Understanding Employer Behavior
In marketing, to be successful, organizations must completely understand the process consumers take when making decisions…what we call consumer behavior. Consumer behavior describes the processes used by consumers to make purchase decisions. When making these purchase decisions, consumers typically follow the consumer decision-making process: (1) problem recognition; (2) information search; (3) evaluation of alternatives; (4) purchase; and (5) post-purchase evaluation.
Just as consumers go through these steps when making a purchase, so too do employers go through a similar process when recruiting for new employees.
Let’s examine the steps in the process:
- Problem/Need Recognition — whether it is to replace one position or to hire for a new division or new branch office, employers must first recognize that there is a need to hire.
- Information Search — active information search. For employers, this active information search may include any or all of the following: reviewing “uninvited” job requests, recruiting on college campuses, recruiting at job and career fairs, placing job ads (online or in print), utilizing headhunters, promoting from within, networking with colleagues, using the Web.
- Evaluation of Alternatives — depending upon the size of the company and the number of positions needed to be filled, several people may be involved in the evaluation stage, including:
- the person who reviews applications (either in the department or in the human resources department) and determines who looks “best on paper” and continues in the process and who gets put into the “other” stack.
- the headhunter — if one is used — that does the initial screening for employers and forwards a select group of names to the employer.
- the corporate recruiter, who interviews hundreds of students or other job applicants (usually for short periods of time) in a given week, and must make quick judgment calls on who should continue in the process.
- the person (or persons) who interview the applicants.
- the person making the hiring decision.
- Purchase Decision — where the company decides on its top candidate and makes a job offer.
- Post-Purchase Evaluation — involves determining if the right choice was made. For employers this step includes probationary periods, performance appraisals and evaluations, sometimes often during the first year, hopefully with the continued purchase of services.
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