Searching for the right fit: development of applicant person-organization fit perceptions during the recruitment process. Academic Article uri icon


  • Numerous studies link applicant fit perceptions measured at a single point in time to recruitment outcomes. Expanding upon this prior research by incorporating decision-making theory, this study examines how applicants develop these fit perceptions over the duration of the recruitment process, showing meaningful changes in fit perceptions across and within organizations overtime. To assess the development of applicant fit perceptions, eight assessments of person-organization (PO) fit with up to four different organizations across 169 applicants for 403 job choice decisions were analyzed. Results showed the presence of initial levels and changes in differentiation of applicant PO fit perceptions across organizations, which significantly predicted future job choice. In addition, changes in within-organizational PO fit perceptions across two stages of recruitment predicted applicant job choices among multiple employers. The implications of these results for accurately understanding the development of fit perceptions, relationships between fit perceptions and key recruiting outcomes, and possible limitations of past meta-analytically derived estimates of these relationships are discussed.

published proceedings

  • J Appl Psychol

author list (cited authors)

  • Swider, B. W., Zimmerman, R. D., & Barrick, M. R.

citation count

  • 84

complete list of authors

  • Swider, Brian W||Zimmerman, Ryan D||Barrick, Murray R

publication date

  • May 2015