To appeal to traditionally hard-to-reach populations such as the LGBT community, many organizations have made diversity and inclusion a focal point of their recruitment messaging. However, extant research provides little evidence of the effectiveness of this messaging for its intended and non-intended targets. Building upon a proposed signaling theory typology, we suggest that activating signals—signals that show how diversity and inclusion are actively embodied or “activated” through organizational practices—are more effective than pointing signals—signals that merely tell an individual that diversity and inclusion is valued. After validating a collection of individual diversity signals using this typology, we test our theory across multiple studies. In Study 1, we focus specifically on LGBT job seekers and conduct an experiment to examine the degree to which various LGBT diversity signals on a fictional company website influence initial assessments of organizational attraction and person-organization fit. In Study 2, we replicate and extend Study 1 by demonstrating how the positive effects of LGBT diversity signals are similar in a sample of non-LGBT job seekers. Finally, in Study 3, we extend the generalizability of our theorizing using a sample of recent job seekers and real organizational websites.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Psychology
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management