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Progressive Recruitment – A thesis opportunity


    David Vermaas

A thesis submitted conform the requirements for the Bachelor degree of International Business and Languages at the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences.

Table of contents

Table of figures 3

Table of tables 3

1 – Description of the organization 4

2 – Problem definition and research questions 5

2.1 Management issue 5

2.2 Actor analysis 6

2.3 Main research objective and sub-objectives 7

2.3.1 Sub-objectives 7

2.4 Main research question and sub-questions 7

2.4.1 Sub-questions 7

3 – Theoretical framework 9

3.1 Global recruiting 9

3.1.1 Definition and upcoming need of global recruiting 9

3.1.2 Global recruiting in terms of strategy 9 Relevant factors 9 Strategic approaches: glocalization 10

3.2 Human needs and wants concerning work-life balance 12

3.2.1 STP model 12

3.2.2 AIDA model 12

3.2.3 Hofstede's cultural dimensions theory 12

3.3 Link to frameworks and methodology 13

4 – Methodology 14

4.1 Data analysis 14

4.2 Research outline 14

5 – Planning 15

6 – Risks 16

6.1 Internal risks 16

6.2 External risks 16

Bibliography 17

Appendices 18

Table of figures


Table of tables


1 – Description of the organization

Progressive Recruitment, daughter company of the SThree Group, is founded in 1986 and is now global leader in 45 countries in North America, Europe, Middle East & Asia, where as in The Netherlands there are 3 offices located in Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Eindhoven. The company covers more than 2500 employees worldwide.

Progressive Recruitment is a fast growing company that operates as a leading organization in specialized recruitment.  The organization is able to  provide tailored  professional  staffing solutions within their five core industries within the STEM  market:

I.  Engineering: focus is on high-tech, electronic products and system development. We concentrate on the deployment of technical specialists in the field of Embedded (HW & SW), Mechatronics and Quality.

II. Life Sciences: within Life Sciences we focus on organizations active in the biotechnological, pharmaceutical, biomedical, environmental, and food processing markets.

III. IT: all departments within IT and development are covered by Progressive. Each consultant has its own branch within the sector.

IV. Construction: the company provides total solutions for connecting experts for large and complex projects within the construction sector.

V. Supply Chain: within the supply chain sector, the company is able to deliver the most adequate professionals who contribute to make their logistic path more efficient and effective.

The company delivers interim and permanent positions, from contractors to executive level positions to their clients. The highly skilled teams of Progressive Recruitment work with exciting start-ups to blue-chip multinationals.

Progressive Recruitment is a FTSE  listed business and operates on the stock exchange. Furthermore, the company provides total solutions for their clients and have a deep understanding of local environment, procedures and international regulations to ensure compliance. In this way the company is able to use their expertise to support their clients' needs (Progressive Recruitment, 2018).

The company is able to deliver comprehensive end-to-end customer experience and providing tailored services based on their industry insights. They have the resources to provide local knowledge of the market with a global reach through our wider network to ensure the best talent and companies are their partners of choice across the Industry (Progressive Recruitment, 2018).  

2 – Problem definition and research questions

2.1 Management issue

At Progressive Recruitment, the Engineering division is still a very young and dynamic department. The department manager, Mr. Berends, has concrete ideas to assemble an upcoming project, in order to attract influences from abroad and widen their network of engineering specialists.

In this case, the problem can be best described as a yet unknown prospect to acquire young and talented professionals within the engineering sector from Poland by relocating them to Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Therefore, the main problem consists of the unknown Polish Engineering market and the unknown level of interest amongst Polish engineers to work with Progressive Recruitment. The required research to answer the question, given above, will be divided in to sub-questions which will help answer the main research question.

Since the company principally operates on national level, there are many factors involved where there is no existent data of from the organization itself, since. Nevertheless, this could be a very interesting opportunity to seek outside markets and include foreign experts with new, different or even more precise skills to their professional network.

The outcome of the thesis will clear out which factors make it attractive for Polish engineering experts to work in The Netherlands. Furthermore, the outcome of the thesis will also demonstrate how to achieve and maintain the most suited strategy in order to benefit from a continues professional relationship with the Polish engineering market, relocating them, in forms of continues streams, to The Netherlands.

2.2 Actor analysis

The actor analysis, in this case, indicates to what extent the various stakeholders have in forms of (1) influence on decision making factor and (2) impact on acquisition performance, in relation to other actors involved within the process.

Column 1: Stakeholders

Column 2: Primary activity

Column 3: Influence on decision making factor

Column 4: Impact on acquisition performance

Actors are ranked in order of level of influence, comprising their most important features in relation to why they are relevant. See figure 1 below to get a perspective of ranking the stakeholders. The actor analysis matrix can be found under table 1 below.

Figure 1: Measurement scale to define the width of ranking the level of influence

Table 1: Actor analysis matrix to describe the level of influence amongst all involved stakeholders

Stakeholders Primary activity Influence on decision making factor Impact on acquisition performance

Polish engineers Target market

Polish Engineering market 10 7


(Progressive Recruitment) Executors

Acquiring contractors from Poland 9 10

Directors board Progressive Recruitment Suppliers of service 1 Decision making on the project: budget/approval 7 2

Polish embassy Suppliers of service 2 Assistance in international relations and communication 6 5

Technical institutes Suppliers of service 3

Education of unexperienced Polish Engineers 5 2

Transporters (relocation) Supplier of service 4 Transporting our target group for relocation 3 1

Polish government Threat 1

Protection laws and jurisdiction 5 2

Competitors Threat 2

Competing by attaining influences from the same market 6 7

2.3 Main research objective and sub-objectives

Research objective: to determine the level of interest amongst young experienced Polish Engineers to work within the network of Progressive Recruitment.

2.3.1 Sub-objectives

1. To identify which factors make it attractive for Polish professionals to work at Progressive Recruitment in The Netherlands and if it would be more rewarding than their current work environment in Poland.

2. To determine which approach strategies are most effective to acquire Polish professionals and to enhance the professional relation between Progressive Recruitment and Polish professionals.

3. To identify which regions in Poland are particularly more interesting to acquire professionals

4. To determine whether the objective is either feasible, in terms of profitability, to attain Polish professionals to work in The Netherlands concerning both parties.

5. To develop a long-term strategy that associates Progressive Recruitment with Polish (educational) institutes and experts to continuously attain Polish Engineering experts to be placed on the Dutch market

2.4 Main research question and sub-questions

The main research question is formulated as follows:

‘'How could Progressive Recruitment make it able to acquire young experienced Engineering professionals from Poland, to position them within the Engineering sector in The Netherlands, and work together with the company for an extended period of two years or more?''

2.4.1 Sub-questions

To be able to answer the main research question, it is needed to divide the question in to sub-questions. The sub-questions will answer all relevant aspects that are included to achieve the main objective. The first sub-question will be answered with the source of literary studies in similar situations, elaborated within the theoretical frame. Sub-questions 2,3 & 4 will be answered with an extended combination of desk- and field research, conducted on these particular subjects.

1. Regarding to literature, what can be learned of decisive factors organizations include to realize the expand their network with influences from abroad?

1.1 How is global recruiting executed by an organization?

1.2 What are important factors to include for a business to acquire influences from abroad?

1.3 What can be learned from strategic approaches in similar studies that have expanded their business by implementing global recruiting?

2. How can Progressive Recruitment determine the needs and wants of Polish professionals regarding to work-life balance?

2.1 What are important cultural standards and values for Polish individuals according to their work-life balance?

2.2 What are, in general, crucial aspects and benefits for individuals that raises the decisive factor to relocate their career abroad?

3. Which region(s) in Poland can be defined as the source with the most potential to acquire experienced Polish Engineers?

3.1 Which regions are more populated by Polish Engineers and technical specialists?

3.2 To what extent could external Polish authorities assist in communicating to the Polish Engineering market?

4.  To what extent would it be beneficial for both parties to implement a permanent stream of Polish Engineers, by relocating them to Eindhoven, The Netherlands?

4.1 What are the benefits of acquiring Polish Engineers for Progressive Recruitment and positioning them to the Dutch market?

4.2 What are the benefits for Polish Engineers to relocate to Eindhoven, The Netherlands?

4.3 What would be the outcome of a cost-benefit analysis regarding the permanent steam of the global recruiting initiative?

3 – Theoretical framework

As mentioned before, sub-questions 1 and 2 will be answered by elaborating on relevant and valid literary studies consisting of similar situations and organizations. Sub-questions 3 & 4 will be answered with a combination of extended  desk- and field research. Within the theoretical frame, the desk research part amongst literary studies, will be executed to demonstrate which models and methods will be used to (1) examine the potential global recruitment approach strategies and (2) the human needs and preferences of Polish professionals according to their work-life balance. These related studies will later on clarify to what extent Polish professionals have similar needs and wants, based on extended field research. To demarcate the boundaries of the research that will be conducted for this thesis, a framework per method will be defined to determine how research will be conducted on that particular facet. The advantage of this is that the research will not become irrelevant and invalid for the research objective.

3.1 Global recruiting

3.1.1 Definition and upcoming need of global recruiting

The concept of global recruiting has developed itself over the last two decades. As Schuler, et al. (2010) mention that, in this day and age, it is necessary to be highly competitive in the global recruiting market. The reason for this is that companies have to comply with globalization. This includes facing challenges finding scarce talent and relocating employees and contractors to make them multifunctional and expand the business by placing those talents at relevant companies to build up relationships and rapport.

To be able to mobilize recruited talent, organizations have to see global recruiting as a critical factor leading towards a long-term competitive advantage for any business. However, to attain a stable stream of global talents to work for the organization, the business strategy has to be adapted on to a long-term strategy. A tactical approach would give organizations a lot of entry struggle to develop a short-term strategy cross-border (Schuler, Jackson, & Tarique, 2010).

The advantages of global recruiting can be defined as tools to enhance the competitive advantage a business strategy has. Positive outcomes to this strategy would not only fortify the global brand of the organization, but also gives the benefit to acquire top talents across a broader scope of markets (Donovan, 2011). Furthermore, Donovan (2011) elaborates that global recruiting would help to “streamline processes to generate efficiencies and reduce risk, and provide a more robust, standardized candidate experience”.

A similar study by Morrison (2008) confirms these benefits by going deeper into concrete advantages and describes these benefits as “a key to uncover hard-to-find entry-level management talent, decreasing employee turnover, improving guest satisfaction, elevating the attitude and professionalism of your staff and bottom-line savings'' (Morrison, 2008).

The question organizations have to raise for themselves is which model or strategy they would need to apply to meet their business-related needs concerning consultancy- and recruiting companies.

3.1.2 Global recruiting in terms of strategy Relevant factors

According to the same study, Morrison (2008) explains which factors organizations should include to define their approach strategy concerning to expand their business with global recruiting. The article mentions that it is necessary for businesses to have a thorough understanding of the cultural situation in that particular region or country where organizations want to source their talent from.

Cultural differences can form obstacles when it comes to effective communication and could obstruct the desired objective. Other important factors consist of legislative and governing concerns, demographic trends and labour laws. However, this depends on the type of market and region the company want to attain talents from (Morrison, 2008). Strategic approaches: glocalization

The literary studies above have demonstrated which particular factors are important to include when performing global recruiting. Other related studies, which are elaborated below, have also been included to get a more in-depth view of how organizations, in similar situations as Progressive Recruitment, have applied global recruiting to broaden their network of resources and talents.

An article written by Langley (2013) states that the effectiveness of acting as a local leader within the market or region to source from, is imperative to be increased.

The author further expresses that businesses should avoid the typical global strategy in which the organization refuses to make adaptations to the region of origin. To understand the target market better, it is inevitable to apply local approaches and use external authorities that can assist on the way of communicating towards that particular region.

Nevertheless, the article also mentions a business should not depart from their global strategy as a whole, since employer branding on a global level is showing more confidence, strengthens the brand image and, therefore, expresses the ‘power' of the brand (Langley, 2013).

In these two distinct approaches, there is an existent phenomenon that combines the best of those two strategies and fuses them as a whole. The term is called ‘glocal' or ‘glocalization'. These definitions are deviated from a marketing term that combines both approaches and merges them as one.

Research conducted using this framework shows that large multinationals like Coca-Cola used this strategy to make a successful move on their fierce competition such as Pepsi (Mendoza, 2016). The same approach can be executed when it concerns a service instead of a product, in this case: recruiting consultancy.

A similar business called Delaware, active in the consultancy service industry, has applied this approach to their strategy. It is mentioned that they can provide tailor-made support based on the different needs and perspectives of their local customers and clients (Delaware, 2018).

The article of Langley (2013) emphasizes that besides the approach strategy towards the target market, it is important to reveal the needs and wants of your target talent.

Factors that should be included are (1) the channels they want to apply (mobile or social channels), (2) what they want to hear (process related).

Langley (2013) expresses in the article that these components are a crucial part of the ‘glocal' strategy to begin defining a global process and strategy but be able to act locally and get a thorough understanding triggering their needs and wants.

It can be stated that it is important to differentiate themselves from their competitors by increasing their level of commitment from an organization to a candidate or client. The author confirms this within the article by stating that “candidates want an engaging and enjoyable experience that makes them more likely to say yes'' (Langley, 2013).

Further in the article, it is again confirmed that a strong brand image consists of a global approach while adapting to local standards and (cultural) differences to execute the most suitable and effective recruitment strategy. The author concludes by stating that global business only want to apply a standard procedure for every country, but do not realize that every culture and region has a different perspective and practice when it comes to recruitment (Langley, 2013).

As can be seen from the above, global approach strategies on global recruiting frequently fail because of the lack of adapting to local culture standards and values. Similar studies have been conducted on this particular subject and conclude with comparable outcomes, using a ‘glocal' approach strategy. An organization can obtain a competitive advantage over its competitors by understanding their target market, their target talent and, more deeply by investigating which preferences the target talent have concerning the application process. External authorities and institutes can assist to communicate more effectively towards the target market. This approach has the benefit of getting a clear view of their expectations towards a desired workplace and by what method they want to be reached.

3.2 Human needs and wants concerning work-life balance

3.2.1 STP model

Through segmentation, you can identify niches with specific needs, mature markets to find new customers, deliver more focused and effective marketing messages. The STP model (Segmentation Targeting Positioning model), consists of three steps that helps to analyse the service provided and shows how to communicate to its benefits and value to specific groups (Mindtools, 2018).

The key aspects of this theory are:

• Segmentation  Looks how Progressive is segmented in this industry

• Targeting  Looks how Progressive targets its customers

• Positioning  Looks how Progressive positions its service provided

AIDA stands for attention, interest, desire, and action. It is an acronym used in marketing and advertising, which helps marketing managers develop effective communication strategies and communicate with customers in a way that better responds to their needs and desires. AIDA describes a common list of events that occur when a consumer views an advertisement (Boundless marketing, 2015).

They key aspects of this theory are:

• Attention  How Progressive catches attention

• Interest  How Progressive attracts peoples interest

• Desire  How Progressive creates people's desire

• Action  How Progressive makes people use their service

Motivation and comparison

The reason why I chose the STP model over the market segmentation model is because the STP model also contains targeting and position which gives a broader scope and therefore covers a bigger and more extensive part of this research question.

The AIDA model provides in a clear and structured order the steps to get people's attention to eventually the buying phase. The Iceberg model could also be relevant as it provides deeper information about the needs and wants of clients. This model is not used in this because the AIDA model is more structured and will provide a clear overview of the needs and wants of the clients are. (Mindtools, 2016) (Goodman, 2002) (Hanlon a. , 2013)

Critical evaluation

Using the STP model, I should take into account that these 3 steps should be defined really specifically. If not, the outcome will put me on a wrong path and will segment, target and position Progressive in a totally wrong way in which our whole business is worthless.

With the AIDA model there should be emphasis on defining the specific target market as good as possible, otherwise the AIDA model is not helpful regarding the companies who want to make use of Progressive its recruitment service in the Marine industry.

(Look at Thesis Daan to formulate)

2 - AIDA model:

3 - Hofstede Cultural Dimensions Theory

3.2.2 AIDA model

3.2.3 Hofstede's cultural dimensions theory

3.3 Link to frameworks and methodology

To ensure that the frameworks are compliant with the methodology and to keep control of the overview of all the mentioned frameworks to work with, Table 2 has been created to sum up all sub-questions including the frameworks of how they will be researched on. Below, Table 2 can be found to give a clear overview of the theoretical frame as a whole.

Table 2: Composed index to link the frameworks required per sub-question concerning how research will be conducted on


1. Regarding to literature, what can be learned of decisive factors organizations include to realize the expand their network with influences from abroad?

Identification of key factors  and outlining approach strategies towards global recruiting

Identifying and elaborating on relevant factors and strategic approaches executed by similar recruitment organizations regarding literary studies

2. How can Progressive Recruitment determine the needs and wants of Polish professionals regarding to work-life balance?

Defining the social aspects, communication methods and desired application processes. Additionally, research on cultural perspectives of Polish individuals concerning

work-life balance

By using selected frameworks; STP model, AIDA model & Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions Theory to outline the needs and wants


Method of field research on this subject will be described within the chapter

4 – Methodology

3. Which region(s) in Poland can be defined as the most potential source to acquire experienced Polish Engineers?

Conducting research on the divide of potential regions in Poland based on human/work occupation and the volume of (educational) technical institutes and businesses

Method of field research on this subject will be described within chapter

4 – Methodology

4.  To what extent would it be beneficial for both parties to implement a permanent stream of Polish Engineers, by relocating them to Eindhoven, The Netherlands?

Outlining the decisive factors towards Polish professionals to relocate. In addition, with the assistance of a benefit-cost analysis regarding

 both parties, delineating the beneficial aspects

Method of field research on this subject will be described within chapter

4 – Methodology

4 – Methodology

4.1 Data analysis

4.2 Research outline

5 – Planning

September October November December January

Week 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4

Formal documents (Appendix 1&2)

Thesis internship start

Description of the company

Problem definition

Actor analysis

Theoretical framework

Research methods


First version POA

Revised version POA

Final version POA

Conceptualizing of surveys  

Conceptualizing of interviews

Planning interviews

Execute surveys

Execute interviews

Data collection

Result analysis


Executive summary


 (Appendix 6)

Revised report

Thesis hand-in

Recruiting event in Poland

End of internship period

Thesis defense

6 – Risks

6.1 Internal risks

6.2 External risks


Boundless marketing. (2015, 7 21). AIDA model. Retrieved from Boundless:

Delaware. (2018). GLocal services. Retrieved September 20, 2018, from Delaware:

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Gerlach, J. (2012, April 4). NSTA Reports. Retrieved September 10, 2018, from NSTA:

Goodman, M. (2002). The Iceberg model. Retrieved from ascd:

Hanlon, a. (2013, 12 17). the segmentation, targeting and positioning model. Retrieved from smartinsights:

Hanlon, A. (2018, March 8). The Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning model. Retrieved September 21, 2018, from Smart Insights:

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Mendoza, F. L. (2016). The Glocal Message. Dubai: SyndiGate Media Inc. Retrieved September 19, 2018, from

Mindtools. (2016). AIDA. Retrieved from Mindtools:

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Progressive Recruitment. (2018). About us: Progressive Recruitment. Retrieved September 10, 2018, from Progressive Recruitment:

Schuler, R. S., Jackson, S. E., & Tarique, I. (2010). Global talent management and global talent challenges: Strategic opportunities. Journal of World Business. Piscataway; Horgen, New York: Elsevier. Retrieved September 17, 2018, from


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