Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Timothy Buckley


The research literature has noted that organizations are moving beyond simply hiring individuals with the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) that fulfill the requirements of the job--employers are also looking for people who can fit in with a particular work group or even an entire organization. This study tested an exploratory model that predicted recruiter selection decisions from their evaluations of applicants' person-job (P-J), person-group (P-G), and person-organization (P-O) fit. The model also postulated that P-G and P-O fit would be predicted by the perceived congruence (similarity) of work values between applicants and groups/organizations, Hypotheses were field-tested with 64 recruiters from 44 companies who conducted 262 initial interviews with job applicants. As expected, the combination of P-J, P-G, and P-O fit explained a significant amount of variance in recruiter selection decisions, such as the likelihood that applicants would be invited for a second interview or would be recommended for hiring. All three types of fit contributed to the recruiter selection decisions, but ceiling effects and high multicollinearity among the fit ratings complicated interpretation of their individual contributions. Applicant qualification match with job requirements strongly predicted P-J fit. Perceived similarity in the work values of achievement, fairness, honesty, and concern for others between applicants and organizations significantly predicted P-O fit. Value congruence between applicants and groups likewise predicted P-G fit. Among the study's strengths was the use of Edwards' polynomial regression and three-dimensional response surface techniques, which allowed for both the relaxation of traditional constraints on equations and the interpretation of the complex relationships between applicant values, organization/group values, and perceptions of fit. Future research should move beyond the recruiting interview and attend to the importance of values and P-O and P-G fit in later stages of the selection process. Additional questions should focus on the impact of fit on criteria after applicants have accepted employment, such as performance, tenure, and rate of socialization.