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Prior research has been inconclusive regarding the effects of unfavorable information on job search outcomes, particularly during the initial stage of job search and recruitment. In this study, we investigated the effects of unfavorable organizational information on applicant attraction using an experimental study with active university job seekers (n = 202). Exposure to unfavorable information had a substantially greater impact on applicant attraction than exposure to favorable information and the significant effect size difference persisted one week after exposure. In addition, job seekers who were exposed to unfavorable information freely recalled more overall evaluations of the organization than job seekers who were exposed to favorable information one week later.


Kanar, A. M., Collins, C. J., Bell, B. S. (2008). How does unfavorable information impact job seekers’ organizational attraction? (CAHRS Working Paper #08-10). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.