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In his study, Jan Posthumus uses the grounded theory method to explore the implementation of marketing instruments such as segmentation and targeting in the recruitment of high potentials in the pharmaceutical industry. The implementation of these instruments can best be understood as the result of an interaction between four categories: the identified internal need for certain groups of high potentials; the scarcity of these groups of high potentials in the market; the attitudes, opinions, and strategies within human resources; and the technological capabilities. Depending on the situation, different recruitment instruments are used to recruit high potentials. However, the interviewees did not use an explicit high potential recruitment profile, though they implicitly search for varying combinations of high-potential characteristics such as: intelligence and agility, engagement, the ability to perform in various environments, and the ability to manage one’s energy levels.



1. Introduction

Only companies that are flexible and have the ability to learn and adapt will survive in our ever-changing environment (Collins, 2001). This ability to learn and adapt can be potentially achieved by a company in one of three ways: (a) through the retention of the employees that have this ability, (b) through the development of these abilities in employees, and (c) through the recruitment of new employees. Although all three pathways are important and have to be aligned to deliver optimal results (Stahl et al., 2007), Ulrich and Brockbank (2005) note that recruitment should be regarded as the most important pathway, as it drives the outcomes of other measures (e.g., training and incentives) of the high-potential management system
Jan Posthumus

2. Review of the Literature

With the introduction of marketing in the second half of the last century, the focus of companies shifted from a product-centered orientation toward a market orientation (Leeflang, 2011). According to Kotler and Armstrong (2010), successful contemporary companies are preoccupied with “understanding and satisfying the needs of their customers in well-defined markets” (p. 28). Similarly, the focus of high-potential recruitment has started to shift from a vacancy-oriented approach toward a talent-oriented approach (Trost, 2012). According to Boudreau and Ramstad (2005), talent segmentation therefore becomes as vital to an organization as customer segmentation is in marketing of products and services.
Jan Posthumus

3. Research Design and Methods

Contingency theory has been used as a framework in a variety of contexts. Empirical results support the theoretical relationship between context variables and segmentation approaches (Cui & Choudhury, 2003; Kleiner, 2008), and the explanatory power is well documented. It has been used to gain insights in a variety of topics in human resources such as communication (Goldhaber, 1993), persuasion (Smith, 1982), knowledge transfer (Birkinshaw, Nobel, & Ridderstrale, 2002), and decision theory (Vroom & Yetton, 1973). It is also in line with the results of other empirical work in human resources (Orlitzky, 2007; Schreyögg, 1995). In these recruitment-related topics, various links between contextual factors and differences in the studied topic were observed. In recent years, the influence of company characteristics on recruitment has increasingly become a topic of interest. Characteristics such as firm knowledge (Cable & Turban, 2001), firm reputation (Turban & Cable, 2003), firm personality (Collins & Han, 2004; Slaughter et al., 2004), and brand/organizational image (Chapman et al., 2005; Collins & Stevens, 2002) have been examined and found to have significant influence on recruitment procedures, techniques, and outcomes.
Jan Posthumus

4. Findings and Analysis

This chapter presents the findings and analysis of this study. It begins with a review of the methods used in the study and an overview of the demographic data. The remainder of this section addresses the research questions of the study. As mentioned in Chapter 1, the purpose of this study was to explore and assess the implementation of segmentation and targeting to recruit high potentials in the pharmaceutical industry in Europe and the United States.
Jan Posthumus

5. Conclusion, Limitations, and Recommendations

The purpose of this study was to explore and assess the implementation of segmentation and targeting to recruit high potentials in the pharmaceutical industry in Europe and the United States. Grounded theory method and the contingency theory were used to develop a model to aid human resource professionals in assessing under which circumstances segmentation and target marketing can add value to the recruitment process. The findings of the study confirmed that internal and external factors, as predicted by the contingency theory, influenced the use of HR and recruitment strategies in the pharmaceutical industry.
Jan Posthumus


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