APPLICANT REACTIONS AND ATTITUDES
Because the selection process is a two-way decision-making process in which the decision made by an applicant may be as relevant as the one made by the organization, growing attention has been focused on applicant's reactions and attitudes in connection with predictors, the justice of the process and the process itself.
Rynes (1993) examined the selection process from the applicant's perspective, considering the effects that the characteristics of selection techniques could have on applicants' reactions (e.g., perceptions of invasiveness, invalidity and lack of relationship to job content, faking, and attempts to manipulate selection outcomes). Rynes and Connerley (1993) studied the attitudes and beliefs of applicants in connection with 13 alternative selection procedures. The main characteristic that affected the attitudes was the apparent content validity of the procedure, with the best scores for simulations, written exams and references and at the same time contrasting with ability tests. They also found that the applicant attitudes can be predicted from three characteristics: (1) faith in the evaluation system; (2) perception of the employer's need to know; and (3) beliefs about likely self-performance. Connerley and Rynes (1996) examined the perceptions of differences in staffing between Total Quality Management (TQM) companies and non-TQM companies on a sample of 145 engineer applicants. Connerley and Rynes found that the number of companies that described themselves as 'quality employers' was percentually small (18%). for this reason they needed to create a third category of companies: inferred-TQM firms. Secondly, they found that by comparing non-TQM companies with explicit-TQM firms, these last selected employees on a basis of their technical knowledge, skills and abilities. If the comparison was between non-TQM and inferred-TQM, the latter used more applicant information and emphasized social aspects of work. Thirdly, the TQM status per se had very little influence on the applicants' general perceptions, suggesting a small impact on applicant attraction. Smither, Reilly, Millsap, Pearlman and Stoffey (1993) found that the applicants' reactions to assessment could be of practical importance because of influences on the organizations' attractiveness to candidates.
A number of articles are related to test-taking motivation (TTM), which is defined by Arvey, Strickland, Drauden and Martin (1990) as positive or negative attitudes toward taking tests. Arvey et al. (1990) have suggested that TTM could affect test validity. According to their results, applicants showed higher TTM and made a greater effort to answer correctly than actual employees. Arvey et al. have also found that individual differences and performance factors are related to TTM (e.g., cognitive ability, race, sex and age). Interestingly, subjects higher in cognitive ability showed higher TTM. In a study partially related to TTM, Schmit and Ryan (1993) found that the type of situation in which the assessment process was carried out might modify the structure of personality self-report measures. They showed that the structure of a personality questionnaire could be different if the assessment process was identified as a personnel assessment process or as an anonymous assessment research. Schmit and Ryan found that in the personnel assessment situation, the individuals responded by using an 'ideal employee' as a reference frame while in an anonymous assessment situation the reference frame could be 'the description of a stranger'. Salgado, Remeseiro and Iglesias (1996) examined the relations between TTM, Big Five personality dimensions and motivational distortion. They found that positive TTM was related to extraversion, openness and conscientiousness while negative TTM was related to neuroticism and agreeableness. Neither positive TTM nor negative TTM was related to motivational distortion.
Gilliland (1993) examined the bases of selection reactions using organizational justice theories as a framework. He suggested four procedural justice dimensions that were applicable to selection procedures: job relatedness, opportunity to demonstrate one's abilities, interpersonal treatment and propriety of questions. Gilliland (1994) also found that job relatedness was a relevant determinant in perceptions of selection process fairness. Steiner and Gilliland (1996) conducted a research in which fairness in the most used predictors was assessed in France and the United States. The findings revealed not many cross-cultural differences in the perceived validity and justice of the instruments. Interviews, work sample tests, and resumes were perceived favorably in France and the United States. In both countries the participants in the study rated graphology negatively.
Putting together all the findings previously described, it seems clear that applicants' attitudes and perceptions on recruitment and selection methods can have a strong impact on the success or failure of selection programs. Therefore, in the future more research should be devoted to these topics.