NetFilms Case Study

It’s fall of 2007 and you work in HR for a small but growing firm called NetFilms. Your job is to develop recruitment strategies and help with onboarding new employees. The company has been struggling with retaining computer scientists. The historical turnover rate after 6 months on the job is 38%, but the turnover rate has alarmingly climbed to 67% in recent months.
You have a hunch that one problem contributing to the high turnover rate is the unrealistic messaging the company is using to recruit computer scientists. Past advertising for computer scientist positions at NetFilms has emphasized the company as having “a thrilling work environment” and being a place where “computer scientists get to work on innovative projects every day.” The reality is that the work of computer scientists at NetFilms is relatively routine and boring.
Your thinking is that implementing a realistic job preview into the recruitment messaging could help solve the high-turnover problem. So you decide to conduct a study to test if this is true. You create a new recruitment message that is designed to lower applicants’ expectations of the job (e.g., “some days can involve completing long, repetitive, and tedious assignments”) to better align applicants’ expectations with reality. Six months later you check and see that the turnover rate for computer scientists who were hired using the new recruitment messaging is down to 33%.
Your boss is extremely impressed by the results and is telling everyone that you “cut the turnover rate in half!” A promotion appears to be on the horizon. You know from Research Methods class in grad school, however, that there are many potential threats to the validity of your boss’ interpretation. What are they? Explain.

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