How Does Difficulty of Recruitment Impact Discrimination Against Applicants?

16459686135_28e21592cd_z[We’re pleased to welcome Stijn Baert of Ghent University. Stijn published an article in ILR Review entitled “Is There Less Discrimination in Occupations Where Recruitment Is Difficult?,” with co-authors Bart Cockx, Niels Gheyle, and Cora Vandamme.]

Do employers discriminate less when vacancies are difficult to fill? Theory says yes. Lower arrival rates of employees at vacancies increase the cost of discriminating because the foregone output when a minority worker is turned away is higher in that case. In this study, we are the first to test this theoretical relationship between hiring discrimination and labor ILR_72ppiRGB_powerpointmarket tightness in an empirical way. To this end, we sent out fictitious job applications of school-leavers, randomly assigned to individuals with a native- and a Turkish-sounding name, to vacancies for jobs requiring no work experience in Belgium. We found indeed that, compared to natives, candidates with a Turkish-sounding name are equally often invited to a job interview if they apply for occupations for which vacancies are difficult to fill; but, they have to send twice as many applications for occupations for which labor market tightness is low.

The abstract for the paper:

The authors empirically test the cross-sectional relationship between hiring discrimination and labor market tightness at the level of the occupation. To this end, they conduct a correspondence test in the youth labor market. In line with theoretical expectations, results show that, compared to natives, candidates with a foreign-sounding name are equally often invited to a job interview if they apply for occupations for which vacancies are difficult to fill; but, they have to send out twice as many applications for occupations for which labor market tightness is low. Findings are robust to various sensitivity checks.

You can read “Is There Less Discrimination in Occupations Where Recruitment Is Difficult?” from ILR Review free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to know all about the latest research from ILR ReviewClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Career fair image attributed to Global Health Fellows Program II (CC)

Do Applicant Reactions to Selection Systems Matter? Let Us Count the Ways…

16719524657_06f8bd29de_z[We’re pleased to welcome Talya Bauer of Portland State University. Talya recently published an article in Group & Organization Management with co-authors Udo Konradt, Yvonne Garbers, Martina Boge, and Berrin Erdogan, entitled “Antecedents and Consequences of Fairness Perceptions in Personnel Selection: A 3-Year Longitudinal Study”]

  • So just what are applicant reactions and why should you care?

Applicant reactions refer to a class of perceptions that job applicants experience as they go through the selection process. It is posited that how employees feel about the job application process, and particularly their perceptions of fair treatment, relate to outcomes organizations care about, such as a lower likelihood of withdrawing one’s candidacy, more positive attitudes toward the employer, accepting the job offer, referring others to apply to the company, purchasing a company’s products, and lower likelihood of employment-related lawsuits.

In terms of research, applicant reactions really began in the 1980s. The topic gained traction in the 1990’s after the publication of Stephen Gilliland’s (1993) classic theory article on the topic. Following this model, and others which emerged around this time, researchers began studying the topic and found that procedural justice (aka the fairness of the processes used to make decisions) and distributive justice (aka the GOM_Feb_2016.inddfairness of what outcome you get) influenced how attractive employers were seen and how likely job candidates said they were to refer the employer to others and to take a job with the employer if offered one.

The following decade included a bit of a backlash against applicant reactions research with scholars debating how much it mattered and how long the effects of applicant reactions actually last. It was not until 2013 when we started to see strong evidence that applicant reactions do matter beyond pre-entry attitudes. McCarthy and colleagues (2013) found that reactions affected test scores which in turn influenced job performance in a variety of settings using both predictive and concurrent designs. However, it still was not clear that there was a direct relationship between applicant reactions and on-the-job performance.

A current study, “Antecedents and consequences of procedural justice perceptions in personnel selection: A three-year longitudinal study” by Udo Konradt, Yvonne Garbers, Martina Weber of the University of Kiel and two of us (Berrin Erdogan and Talya Bauer), which is in press at Group & Organization Management followed job candidates for an apprenticeship program of a large German industrial firm across three years. What was found was fascinating.  Perceptions of fairness that applicants felt during the testing and hiring process related to job offer acceptance as well as job performance at 18 months. At 36 months post-entry, no relationship existed. Performance included both written job knowledge and performing specific job tasks. This finding is consistent with work on new employee socialization which finds that different perceptions and aspects of adjustment matter differentially over time (Bauer & Erdogan, 2011).

  • So, what does this mean for employers and researchers?

Labor markets ebb and flow but what does not change is the competition for the best talent available. These individuals are always in demand and early applicant reactions research finds that it is the best applicants for whom applicant reactions matter the most. For example, Rynes and colleagues (1991) found that when applicants did not hear back from employers, it was the strongest applicants who had the most negative reactions. In total, we now know that applicant reactions matter across the job search spectrum as well as beyond. At least for apprentices, on-the-job performance was related to perceptions of fairness 18 months earlier. This opens up the door for researchers to continue to examine the larger constellation of factors associated with applicant reactions. It also offers a lever for organizations to enhance the perception of their employment brand and selection systems by systematically working through the types of procedural justice factors that matter to improve their brand.

You can read “Antecedents and Consequences of Fairness Perceptions in Personnel Selection: A 3-Year Longitudinal Study” from Group & Organization Management free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to know all about the latest research from Group & Organization ManagementClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Image credited to Nazareth College (CC)

References

Bauer, T. N., & Erdogan, B. (2011).  Organizational socialization:  The effective onboarding of new employees.  In S. Zedeck, H. Aguinis, W. Cascio, M. Gelfand, K. Leung, S. Parker, & J. Zhou (Eds.).  APA Handbook of I/O Psychology, Volume III, pp. 51-64.  Washington, DC:  APA Press.

Chan, D., & Schmitt, N. (2004).  An agenda for future research on applicant reactions to selection procedures: A construct-oriented approach. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 12, 9-23.

Gilliland, S. J. (1993) The perceived fairness of selection systems: An organizational justice perspective. Academy of Management Review, 18, 694-734.

McCarthy, J. M., Van Iddekinge, C. H., Lievens, F., Kung, M.-C., Sinar, E. F., & Campion, M. A. (2013). Do candidate reactions relate to job performance or affect criterion-related validity? A multistudy investigation of relations among reactions, selection test scores, and job performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 98, 701-719.

Ryan, A. M., & Ployhart, R. E. (2000). Applicants’ perceptions of selection procedures and decisions. Journal of Management, 26, 565-606.

Rynes, S. L., Bretz, R. D., & Gerhart, B. (1991). The importance of recruiting in job choice: A different way of looking. Personnel Psychology, 44, 487-521.


Talya Bauer photo 2015Talya N. Bauer (Ph.D., Purdue University) is the Cameron Professor of Management and Affiliated Professor of Psychology at Portland State University. She is an award-winning teacher and researcher and recipient of the SIOP Distinguished Teaching Award as well as the Academy of Management Human Resource division’s Innovations in Teaching Award. She conducts research about relationships at work including recruitment, applicant reactions to selection, onboarding, and leadership. Her work has been supported by grants from both the SHRM and SIOP Foundations and has been published in research outlets such as the Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Learning and Education Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Management, and Personnel Psychology. She has worked with dozens of government, Fortune 1000, and start-up organizations and has been a Visiting Scholar in France, Spain, and at Google Headquarters. She has served in elected positions including the HRM Executive Committee of the Academy of Management and Member-at-Large for SIOP. She currently serves as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Applied Psychology (and is the former Editor of Journal of Management). Her work has been discussed in the New York Times, BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, USA Today, and NPR’s All Things Considered.  She is a fellow of the SIOP, the American Psychological Association, and Association for Psychological Science.

BerrinErdogan

Berrin Erdogan (Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago) is Express Employment Professionals Professor of Management and Affiliated Professor of Psychology at Portland State University. She conducts studies exploring factors that lead to engagement, well-being, effectiveness, and retention in the workplace, with a focus on manager-employee relationships and underemployment. These studies took place in a variety of industries including manufacturing, clothing and food retail, banking, health care, education, and information technology in the USA, Turkey, India, China, France, and Vietnam. Her work appeared in journals including Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Management, and Personnel Psychology and has been discussed in media outlets including the New York Times, Harvard Business Review, and the Oregonian. Dr. Erdogan has been a visiting scholar in Koç University (Istanbul, Turkey), ALBA Business School at the American College of Greece, and University of Valencia (Spain). In addition to serving on numerous editorial boards, she currently serves as an Associate Editor for Personnel Psychology, served as an Associate Editor for European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology and is the co-editor of the forthcoming title Oxford Handbook of Leader-Member Exchange. She is a fellow of SIOP.

Prof. Dr. Udo KonradtUdo Konradt is full professor of work, organizational, and market psychology at Kiel University, Germany. He holds a doctoral degree in Psychology from the University of Bochum. He has published on information systems and Human Resource Management issues in several academic journals.

Yvonne Garbers

Yvonne Garbers is an assistant professor at Kiel University, Germany. She holds a PhD in work and organizational psychology (Kiel University). Her current research interests include (destructive) leadership, shared leadership, team-member exchange, and work-family interference.

Martina Boge finished her Major studies in Psychology at the University of Leipzig. She has worked as consultant and human resource manager for several years.

mccarthy_picJulie M. McCarthy (Ph.D., Western University) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Management and Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. Julie’s research examines how organizations can ensure that their policies and practices are viewed favorably by job applicants and employees. She also investigates strategies that individuals can use to reduce anxiety, build resilience and achieve success in their work and home lives. Her work is published in leading academic journals, including the Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology, and Psychological Science, as well as book chapters in the influential Oxford Handbook Series. Her work is generously supported by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), and she has received numerous awards and recognitions for her research contributions. Julie’s work has also received a considerable amount of media attention. In the corporate sector, Julie has developed leadership resilience programs, performance management systems and personnel selection tools on behalf public and private corporations.

Book Review: Pedigree: How Elite Students Get Elite Jobs

Pedigree BookLauren A. Rivera : Pedigree: How Elite Students Get Elite Jobs. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2015. 375 pp. $35.00, hardcover.

Jennifer Merluzzi recently reviewed this book in Administrative Science QuarterlyFrom the review:

The book is a very detailed read on hiring and elite firms and is thus best suited for individuals interested in these topics, such as scholars studying early professional careers, elite labor markets, inequality, or hiring specifically. With this said, many insights in the book could be beneficial to scholars interested in these topics more broadly. For instance, Rivera makes a strong case for rethinking core assumptions underlying empirical studies by management and sociology scholars, such as the importance of human resources personnel (who are often cordoned into roles providing administrative rather than strategic support that offer little oversight to assure meritocratic hiring) or the importance of résumés or grades in getting hired (because extracurricular activities that can serve as fodder for interview conversation trump any hard data presented on a résumé). So although the book is clearly situated as a study of class and elites, it does have broader insights into hiring that a wider set of scholars could benefit from reading.

The book’s strength is its rich qualitative descriptions of what goes on behind the curtain of hiring within a firm, particularly the ethnographic portions in which Rivera uses her keen skills as an observer to carefully document, often with sharp wit, what is occurring around her. As Rivera contends, this area has been a black box for empirical research in sociology and management, as information is known about the candidate and then ASQ Coverabout the hiring outcome for that candidate, but less is known about what happens in between. The book’s limitation is in offering concrete conclusions around solutions to the problems identified (more on this below). Nonetheless, it is an interesting read, and readers will be impressed with Rivera’s complete immersion in this elite world.

You can read the full review from Administrative Science Quarterly by clicking here. Like what you read? Click here to sign up for e-alerts to receive research and reviews like this directly in your inbox!

Is There A Skill Shortage in the US?


5832437491_a8d1b4512d_z[We’re pleased to welcome Peter Cappelli
of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Peter recently published an article in ILR Review entitled “Skill Gaps, Skill Shortages, and Skill Mismatches: Evidence and Arguments for the United States” ]

Concerns over the supply of skills in the labor force, especially education-related skills, continue in the United States as well as in some other countries where employers complain about difficulty finding the talent they want. In the United States, there is little evidence consistent with the complaints about a skills shortage, and a wide range of evidence suggests the complaints are not warranted. Indeed, a reasonable conclusion is that over-education remains the persistent and even growing condition of the U.S. labor force with respect to skills. The best explanation for persistent employer complaints begins with a reminder that there is a market for labor regulated at least in part by supply and demand. Employers appear to be demanding more from applicants, most important, that they be able to perform jobs without any employer-provided training, and wages have not increased to match that greater demand. Employers and ILR_72ppiRGB_powerpointespecially their associations and consultants suggest some public policy response is in order to address employer complaints, but what that response should be is far from obvious.

The abstract:

Concerns over the supply of skills in the U.S. labor force, especially education-related skills, have exploded in recent years with a series of reports not only from employer-associated organizations but also from independent and even government sources making similar claims. These complaints about skills are driving much of the debate around labor force and education policy, yet they have not been examined carefully. In this article, the author assesses the range of these charges as well as other evidence about skills in the labor force. Very little evidence is consistent with the complaints about a skills shortage, and a wide range of evidence suggests the complaints are not warranted. Indeed, a reasonable conclusion is that overeducation remains the persistent and even growing condition of the U.S. labor force with respect to skills. The author considers three possible explanations for the employer complaints and the associated policy implications.

You can read “Skill Gaps, Skill Shortages, and Skill Mismatches: Evidence and Arguments for the United States”  from ILR Review free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to know all about the latest research from ILR ReviewClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Desk image credited to Nick Keppol (CC)

Peter CappelliPeter Cappelli is the George W. Taylor Professor of Management at The Wharton School and Director of Wharton’s Center for Human Resources.  He is also a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, MA, served as Senior Advisor to the Kingdom of Bahrain for Employment Policy from 2003-2005, and since 2007 is a Distinguished Scholar of the Ministry of Manpower for Singapore.  He has degrees in industrial relations from Cornell University and in labor economics from Oxford where he was a Fulbright Scholar. He was recently named by HR Magazine as one of the top 5 most influential thinkers in management and was elected a fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources.  He received the 2009 PRO award from the International Association of Corporate and Professional Recruiters for contributions to human resources.  He serves on Global Agenda Council on Employment for the World Economic Forum and a number of advisory boards.

 

 

 

Does Employer Branding Influence a Candidate’s Job Application Decisions?

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Employer branding is mainly concerned with creating and improving the image of an organization as an employer or as a great place to work. The employer brand influences how current and potential employees interact with a company’s brand, and more specifically, the company’s brand image as an employer.

Both firm-level and job-related variables significantly influence a candidate’s job application decisions, such as intention to apply and consideration of the best companies to work for. Firms hoping to attract top candidates should carefully examine the factors that motivate top candidates to apply for positions with a company, and make an effort to improve on those variables.

Interlinked with the concept of employer branding for prospective employees is employment branding, employer knowledge, employment image and employer attractiveness. All of these factors can impact a candidate’s job choices, but improving upon these factors alone may not be adequate to attract top candidates.

Top candidates are also attracted to positions by MLS Covercompetitive salary and a firm’s media presence. Within the means of the company, HR professionals can decide how these two features can be leveraged to increase an organization’s image as an employer. HR professionals should also consider whether adjustments need to be made to recruitment strategies in response to shifts in demographic patterns, shortages of skilled workers in knowledge-based organizations, and rising costs of recruitment, selection, and training due to attrition.

Overall, employer branding is likely to generate several benefits, such as, low employee attrition, high job satisfaction, employee engagement and customer loyalty. Moreover, firms with better employer brand can afford to pay lower wage rates than the industry average. As a result, employer branding proves to be as a useful strategy for companies to maintain a positive reputation and appeal to top talent.

One example of how positive employer branding benefits companies would be a Best Employer Surveys (BES) list like the Great Place to Work Survey, which positively influences candidates’ job-related decisions. Hence, firms should attempt to increase and retain their positions in the BES ranks which will ultimately improve the organization’s image as a brand.

The abstract:

Communication of employer brand to external stakeholders has, in the recent past, seen new developments in the form of best employer surveys (BESs) and a potent form of employer branding lies in the BESs. In this article, we examine the impact of firm-related and job-related attributes on a candidate’s job application decisions by selecting firms from the BES lists. The study is based on the secondary and primary data of 139 companies which have appeared in four major BES lists from 2001 to 2012 (the longest time period for which data is available in an emerging economy—India) and primary data collected from 2,854 respondents.

Click here to read Employer Brand and Job Application Decisions: Insights from the Best Employers for free from the Management and Labour Studies.

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*Featured Career Fair image is credited to University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Environment (CC).

Michael Pratt on Best Practices for Hiring Colleagues

handshake-communication-284089-mRateMyProfessor.com is an invaluable tool used by many college students when registering for classes. In just a few clicks, one can receive information on the helpfulness, clarity, easiness and even “hotness” of a professor. Unfortunately for academics looking to hire a colleague, things aren’t quite as easy. According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, this is made even more difficult when one considers that the number of Ph.D. graduates continues to grow, but the number of jobs available remains unchanged. So how can academics make sure that the candidate in front of them is the best fit for the job? Michael G. Pratt explores this problem in his essay “Assessing Candidate Quality: Lessons From Ethnography (and Accountants)” from Journal of Management Inquiry.

From the introduction:

There have been numerous repudiations of what is referred to as an “audit culture” in our profession by our peers (Walsh, 2011, p. 217; see also Baum, 2012; Macdonald & Kam, JMI_72ppiRGB_powerpoint2011), and I confess that my initial motivation for this “Provocations and Provocateurs” entry was to spend the entire article on the numerous ways we get it wrong when it comes to making critical judgments about assessing the quality of scholars and scholarship at critical junctures (e.g., hiring, annual reviews, promotion, tenure). However, a few things quickly became apparent. First, we already know a lot about what is wrong with such assessments—and have known them for some time. I will add a bit to what has been said, but on the whole, I do not think I have much new to add. Second, the topic is enormous, so I picked hiring as an example of the issues we face writ large. Third, there is much more written about problems than solutions and I was raised to not complain unless I had some idea about how to make things better. So I decided to ask myself what, if anything, I could add about addressing shortcomings regarding how we assess people—especially during hiring. The net result of these ponderings, dear reader, is in your hands (or on your screen) right now.

You can read “Assessing Candidate Quality: Lessons From Ethnography (and Accountants)” from Journal of Management Inquiry for free by clicking here. Like what you read? Click here to sign up for e-alerts from Journal of Management Inquiry and get all the latest research sent directly to your inbox!

SAGE Journals Recently In the News

In recent weeks, SAGE journals have cropped up in news outlets including The New York Times and the Toronto Star, offering fresh insights on management topics ranging from employee burnout and worker mobility to sports economics.

In today’s post, we bring you those media highlights and take a closer look at the studies that inspired them. We hope you find this selection interesting and useful.

Matthew Bidwell of the University of Pennsylvania published “Paying More to Get Less: The Effects of External Hiring versus Internal Mobility” in the September 2011 issue of Administrative Science Quarterly (ASQ). The article was discussed in The New York Times’ Job Market section’s “The Pros and Cons of Hiring Outsiders” piece, which commented on its assertion that external hires out-earn and under-perform internal workers who are promoted:

The findings may well stir indignation among internal employees passed over for jobs in favor of outsiders. The implications are worth considering as the economy improves, loosening hiring budgets and letting more employees seek greener pastures. They come amid a long-term trend of job mobility, with the idea of working for one employer for life seeming downright antiquated.

Read more at NYTimes.com, and access the full ASQ article here.

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John J. Binder of the University of Illinois at Chicago and Murray Findlay of Soccer Success Inc. published “The Effects of the Bosman Ruling on National and Club Teams in Europe” in the April 2012 issue of the Journal of Sports Economics (JSE). New York Times blogger Jack Bell called the article “food for thought” in that it sheds new light on the 1995 Bosman ruling, which gave free agency status to out-of-contract soccer players:

While the authors discuss — and generally debunk — Bosman myths having to do with the dominance of a few clubs in their domestic leagues and the effects on national teams, they assert that the ruling’s biggest effect has been on the Champions League — and that the effect has been nothing but positive.

Wrote Bell: “Take a look at the complete report. It is an eye-opener. Academics and soccer … perfect together!”

Read more at Goal: The New York Times Soccer Blog, and access the full JSE article here.

* * *

Émilie Lapointe of the University of Montreal, Christian Vandenberghe of HEC Montreal, and Alexandra Panaccio of Concordia University published “Organizational commitment, organization-based self-esteem, emotional exhaustion and turnover: A conservation of resources perspective” in the December 2011 issue of Human Relations. The article, widely released this month in various Web outlets, appeared in a Toronto Star piece on employee burnout, which quoted Professor Panaccio:

“We found two forms of commitment had a negative impact and made people more likely to experience emotional exhaustion or burn out — a chronic state of physical and mental depletion resulting from continuous stress and excessive work demands,” Panaccio told the Toronto Star in an interview.

Read more at the Toronto Star, and access the full HR article here.

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