Applicant Reactions to Selection Procedures: An Updated Model and Meta-Analysis


  • This paper is based in part on John Hausknecht's doctoral dissertation, which was completed at Penn State University under the supervision of David Day. The dissertation was the co-recipient of the 2004 S. Rains Wallace Dissertation Research Award sponsored by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Special thanks to other committee members James Farr, Susan Mohammed, and Karen Jansen. We also acknowledge the helpful comments provided by Kevin Murphy and Alice Stuhlmacher on earlier drafts of this paper. We thank Bridgette Harder, Anna Matuszewska, and Julianne Rodda for assistance with coding and data management.

and request for reprints should be addressed to John Hausknecht, DePaul University, Department of Psychology, 2219 N. Kenmore Avenue, Chicago, IL, 60614;


An updated theoretical model of applicant reactions to selection procedures is proposed and tested using meta-analysis. Results from 86 independent samples (N= 48,750) indicated that applicants who hold positive perceptions about selection are more likely to view the organization favorably and report stronger intentions to accept job offers and recommend the employer to others. Applicant perceptions were positively correlated with actual and perceived performance on selection tools and with self-perceptions. The average correlation between applicant perceptions and gender, age, and ethnic background was near zero. Face validity and perceived predictive validity were strong predictors of many applicant perceptions including procedural justice, distributive justice, attitudes towards tests, and attitudes towards selection. Interviews and work samples were perceived more favorably than cognitive ability tests, which were perceived more favorably than personality inventories, honesty tests, biodata, and graphology. The discussion identifies remaining theoretical and methodological issues as well as directions for future research.