Hiring managers regularly encounter job applicants with different amounts of experience – i.e., different biological ages, different career ages, different levels of job qualifications, and different amounts of education. Surprisingly, few large-scale studies have revealed how hiring managers react to applicants with more and less experience than is typical for the position. As such, the primary goal of the current study is to examine the relationship between different facets of experience match and the likelihood that applicants will be interviewed and hired for a position. We theorize that human capital theory would predict an uncomplicatedly positive relationship between different facets of experience and applicant hiring – i.e., more experience is better. In contrast, we draw on attribution theory to introduce the concept of the “red flag”, which we suggest would favor applicants with “normal” amounts of experience over those with either less or more than is typical. We compare these dueling predictions using biodata from 59,898 applicants’ resumes applying in 42 organizations. Our results are broadly consistent with the red flag theory. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.
|Title of host publication||Academy of Management Proceedings|
|Place of Publication||Boston, MA|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Aug 2019|