Realistic Job Previews


Realistic Job Previews (RJP) requires that, in addition to telling applicants about the nice things a job has to offer (e.g., pay, benefits, opportunities for advancement), recruiters must also tell applicants about the unpleasant aspects of the job. For example, “it’s hot and dirty, and sometimes you’ll have to work on weekends”.

Research in actual company settings has indicated consistent results. That is, when the unrealistically positive expectations of job applicants prior to hire are lower to match the reality of the actual work setting, job acceptance rates may be lower and job performance is unaffected, but job satisfaction and survival are higher for those who receive an RJP. These conclusions have held up in different organizational settings (e.g., manufacturing versus service jobs) and when different RJP techniques are used (e.g., plant tours versus slide presentations versus written descriptions of the work). In fact, RJPs improve retention rates, on average, by 9 percent.

Longitudinal research shows that RJPs should be balanced in their orientation. That is, they should enhance overly pessimistic expectations and reduce overly optimistic expectations. Doing so helps bolster the applicant’s perceptions of the organization as caring, trustworthy, and honest.

A final recommendation is to develop RJPs even when there is no turnover problem (proactively rather than reactively). RJPs should employ an audiovisual medium and, where possible, show actual job incumbents.

Nevertheless, RJPs are not appropriate for all types of jobs. They seem to work best

  1. when few applicants are actually hired (that is, the selection ratio is low),
  2. when used with entry-level positions (since those coming from outside to inside the organization tend to have more inflated expectations than those who make changes internally), and
  3. when unemployment is low (since job candidates are more likely to have alternative jobs to choose from).

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University Of Management And Technology Umt Lahore

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Punjab University PU Lahore

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Punjab University College Of Information Technology Lahore

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Allama Iqbal Open University (Aiou) Islamabad

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