Selection Fairness and Outcomes: A Field Study of Interactive Effects on Applicant Reactions



Despite the vast amount of applicant reactions studies, few have examined combined effects of selection outcomes with perceived procedural and distributive fairness on both personal and organizational reactions. Further, most have been conducted in laboratory settings, limiting external validity. The present study examined these effects with a longitudinal design, measuring actual applicants’ well-being and organizational attractiveness pre-interview and post-outcome. As expected, several interactions between outcomes and fairness were found. Applicants who were hired reported both highest well-being and organizational attractiveness when they perceived the outcome as fair. In contrast, applicants who were rejected reported highest well-being when they thought the outcome was unfair. Selection outcome and procedural fairness interacted for organizational attractiveness, with higher procedural fairness leading to higher attractiveness for rejected applicants.


Schinkel, S., Van Vianen, A.E.M., & Van Dierendonck, D. (2013). Selection fairness and outcomes: A field study of interactive effects on applicant reactions. International Journal of Selection and Assessment 21(1), 22-31.