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A Realistic Job Preview (RJP) is a recruiting tool used to communicate both the good and bad aspects of a job. Essentially, it is used to provide a prospective employee a realistic view of what the job entails. This measure, much like the job-fit measure, is to provide candidates a richer description of the agency and the job (e.g., work environment, duties, expectations) to help them decide if they are a good match. While the RJP can be useful for reducing turnover, it should be used as a candidate self-evaluation tool rather than a traditional selection device (e.g., cognitive ability tests, accomplishment record).
In creating a RJP, there are many factors to consider, including:
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Monitor implementation and evaluate the RJP process on a periodic basis to ensure the plan is followed and the intended results are achieved. Make adjustments to the RJP as necessary.
1 Masternak, M. (2004). "Realistic Job Preview: A Review of the Literature and Recommendations for Michigan Family Independence Agency."
2 The descriptions of RJP methods are based on an overview by Susan O'Nell, Sherri Larson, Amy Hewitt, John Sauer. (2001). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, Institute on Community Integration. Funding was provided by the Partnerships for Success Grant funded by the U.S. Department of Labor. Information is available at the University of Minnesota "RJP Overview" website.
3 Based in part on Wanous, J. P. (1989). Installing a Realistic Job Preview: Ten Tough Choices, Personnel Psychology, 42, 1, pg 117.
(See Section VI for a summary of each article)
McEvoy, G. M., & Cascio, W. F. (1985). Strategies for reducing employee turnover: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 70(2), 342-353.
Pitt, L. F., & Ramaseshan, B. (1995). Realistic job information and salesforce turnover: An investigative study. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 10(5), 29-36.
Saks, A. M, Wiesner, W. H., & Summers, R. (1996). Effects of job previews and compensation policy on applicant attraction and job choice. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 49, 68-85.
Wanous, J. P. (1989). Installing a realistic job preview: Ten tough choices. Personnel Psychology, 42(1), 117-133.