Enhancing Person-Organization Fit: An investigation into the recruitment and selection of university graduates
The purpose of this study was to investigate the increasing importance of person-organisation fit in organisations and how this might be attained during the recruitment and selection process. It achieved this aim by examining Schneider’s (1987) attraction-selection-attrition model within a graduate recruitment context. Three stakeholder perspectives were studied – job seekers, recruiters and employees – with each perspective assigned to one element of the model. The study consisted of three distinct parts. First, an online survey was completed by 137 university students to understand the ‘attraction’ element of the model, and to gauge the importance placed on person-organisation fit by job seekers. Second, 26 graduate recruiters were surveyed, and a further seven interviewed, to ascertain the emphasis placed on person-organisation fit during the ‘selection’ phase, and to gain an understanding of how ‘fit’ is assessed. Finally, ‘attrition’ to the firm was explored by surveying graduates and measuring the level of values congruence obtained with their employing organisation. The results revealed that although job seekers do consciously assess the values of the organisations to which they apply, person-organisation fit was not found to be of much importance to them. Instead, self-selection was based upon more tangible elements, such as reputation, of a firm. On the other hand, it was found that person-organisation fit has become a prevailing feature of the graduate selection process, with organisations spending a large percentage of time evaluating a candidate’s ‘fit’ to the firm rather than their ‘fit’ to the specific requirements of the job. Person-organisation fit was typically assessed during in-person interactions, with recruiters evaluating a range of behavioural competencies that related back to the firm’s core values. This study also revealed a low level of values congruence (i.e. person-organisation fit) is actually achieved in the appointment of university graduates. Overall, support for the attraction-selection-attrition framework is not found, as person-organisation fit appears to be neither of great importance to job seekers, nor is a high level of ‘fit’ attained in the recruitment and selection of graduates.
Advisor: Edgar, Fiona
Degree Name: Master of Business
Degree Discipline: Management
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: P-O Fit
Research Type: Thesis