Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Sciences


Pamela Brandes


Conjoint Analysis, Differing Perceptions, Q-Study, Recruiter Attributes, Student Attraction

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


The purpose of the present work was threefold: (1) to examine the perceptions of what makes retail recruiting organizations attractive to college undergraduates and examine what attributes recruiting organizations believe students are attracted to; (2) to examine the differences in these perceptions with particular interest in the role of the recruiters themselves and (3) to test whether specific recruitment attributes, ranked highly by the students, impacted variables already cited in the extant literature, in order to assist human resources professionals increase the effectiveness of their recruitment practices.

In the fall of 2008, four in-depth interviews with key retail recruiters, and a focus group with six senior retail undergraduate students were held. The following spring a Q-study was administered to eight recruiters and nineteen students utilizing the data collected from the focus group and interviews. In fall of 2010 and early 2011, three conjoint analysis experiments were conducted to measure the impact of specific recruiter behaviors identified by the students as being of key importance to their attraction, upon the variables of personableness, informativeness and competence, widely cited as being of significance to applicant attraction in the recruitment literature. An additional experiment was conducted to measure the impact of these behaviors on likelihood to pursue an opportunity with this organization. The specific recruitment behaviors were summarized as structured interview format, relationship with student, and sustained presence on campus.

Findings indicated that college undergraduates and recruitment professionals differ significantly in what they believe is of importance in attracting student applicants to organizations and the conjoint analysis experiments showed a strong influence by the identified recruitment behaviors on two of the variables from the extant literature.


Open Access