Firm reputation and applicant pool characteristics



Scholars have suggested that a firm's reputation can provide it with a competitive advantage by attracting more, and possibly higher-caliber, applicants. No research has actually investigated this relationship, however, in large part because researchers have not assessed applicant pool characteristics but instead have measured applicants' intentions. Therefore, we conducted two studies to investigate whether organizational reputation influenced the number and the quality of applicants actually seeking positions with firms. Company reputation was operationalized using two different published reputation measures, and applicant quality data were obtained from career services offices at business schools at two universities. Results from both studies supported the previously untested belief that firms with better reputations attract more applicants. Furthermore, some evidence suggested that firms with better reputations could select higher-quality applicants. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.