University of Twente Student Theses


Talent avenue : road towards an exciting R&D career

Bosselaar, Jorrit (2011) Talent avenue : road towards an exciting R&D career.

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Abstract:For organizations in fast-moving consumer goods speed in innovation is the currency of success. To achieve bigger, better and faster innovations R&D centres need professionals with the right knowledge and skills as these are the greatest R&D assets. Central in this research is the question how R&D organizations can attract such experienced professionals. Therefore this research explores which work values characterize R&D professionals based on Unilever R&D in Vlaardingen and how communication channels can be used to reach potential new employees. Subsequently, it explores whether generational differences have an effect on the perception of these work values. Earlier research provides several views on recruitment and employer branding in a R&D context. As a basis two theoretical concepts were used for this research. First of all, in joining the organization I used a model of organizational recruitment. This model addresses the question of the identification and location of the target group and which measures are taken in order to reach this target group. Secondly, I used two of three enablers for job seeker’s actions, namely corporate image and job attributes for identification of the target group. The perception of job attributes is divided into working conditions and job practice. In order to gain information on these subjects I launched a web-based survey on the Unilever R&D site in Vlaardingen. This site contains about 900 R&D professionals of which 671 are mid-career with a minimum of two years work experience. The respondents were asked to state the importance of variables in the topics corporate image, working conditions and job practice. A total amount of 239 valid surveys were returned which represents a response percentage of 35.6%. As a main conclusion, data-analysis of the results delivered indications for the way how general recruitment messages can be aligned with the target group. The results have shown there are overall work values which are relevant to R&D professionals and work values specific to age, department, work level or home situation. Results showed the following basic work values for the three enablers: Corporate image (career, salary, employee satisfaction and innovation), for Working conditions (attractive compensation, career perspective, learning opportunities, challenges at work, and flexible working), and for Job practice (innovation, new idea proposals and updates on recent developments). Subsequently I found that age does have an influence on the perception of work values, but this only accounts for career, reward, innovation and international opportunities. The basic preferences can be completed depending on generational background and the department, which reflects the phase in the process of research and development. For communicating with the labour market the findings of this research show that the personal network is the most important communication tool. Given all kinds of purposes for receiving information, this personal network is most important. Also traditional media, such as magazines and journals are still perceived as valuable sources. In addition, online sites in the R&D field have also won its place in the standard sourcing portfolio. In this perspective social media and events depend on generation and nature of research. Concluding, I would recommend Unilever R&D Vlaardingen to set up a communication plan following the results of this research; which work values are of interest to the target group and which recruitment sources are we going to use to spread this message. Unilever can be proud of their research and development and it is time to show this to the rest of the world. But it all starts with a passion for R&D and therefore it is very important that Unilever supports initiatives such as Jet-Net actively to show young people in schools how wonderful R&D can be.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
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