Recruiting Through the Stages: A Meta-Analytic Test of Predictors of Applicant Attraction at Different Stages of the Recruiting Process


  • This research was supported in part by grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Krista Uggerslev, JR Shaw School of Business, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T5G 2R1;


We used meta-analysis and semipartial correlations to examine the relative strength and incremental variance accounted for by 7 categories of recruiting predictors across multiple recruitment stages on applicant attraction. Based on 232 studies (250 samples, 3,518 coefficients, n= 108,632), we found that characteristics of the job, organization, and recruitment process, recruiter behaviors, perceived fit, and hiring expectancies (but not perceived alternatives) accounted for unique variance in applicant attraction at multiple stages. Perceived fit was the strongest relative and unique variance predictor of applicant attraction albeit a nonsignificant predictor of job choice. Although not among the largest zero-order predictors, recruiter behaviors accounted for substantial incremental variance at the first 2 stages. Organizational characteristics are more heavily weighed by applicants when maintaining applicant status as compared to the stage of application, and recruitment process characteristics are weighed progressively more as the recruitment stages advance. Job characteristics accounted for the greatest unique variance in job choice decisions. Job characteristics are more predictive in field studies, whereas recruiter behaviors, recruitment process characteristics, hiring expectancies, and perceived alternatives produced larger effect sizes in the laboratory. Results are discussed in terms of their theoretical and practical implications with future research suggestions.