University of Twente Student Theses


How to attract engineers : connecting the dots for company X

Bos, F. (2012) How to attract engineers : connecting the dots for company X.

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Abstract:The aim of this study is to improve the attractiveness of Company X as an employer of highly trained engineers. Company X is a growing organisation and in order to keep up with its organisational growth CX needs to recruit and hire a lot of new engineers. The problems that CX faces are relating to the labour shortages in the Dutch labour market where it is especially hard to recruit engineers. This study will therefore focus its attention on the strongest predictors of organisational attractiveness in order to present the predictors that are most important according to technical students and engineers. The recruitment problems of CX are not disastrous, but need some attention in order to keep up with the organisational growth. CX wants to recruit one hundred new employees in the coming two or three years. However, many researchers predict a general labour shortage due to the retirement of the baby-boom generation, while others show that especially the technical industry will face recruitment difficulties due to a shortage of engineers. In order to attract the group of technical engineers that are recently graduated CX needs to become more attractive for this potential target population. The central research question in this study is therefore; “In what way can Company X improve their organisational attractiveness for potential (technical) applicants?” To answer this research question an extensive literature review on organisational attractiveness was conducted. The results review indicated that for attracting potential applicants, CX needs to get their attention before the early recruitment process. Moreover, CX needs to be viewed as a positive place to work for the potential applicants. From the theory, we learn that “type of work” and “the work environment” are the main predictors of organisational attractiveness before the early recruitment processes. Type of work and the work environment are represented in this study by the following list of work characteristics that eventually determine organisational attractiveness; Challenge, Autonomy, Flexibility, Leadership, Reward and recognition, Supportive work environment, and Learning and development opportunities. Eventually, these constructs were divided into fifteen different dimensions that have been rated by different groups of respondents to find out which job and organisational characteristics are most attractive according to potential applicants (technical students and engineers). The results indicate that there are seven significant differences in the most attractive job and organisational characteristics between students and engineers. Students are more attracted by social support and promotion opportunities, while engineers already working for the organisation value learning and development opportunities, social responsibility, work scheduling autonomy, decision making autonomy, and flexibility as more attractive predictors of an organisation. It can therefore be concluded that CX needs to make a distinction in the recruitment messages for engineers and for students. In addition to the in general most preferred work characteristics of leadership, and praise and recognition, CX needs to pay more attention to the preferred attractive work characteristics for each sample. In other words, for recruiting students the focus should be on social support and promotion opportunities, while the recruitment message for engineers should contain more concrete information about learning and development opportunities, social responsibility, work scheduling autonomy, decision making autonomy, and flexibility.
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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