Job Search and Employment Quality in the Age of the Internet

Ella Kramer & Frederike Annuszies

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

A ‘good’ match between employer and employee is of ever-increasing importance because it determines outcomes such as satisfaction, productivity or intention to leave. For that reason, a high employment match quality is of great relevance for the organization as well as the individual. In the light of imperfect information, various literature streams focus on how organizations can reduce the risk of non-optimal hiring choices. Yet, little academic attention has been devoted to the job seekers’ perspective on attaining an informed job choice that ideally leads to a high employment match quality. Bridging this gap is of severe importance in the advent of the internet, as such promises to be a useful job search tool and source of information. By extending the Principal-Agent Theory with emphasis on the job seeker, this thesis pioneers in exploring how the internet contributes to the acquisition of potentially complete and accurate information that enables the job seeker to find the ‘right’ job and organization. Qualitative interviews with nine recently employed Graduates set ground for analyzing which information sources and content are used and considered helpful for identifying a high-quality match. The empirical investigation reveals that the internet has changed the job seeker’s job search as it allows for new behaviors, increases the number of available formal sources (i.e. the scope of information) and decreases the effort with which relevant information can be detected. While the internet supplies useful information about organizational characteristics, job-specific information remains limited, so that the quality of the match may be improved but continues to be an ‘experience good’. From this it can be drawn that organizations should make more and more accurate information easily accessible online and consider within their recruitment approach that job search has changed.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2019
Number of pages214