Abstract

New firms often have difficulties recruiting key employees, impacting the growth and viability of the firm. The majority of the literature has examined this difficulty from the hiring firm’s perspective. In this paper, we adopt the job seeker’s perspective and build on work in organization behavior and human resource management to examine job seekers’ preconceived notions and perceptual differences of ascribed organizational personality characteristics based on firm size and age. We empirically find that job seekers attribute certain personality characteristics to startups and these characteristics significantly affect whether seekers will evaluate the attractive of working for these firms on the basis of perceived fit. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.

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