Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the use of realistic job previews (RJPs) and realistic living conditions previews (RLCPs) during the recruitment of a group of internationally mobile knowledge workers who elect to go overseas independently rather than as part of an overseas assignment. It also aims to explore individual perceptions of the value of RJPs and RLCPs in contributing to work and general living adjustment. Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws on a qualitative study of international faculty in six Canadian universities using in‐depth interviews to examine their experiences of recruitment and focusing specifically on the extent to which RJPs and RLCP were provided. Findings – The findings reflect the need for realistic recruitment that includes information about position specifications and responsibilities as well as non‐organizational factors such as opportunities for spousal employment. Thus, respondents did not conceptualize the recruitment process in terms of two separate components of “job” (RJP) and “living conditions” (RLCP). Instead realistic recruitment emerged as a holistic process, with each individual having his/her own differential weighting of the relative importance of different factors. Research limitations/implications – The sample comprises mostly white‐western faculty, thus ethnic minority faculty are underrepresented. Further research might also explore the perceptions and experiences of international recruiters. Originality/value – The paper extends the current literature on RJPs and RLCPs to consider internationally mobile knowledge workers who elect to go overseas independently. Located within an interpretive perspective it also enhances our understanding of individual experiences and the need for a more holistic approach to international recruitment.
Personnel Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 1, 2008
Keywords: International organizations; Recruitment; Job previews; Standard of living; Universities; Canada
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