Personnel Selection as a Process of Mutual Adaptation Between Applicants and Organizations


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PhD thesis: a PhD thesis.
Personnel Selection as a Process of Mutual Adaptation Between Applicants and Organizations
Roulin N.
Bangerter A.
Schmid-Mast M., König C.J., Levashina J.
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Université de Neuchâtel
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In the last decades, personnel selection research has mainly been developed around three main approaches: the psychometric approach, the applicant reactions approach, and the social process or interactional approach. But these approaches cannot explain some important practical issues, such as the failure of valid selection methods (e.g., structured interviews) to diffuse to recruiters. Article 1 offered to investigate the diffusion of the notion of interview structure in media that informs recruiters about job interviews. Results showed that arguments used in media to present this notion may potentially influence its diffusion to recruiters. Also, existing approaches are challenged by recent issues observed in the field, such as the increasingly competitive relationship between recruiters and applicants during selection interviews or among applicants in their production of increasingly innovative résumés. Applicants' invest more resources in their preparation for the selection and do not hesitate to fake in tests or interviews. They also invest an increasing amount of time in participating in original extracurricular activities (ECAs). Therefore new theoretical approaches are required.
Signaling theory is proposed in Article 2 as an alternative that allows capturing the interactive, adaptive, and dynamic nature of the relationships between job market actors, but also integrates the influence of macro-level factors (e.g., job market competition). A signaling approach to personnel selection involves applicants and organizations exchanging, manipulating, and decoding signals of their ability and commitment in the employment relationship. Four empirical studies then offer a preview of the potential of developing research based on a signaling approach by examining specific issues mentioned above. In Article 3, applicants' use of ECAs are described as an alternative to education to signal their qualities, because the signaling value of their degree is declining on competitive job markets. Article 4 highlights the influence of job market pressure on applicants' motives to getting involved in ECAs. Article 5 examines another potential adaptive strategy by applicants involving providing original or unique answers to traditional interview questions. Results suggest that the uniqueness of applicants' responses may benefit them. Article 6 describes organizations' and recruiters' attempts to counter-adapt to applicant faking by trying to detect and discount these behaviors. Results suggest that such attempts may not be successful.
The contribution of a signaling approach beyond those of the three existing approaches, suggestions for future research investigating long-term adaptations and counter-adaptations by market actors, and practical implications for applicants, recruiters and the diffusion of selection methods are discussed.
Personnel selection, signaling theory, extracurricular activities, job interview, impression management
Create date
21/05/2012 8:37
Last modification date
20/08/2019 15:08
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