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The effect of applicant–employee fit and temporal construal on employer attraction and pursuit intentions


Correspondence should be addressed to Benjamin von Walter, Bahnhofstr. 8, 9000 St. Gallen, Switzerland (e-mail:


Although applicant–employee fit has emerged as an important topic in recruitment research, little is known about how job seekers’ perceived similarity with the employees working for an organization affects employer attraction. In this research, we introduce temporal construal as a crucial moderating variable and study how the temporal decision context affects the weighting of applicant–employee fit. In particular, we argue that applicant–employee fit is construed in abstract, high-level terms, and exerts a stronger influence when prospective applicants hold a distant time perspective. In contrast, instrumental attributes such as pay level represent low-level construals and gain greater relevance when prospective applicants hold a near time perspective. Two experiments involving a student sample and a sample of unemployed job seekers supported these predictions.