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The Effect of Different Rejection Letters on Applicants’ Reactions

Faculty of Psychology, University “G. d’Annunzio”, 66100 Chieti, Italy
Faculty of Psychology, e-Campus University, 22060 Novedrate, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Behav. Sci. 2019, 9(10), 102;
Received: 13 August 2019 / Revised: 9 September 2019 / Accepted: 18 September 2019 / Published: 20 September 2019
Organisations appear to pay little attention to rejection letters, considered a special form of organisational communication, despite a growing body of literature that shows they play an important role in terms of employer branding. This study aims to empirically test how applicants’ perceptions are affected by differently manipulated rejection letters. In detail, a sample of 138 rejected candidates filled in an ad hoc questionnaire on perceived selection procedure fairness and satisfaction, after receiving a rejection letter where we had manipulated time latency, the politeness formula and customisation. Results suggest that providing a timely, customised and informal notification is something agreeable, which is able to affect, above all, fairness perceptions and intention to re-apply. In detail, the time latency in giving feedback appears to affect the relationship between fairness perception and organisational recommendation and acts more as a mediator rather than an antecedent variable. Considering that providing feedback is a relatively low-cost activity that at the same time has a big impact on job applicants, our results show that organisations should be sensitive to negative feedback communication, especially in relation to response time, in order to support their employer branding. View Full-Text
Keywords: selection; fairness; communication selection; fairness; communication
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Cortini, M.; Galanti, T.; Barattucci, M. The Effect of Different Rejection Letters on Applicants’ Reactions. Behav. Sci. 2019, 9, 102.

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