Applicant–Employee Fit in Personality: Testing Predictions from Similarity‐Attraction Theory and Trait Activation Theory

14 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2015

See all articles by Greet Van Hoye

Greet Van Hoye

Ghent University - Department of Personnel Management, Work and Organizational Psychology

Daniel B. Turban

University of Missouri - Department of Management

Date Written: September 2015

Abstract

We extend prior research by examining whether, and how, applicant–employee fit in the personality traits of conscientiousness, agreeableness, and extraversion affect organizational attractiveness. We test hypotheses based on similarity‐attraction theory and trait activation theory. Results from two studies indicate that applicants high in valued traits are more attracted to organizations when employees are more similar to them in those personality traits, whereas employees’ trait levels do not affect attraction for applicants low in valued traits. The effects of objective applicant–employee fit in personality on attractiveness were mediated by perceived applicant–employee fit. The pattern of the observed applicant–employee fit interactions was best predicted by trait activation theory and, thus, provide an important extension to similarity‐attraction theory.

Suggested Citation

Van Hoye, Greet and Turban, Daniel B., Applicant–Employee Fit in Personality: Testing Predictions from Similarity‐Attraction Theory and Trait Activation Theory (September 2015). International Journal of Selection and Assessment, Vol. 23, Issue 3, pp. 210-223, 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2648640 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ijsa.12109

Greet Van Hoye (Contact Author)

Ghent University - Department of Personnel Management, Work and Organizational Psychology ( email )

Ghent, B-9000
Belgium

Daniel B. Turban

University of Missouri - Department of Management ( email )

United States

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