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  • Writer's pictureGiacomo Barsottelli

The impact of emoji on the attractiveness of a job advertisement

In this paper, the main objective was to evaluate the effect of introducing emojis in job advertisements and to understand how these widely-used pictograms are perceived by the readers of such messages. This work began by providing an overview of the impact that digitalization has had on the world of marketing and presenting some of the most successful communication tools. Digitalization has brought about significant changes in how companies and organizations communicate with their customers, leading to the emergence of new communication channels and tools, such as social media, email, and instant messaging. These tools have made it easier for companies to reach their target audiences and communicate with them more effectively.

After illustrating how digital communication varies depending on whether one is operating in a B2B or B2C context, the paper focused on the main topic at hand: emojis. Emojis are pictograms that are used to convey emotions, ideas, and concepts in digital communication. They have become increasingly popular over the years and are now used in various contexts, such as social media, messaging apps, and email. Emojis can enhance communication by adding emotional and visual elements to messages, making them more engaging and attractive.

The decision was made to analyze and test this particular communication tool, which has gained enormous popularity in various fields, to the extent that numerous academic papers treat emojis as a subject of study.

As no prior research had focused on evaluating the effect of the presence of emojis in job advertisements, after conducting a thorough literature review on the subject, empirical research was conducted. The aim was to structure a questionnaire and define hypotheses to be tested. Thanks to the analyses carried out with the collected data, it was possible to respond to the presumptively formulated suppositions, examine the results, and develop the consequent observations.

The research conducted on a sample of young graduates from different disciplines produced surprising results. Contrary to expectations, most respondents preferred a traditional job announcement without the presence of emojis. The research findings suggested that the use of emojis in job advertisements for consulting companies has both positive and negative effects on the perception of job seekers. While some respondents felt that emojis make job advertisements more attractive and engaging, others thought that the use of emojis might compromise the seriousness of the job offer. It was also observed that the perception of emojis varied depending on the demographic characteristics of the respondents.

Indeed, the presence of emojis in a job ad does not necessarily lead to a higher intention to apply, as initially hypothesized. However, some of the other hypotheses were supported, indicating that certain groups of people are more likely to respond positively to emojis in job ads. The first hypothesis stated that the intention to apply for a job position is positively influenced by the presence of emojis in the job ad. However, the data did not support this hypothesis, and in fact, the intention to apply was higher when the job ad did not contain emojis. The possible reasons for this unexpected result include the small sample size, the composition of the student population, and the type of job position offered (position in consultancy), as well as the number of emoji used in the ad, which may have been too few or too many. The interpretation of this outcome is that the students did not perceive a consulting company that used emojis in its job ad as serious and professional.

Furthermore, the study shows that using emojis in job postings could be ineffective or counterproductive, especially when targeting male graduates. However, female graduates are more receptive to emojis in job postings. The study also shows that science students are more convinced by job postings with emojis than those without, contrary to the popular belief that science students are more analytical and less likely to be influenced by distractions.

Moreover, the use of emojis is more attractive to graduates with lower grades than those with higher grades.

Thus, the research suggests that managers need to be careful when using emojis in job postings and tailor their approach based on their target audience.

In conclusion, the use of emojis in job postings can be effective or counterproductive, depending on the target audience. While emojis can make a job posting more attractive, managers should be careful not to overuse them or use them inappropriately. Job postings should be tailored to the target audience and should consider factors such as gender, academic discipline, and experience level. By using emojis appropriately, managers can make their job postings more attractive and effective.


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