Original Research

Factors that influence the use of the Internet for job-seeking purposes amongst a sample of final-year students in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa

Juliet R. Chiwara, Willie T. Chinyamurindi, Themba Q. Mjoli
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 15 | a790 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v15i0.790 | © 2017 Juliet R. Chiwara, Willie T. Chinyamurindi, Themba Q. Mjoli | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 January 2016 | Published: 27 February 2017

About the author(s)

Juliet R. Chiwara, Department of Business Management, University of Fort Hare, South Africa
Willie T. Chinyamurindi, Department of Business Management, University of Fort Hare, South Africa
Themba Q. Mjoli, Department of Industrial Psychology, University of Fort Hare, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: Organisations are turning to the Internet in search for talent. A constituency often targeted are those students nearing the end of their tenure of study who are making a transition into the working world. Given this, it is important to understand not only those factors that influence the use of the Internet within the Human Resources (HR) talent search process, but also how such factors relate to actual intent to apply for jobs.

Research purpose: Drawing on the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT) model, the study investigates factors that influence the adoption of the Internet for purposes of job seeking.

Motivation for the study: Calls have been made for research that investigates factors that influence the intention to use the Internet to apply for jobs in developing countries such as South Africa.

Research approach, design and method: The study used the quantitative approach (relying on a survey) to test the hypotheses into factors that influence the use of Internet for the purpose of job seeking amongst a sample of 346 prospective job seekers in their final year of study at a South African university.

Main findings: Through correlation and regression analysis, findings reveal a positive relationship to exist between (1) performance expectancy with intention to use the Internet to apply for jobs, (2) effort expectancy with intention to use the Internet to apply for jobs, (3) individual effort expectancy and performance expectancy and (4) individual trust and the intention to use the Internet for job seeking. However, no relationship was found to exist between facilitating conditions and intention to use the Internet for job seeking.

Practical/managerial implications: The findings magnify the role of salient factors in the intention to use the Internet for job-seeking purposes. Efforts from applicants, universities, recruitment agencies and organisations, potentially, have an effect on the intention to use the Internet for job-seeking purposes. Such efforts may enhance the students’ online experience and minimise problems that accompany technology adoption for the purposes of recruitment. Findings from this research may help enhance the online recruitment experience both from the end-user and recruiter perspective.

Contribution/value-add: The study contributes to the recruitment literature in three ways: Firstly, UTAUT is shown to be a useful framework to explain final-year, job-seeking students’ intention to use the Internet to apply for jobs. Furthermore, the findings illustrate the value of the UTAUT as a model useful in enhancing understanding on intentions. Secondly, the study places focus on the human factor rather than facilitating conditions as important issues regarding intention to use the Internet to apply for a job. Finally, based on these findings, future angles of research that have academic and practitioner implications are proposed.


Keywords

internet adoption; job-seeking; UTAUT; recruitment

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