APPLICANT-SELECTOR TREATMENT MATCHING: HOW JOB APPLICANTS WANT TO BE TREATED, HOW SELECTORS TREAT JOB APPLICANTS
Derous, E., Open University, Netherlands and Bullen, M. and De Witte, K., Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
Applicants' test-taking reactions have been documented over the last two decades. Yet, selection literature remains almost mute on selectors' treatment perceptions, as well as applicant-selector treatment matching. This contrasts with the ongoing tradition in studying client-assessor treatment relationships in related research fields, such as clinical psychology. The goal of this study is twofold. First we assess selectors' treatment perceptions. Selection treatment is defined as the act, or instance of treating (i.e., dealing with) applicants. Second, data across selectors and applicants are compared to address applicant-selector treatment matching. In a previous study Derous & De Witte (2001) developed the Social Process Model on Selection (SPS-model). This model consists of six oblique first order factors: transparency-content, transparency- organization, objectivity, feedback, job information and participation. It reflects the selection treatment characteristics applicants value and expect. In the present study the SPS-model is validated in a sample of 139 selectors using confirmatory factor analysis (LISREL 8.30). We investigate how selectors value and organize the selection treatment. Finally, selectors` treatment perceptions (valuation, realization) are compared with applicants' treatment perceptions (valuation, expectation) using ANOVAs and t-tests. Applicants and selectors value the same six treatment factors. They also rank them in nearly the same order of importance and (expected) realization. Yet, some dissimilarity is found. Applicants rather prefer a tailor-made treatment (e.g. participation), while selectors prefer an objective selection (e.g. objectivity) approach. Further research opportunities and the practical relevance of selection treatment research are discussed.