

The police escorts Tomáš Szabó, the accused in the Kuciak case, to the Specialised Criminal Court in Banská Bystrica, central Slovakia, on September 30, 2018