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Developing labor shortages are expected to increase the importance of applicant attraction into the next century. Unfonunately, previous research has provided little in the way of unified theory or operational guidelines for organizations confronted with attraction difficulties. In part, this is because much research has been framed from the applicant's, rather than the organization's, perspective. In addition, attraction-related theories and research are scattered across a variety of literatures, and often identified primarily with topics other than attraction per se (e.g., wage, motivation, or discrimination theories). The present paper draws on multiple literatures to develop a model of applicant attraction from the organization's perspective. In it, we (1) outline three general strategies for enhancing applicant attraction, (2) propose broad categories of contingency factors expected to affect the choice (and potential effectiveness) of alternative strategies, (3) suggest probable interrelationships among the strategies, (4) link applicant attraction strategies to other human resource practices, (5) outline various dimensions of attraction outcomes (e.g. qualitative and quantitative, attitudinal and behavioral, temporal), and (6) discuss implications for future attraction research.


Suggested Citation
Rynes, S. L., & Barber, A. E. (1989). Applicant attraction strategies: An organizational perspective (CAHRS Working Paper #89-14). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.

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