The purpose of this paper is to examine a varied set of personal characteristics (i.e. cultural values tied to Confucianism, Big Five personality attributes and test experience) for their combined ability to predict job applicants’ expected and experienced procedural fairness in the context of personnel selection.
A total of 324 applicants were surveyed as part of a process to select entry-level positions at a large IT manufacturing company in eastern China. Data were gathered in two waves, such that applicants’ personal characteristics and fairness expectations were obtained prior to their perceptions of procedural fairness, which were collected after the selection interview.
Confucian values, neuroticism, conscientiousness and test experience all predicted applicants’ procedural fairness expectations. Only test experience had both direct and indirect effects on procedural justice perceptions. All other effects involving personal characteristics and experience of procedural fairness were mediated by applicants’ fairness expectations.
The demonstration of the impact of a varied set of personal characteristics on applicants’ perceptions of procedural fairness is consistent with theory-driven models intended to understand and predict these perceptions. The findings suggest, among other considerations, that multinational businesses cannot assume that a standardized approach to selection will be viewed in the same manner by applicants across national contexts.
The authors show, in an operational employee selection context, how a varied set of personal characteristics can usefully combine to predict applicants’ procedural fairness expectations, as well as their experience of procedural fairness.