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.

Recruiters Beware: Facebook Information May Not Predict Future Performance

[Editor’s Note: We are pleased to welcome Chad H. Van Iddekinge who collaborated with Stephen E. Lanivich, Philip L. Roth, and Elliott Junco on their article “Social Media for Selection? Validity and Adverse Impact Potential of a Facebook-Based Assessment from Journal of Management.]

Many organizations are using the Internet to search for information about job applicants. This jom coverincludes information from social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. One reason for this may the allure of the type of information Facebook and other social media platforms provide. The problem is that most organizations are using social media to screen applicants without knowing whether such information actually helps them hire better people.

Chad Van Iddekinge, a professor in the business school at Florida State University, and colleagues Steven Lanivich, Philip Roth, and Elliott Junco, were interested in whether Facebook information would help organizations predict future job performance or turnover. They had recruiters and hiring managers evaluate Facebook pages of college students who were near graduation and searching for jobs. Several months later, the researchers contacted students’ job supervisors, who provided job performance evaluations.

The researchers found that recruiter and hiring manager ratings of Facebook did not correlate with job performance or with whether students were still in or had left their initial job. Additionally, some of the Facebook ratings differed by demographic group. Specifically, female students were rated higher than male students, and White students were rated higher than African-American and Hispanic students.

The findings of this study (which will appear in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Management) suggest organizations should exercise caution when using social media information such as Facebook to screen job applicants. Facebook information may not distinguish high performing applicants from lower performing applicants. It also may influence whether applicants from certain demographic groups are selected. Finally, Facebook and other social media expose decision makers to a variety of other personal information that equal employment law discourages or prohibits companies from considering in employment decisions, such as information about applicants’ religious beliefs, sexual orientation, and disability status.

Read “Social Media for Selection? Validity and Adverse Impact Potential of a Facebook-Based Assessment from Journal of Management for free by clicking here. Want to stay up to date on all the latest from Journal of Management? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Chad-Van-Iddekinge_mediumChad H. Van Iddekinge is a Synovus Research Associate and Associate Professor of Management at the Florida State University College of Business. His research focuses on how organizations make staffing decisions and how those decisions affect job applicants and the quality and diversity of a firm’s workforce. He also directs The Department of Management’s doctoral programs in OBHR and Strategic Management.

lanivichStephen E. Lanivich is an Assistant Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship at Old Dominion University. His research interests include the entrepreneurial mindset and cognitions, entrepreneurs’ perceptions of resources, and opportunity recognition and fit. Before entering academia, Dr. Lanivich successfully started and managed three different entrepreneurial ventures. He currently feeds his entrepreneurial spirit through outreach to the ODU community. Dr. Lanivich is co-creator of a grant-funded program to provide advisory resources to economically displaced nascent entrepreneurs in the Hampton Roads area.

getPicture.phpPhilip L. Roth teaches courses in the area of Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management at the College of Business and Behavioral Science at Clemson University, South Carolina. He is a fellow of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology and a member of the Academy of Management. He is past chair of the Research Methods Division of the Academy of Management.

Elliott Junco is a Graduate Assistant Professional at Florida State University. His areas of interest include leadership, organizational behavior, and employee retribution to perceived injustice.

New JOM Editor’s Choice Collections

The Journal of Management (JOM) is committed to publishing scholarly empirical and theoretical research articles that have a high impact on the management field as a whole.

The Editor’s Choice Collections highlight some of  the most important and influential articles of the management field. Currently, in the Articles of Interest section, there are twenty categories to choose from, including the newly added Justice/Ethics, Affect/Emotions, and Personnel Selection, Assessment, and Measurement categories, among others.

To see the other categories under Articles of Interest, as well as Review Issues, Best Paper Award Winners, and Special Issues, please click here.

2011 Journal of Management Scholarly Award Winners!

Management INK would like to congratulate the following 2011 Scholarly Impact Award winners for the Journal of Management:

Robert E. Ployhart, University of South Carolina, published “Staffing in the 21st Century: New Challenges and Strategic Opportunities” in the December 2006 issue.

The abstract:

Modern organizations struggle with staffing challenges stemming from increased knowledge work, labor shortages, competition for applicants, and workforce diversity. Yet, despite such critical needs for effective staffing practice, staffing research continues to be neglected or misunderstood by many organizational decision makers. Solving these challenges requires staffing scholars to expand their focus from individual-level recruitment and selection research to multilevel research demonstrating the business unit/organizational− level impact of staffing. Toward this end, this review provides a selective and critical analysis of staffing best practices covering literature from roughly 2000 to the present. Several research-practice gaps are also identified. 

 Linda K. Treviño, Pennsylvania State University, Gary R. Weaver, University of Delaware, and Scott J. Reynolds, University of Washington, published “Behavioral Ethics in Organizations: A Review” in the December 2006 issue.

The abstract:

The importance of ethical behavior to an organization has never been more apparent, and in recent years researchers have generated a great deal of knowledge about the management of individual ethical behavior in organizations. We review this literature and attempt to provide a coherent portrait of the current state of the field. We discuss individual, group, and organizational influences and consider gaps in current knowledge and obstacles that limit our understanding. We conclude by offering directions for future research on behavioral ethics in organizations.

Michael H. Lubatkin, Zeki Simsek, both of  University of Connecticut, Yan Ling, George Mason University, and John F. Veiga, University of Connecticut, published “Ambidexterity and Performance in Small-to Medium-Sized Firms: The Pivotal Role of Top Management Team Behavioral Integration” in the October 2006 issue.

The abstract:

While a firm’s ability to jointly pursue both an exploitative and exploratory orientation has been posited as having positive performance effects, little is currently known about the antecedents and consequences of such ambidexterity in small- to medium-sized firms (SMEs). To that end, this study focuses on the pivotal role of top management team (TMT) behavioral integration in facilitating the processing of disparate demands essential to attaining ambidexterity in SMEs. Then, to address the bottom-line importance of an ambidextrous orientation, the study hypothesizes its association with relative firm performance. Multisource survey data, including CEOs and TMT members from 139 SMEs, provide support for both hypotheses.

 Greg L. Stewart, University of Iowa, published “A Meta-Analytic Review of Relationships Between Team Design Features and Team Performance” in the February 2006 issue.

The abstract:

This article presents a quantitative review of 93 studies examining relationships between team design features and team performance. Aggregated measures of individual ability and disposition correlate positively with team performance. Team member heterogeneity and performance correlate near zero, but the effect varies somewhat by type of team. Project and management teams have slightly higher performance when they include more members. Team-level task meaningfulness exhibits a modest but inconsistent relationship with performance. Increased autonomy and intrateam coordination correspond with higher performance, but the effect varies depending on task type. Leadership, particularly transformational and empowering leadership, improves team performance.

Bookmark and Share