Publication Date



Although a favorable employment reputation plays an important role in generating a large and qualified pool of job applicants for an organization (Rynes & Cable, 2003), little research has investigated whether organizations can improve applicants’ existing unfavorable employment reputation perceptions. Results from a four-week longitudinal experiment using 222 student job seekers revealed that participants’ employment reputation perceptions improved after exposure to recruitment practices and followed diminishing returns trajectories over time. High information recruitment practices (e.g., personal communication from a recruiter) from both single and multiple sources were more effective for changing unfavorable employment reputation perceptions than repeated mere exposure to the organization (i.e., exposure to only the company logo), and high information practices from multiple sources were the most effective overall. Finally, participants reporting less familiarity with the organization experienced greater reputation change across the four weeks, but only for participants in the mere exposure condition.


Suggested Citation
Kanar, A. M., Collins, C. J., Bell, B. S. (2008). Changing an unfavorable employment reputation: A longitudinal examination (CAHRS Working Paper #08-14). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.