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    Investigating the impact of individual differences on candidate reactions to selection processes

    Welsh, Katy (2023) Investigating the impact of individual differences on candidate reactions to selection processes. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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    There has been a rapid increase in the number of selection tools and procedures available to organisations looking to identify the most talented individuals in recent years, not all of which are well received by applicants. A poorly received selection procedure can have significant impact for both individuals and organisations. While candidate reactions have been a focus of research for several decades, the role of individual differences in candidate reactions has been less well-researched, despite numerous calls for more research in this area. This thesis aims to answer these calls and address some of the gaps in the evidence base. The first study of this thesis is a systematic literature review of published research into the impact of individual differences in candidate reactions to selection processes. No known systematic literature review has been conducted in this area, despite several calls for research. The systematic literature review examined how individual differences in candidates going through a selection process related to their candidate experience. The results showed that there is a limited number of studies in the area, with 18 being identified which met the inclusion criteria. There are significant limitations in the replicability of studies in this area, driven by the number of selection methods available. The study findings showed that there is some promising evidence regarding the effects of attitudinal, biographical and personality differences on candidates' reactions, but that these effects are complex and often indirect. Implications for practice are discussed alongside suggestions for future research. The second study of this thesis addresses some of the gaps identified in the systematic literature review. This study investigated the effects of personality differences on reactions to a low-touch, digitally enabled selection process with internal candidates applying to a talent development scheme. A cross-sectional study was adopted with 625 participants from a public sector organisation. Personality effects were investigated using a Big Five measure of personality, and reactions to both the selection process as a whole and reactions to the four individual exercises which made up the selection process were examined. The results showed small but significant effects for the personality factors of Conscientiousness, Agreeableness and Neuroticism on candidate reactions. Further, the impact of personality factors varied depending on the exercise, suggesting that multi-method approaches could be most beneficial in attracting broad talent pools. This thesis advances understanding of the role individual differences play in candidate reactions to selection processes. Further, it builds on previous work highlighting the need for more research into the role of technology in selection processes and provides a number of avenues for future research.


    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2023 15:30
    Last Modified: 01 Nov 2023 16:04


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