Attracting Applicants in the War for Talent: Differences in Work Preferences Among High Achievers

Abstract

This study examines how several indicators of ability and achievement are associated with individual differences in preferences for job and organizational attributes. Results from a sample of 378 business and liberal arts students suggest that students with high cognitive ability and all types of high achievement place greater importance on interesting and challenging work than do other students. However, on other work attributes (e.g., job flexibility, pay practices, fast-track promotion systems), students with high cognitive ability and high academic achievement (i.e., grade point average) appear to have different preference patterns from those with high social achievement (e.g., extracurricular and leadership activities). Results are discussed in terms of implications for employers and future research.

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Trank, C.Q., Rynes, S.L. & Bretz, R.D. Attracting Applicants in the War for Talent: Differences in Work Preferences Among High Achievers. Journal of Business and Psychology 16, 331–345 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1012887605708

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  • cognitive ability
  • academic achievement
  • social achievement
  • job attributes
  • recruitment
  • job applicants