Subjective PO fit in recruitment: is it always really ‘O’? Organizational values may be industry values, depending on temporal distance

Arne Vanderstukken*, Karin Proost, Anja Van den Broeck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Person-organization (PO) fit literature assumes that job seekers are attracted to organizations that signal values similar to their own. When trying to form an image of organizational values, job seekers are influenced by the information provided by the organization, but also by their assumptions about the organization’s industry, which may conflict with the organization-specific information. Drawing from construal level theory, this paper advances that the salience of the information provided by the organization over the industry-based assumptions depends on the job seeker’s experience of temporal distance from the organization. We argue that at a large – as opposed to a small – temporal distance (1), perceptions of industry values influence perceptions of organizational values more strongly and (2a) subjective fit with industry values is more positively related with attraction towards the organization (2b) because then subjective industry fit and subjective fit with the organization are closely related. Finally, we reason that at a large – as opposed to a small – temporal distance (3), same-industry organizations, despite being different, will be seen as more similarly attractive. Three experiments supported our hypotheses, highlighting the time-dependent influence of industry on job seekers’ perceptions of PO fit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)602-615
JournalEuropean Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
Issue number5
Early online date2018
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sep 2019



  • recruitment
  • person-organization fit
  • person-industry fit
  • temporal distance
  • Recruitment

Cite this