Attraction and job acceptance
Simulations can also play an important role in attracting applicants to an organization and can increase the likelihood that applicants will accept job offers. At early stages in the recruitment and selection process, applicants’ interest in an organization is influenced by perception of, and familiarity with, the organization (Gatewood et al., 2008). In these early stages, applicants have very limited information about the job and as such often make a choice about where to apply based on that limited information and perception. At later stages in the process, any additional information provided has an impact on which organizations they will pursue and where they will accept job offers (Rynes & Cable, 2003). Given that qualified applicants may well have multiple job offers, it is important to manage the organization’s image throughout the recruitment and selection process.
Research has shown that applicants make inferences about an organization based on the information they are provided in the selection process and those inferences may impact their desire to pursue employment with an organization (French, 1987). In addition, they transfer those inferences to multiple organizational and job characteristics (Barber & Roehling, 1993). The assessments used as part of the selection process are another piece of information applicants use to form impressions. Applicant reactions to the selection process impact their attraction to, and views of, an organization (Chapman et al., 2005; Hausknecht et al., 2004). To the extent that applicants are impressed by the assessments used in the selection process, they are more likely to develop a favourable impression of the organization and will be more likely to stay in the recruitment pool and accept job offers when made. Meta-analytic studies have found simulations to be among the most favourably perceived by applicants (Hausknecht et al., 2004) due in large part to their face validity and the opportunity to perform that they provide. As such, unlike traditional assessments, simulations have the greatest potential to attract applicants to organizations and lead to offer acceptance because they provide insight into the job and its requirements.