Personnel selection

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Personnel selection is the methodical process used to hire (or, less commonly, promote) individuals. Although the term can apply to all aspects of the process (recruitment, selection, hiring, acculturation, etc.) the most common meaning focuses on the selection of workers. In this respect, selected prospects are separated from rejected applicants with the intention of choosing the person who will be the most successful and make the most valuable contributions to the organization.[1] It's effect on the group is discerned when the selected accomplish their desired impact to the group, through achievement or tenure. The procedure of selection takes after strategy to gather data around a person so as to figure out whether that individual ought to be utilized. The strategies used must be in compliance with the various laws in respect to work force selection.


The professional standards of industrial-organizational psychologists (I-O psychologists) require that any selection system be based on a job analysis to ensure that the selection criteria are job-related. The requirements for a selection system are knowledge, skills, ability, and other characteristics known as KSAOs. US law also recognizes bona fide occupational qualifications (BFOQs), which are requirements for a job which would be discriminatory were they not necessary—such as only employing men as wardens of maximum-security male prisons, enforcing a mandatory retirement age for airline pilots, or a religious college only employing professors of its religion to teach its theology.[1]

Personnel selection systems employ evidence-based practices to determine the most qualified candidates and involve both the newly hired and those individuals who can be promoted from within the organization.[1]

In this respect, Selection of personnel has "validity" if an unmistakable relationship can be shown between the system itself and the employment for which the people are ultimately being chosen for. In this way, a vital piece of selection is Job Analysis. An analysis is typically conducted before, and regularly apart of, the improvement in determination systems. Then again, a selection method may be deemed valid after it has already been executed by directing follow up job analysis and demonstrating the relationship between the selection process and the respective job.

The procedure of personnel selection includes gathering data about the potential candidates with the end goal of deciding suitability and sustainability for the employment in that particular job. This data is gathered utilizing one or more determination devices or strategies classified as such:

  • Interviews
  • Personality Tests
  • Biographical Data
  • Cognitive Ability Tests
  • Physical Ability Tests
  • Work Samples

Development and implementation of such screening methods is sometimes done by human resources departments; larger organizations hire consultants or firms that specialize in developing personnel selection systems. I-O psychologists must evaluate evidence regarding the extent to which selection tools predict job performance, evidence that bears on the validity of selection tools. These procedures are usually validated (shown to be job relevant), using one or more of the following types of validity: content validity, construct validity, and/or criterion-related validity.

History and development[edit]

Chinese civil servant exams, established in AD 605, may be the first documented "modern" selection tests, and have influenced subsequent examination systems.[2] As a scientific and scholarly field, personnel selection owes much to psychometric theory and the art of integrating selection systems falls to human resource professionals.

In the United States of America, members of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) conduct much of the research on selection. Primary research topics include:

  • the practicality, reliability, validity, and utility of various forms of selection measures
  • methods for demonstrating return on investment for selection systems
  • assessing fairness and making selection systems as fair as possible
  • legal issues—such as disparate treatment and disparate impact—and overall compliance with laws
  • the generalizability of validity across different work contexts
  • alternative methods of demonstrating validity, such as synthetic validity[3]
  • the predictive validity of non-traditional measures, such as personality

Types of Selection Measures[edit]

[4] Industrial and organizational (I–O) psychologists and hiring mangers use a variety of measures to select applicants who are the best fit for a position. The main goal of these tests is to predict job performance, and each test has its own relative strengths and weaknesses in this regard. When making a hiring decision, it is critical to understand the applicant's personality style, values, motivations, and attitudes. Technical competency can be acquired by new employees, but personality is not easy to change.


Interviews are one of the most common ways that individuals are selected. The best interviews follow a structured framework in which each applicant is asked the same questions and is scored with a standardized rating scale. In this way, structured interviews provide more reliable results than unstructured interviews.

Types of Interviews[edit]

  1. Unstructured Interview Involves a procedure where different questions may be asked of different applicants.
  2. Situational Interview Candidates are interviewed about what actions they would take in various job-related situations. The job-related situations are usually identified using the critical incidents job analysis technique. The interviews are then scored using a scoring guide constructed by job experts.
  3. Behavior Description Interviews Candidates are asked what actions they have taken in prior job situations that are similar to situations they may encounter on the job. The interviews are then scored using a scoring guide constructed by job experts.
  4. Comprehensive Structured Interviews Candidates are asked questions pertaining to how they would handle job-related situations, job knowledge, worker requirements, and how the candidate would perform various job simulations. Interviews tapping job knowledge offer a way to assess a candidate's current level of knowledge related to relevant implicit dimensions of job performance (i.e., "tacit knowledge" or "practical intelligence" related to a specific job position)
  5. Structured Behavioral Interview This technique involves asking all interviewees standardized questions about how they handled past situations that were similar to situations they may encounter on the job. The interviewer may also ask discretionary probing questions for details of the situations, the interviewee's behavior in the situation and the outcome. The interviewee's responses are then scored with behaviorally anchored rating scales.
  6. Oral Interview Boards This technique entails the job candidate giving oral responses tojob-related questions asked by a panel of interviewers. Each member of the panel then rates each interviewee on such dimensions as work history, motivation, creative thinking, and presentation. The scoring procedure for oral interview boards has typically been subjective; thus, it would be subject to personal biases of those individuals sitting on the board. This technique may not be feasible for jobs in which there are a large number of applicants that must be interviewed.

Personality Testing[edit]

Another tool used for selection is personality testing. Personality tests can provide an accurate analysis of an applicant's attitudes and interpersonal skills. These tests can reveal a variety of things about an applicant, such as how well the applicant gets along with others, self-discipline, attention to detail, organization, flexibility, and disposition.

Types of Personality Tests[edit]

  1. Personal Attribute Inventory. An interpersonal assessment instrument which consists of 50 positive and 50 negative adjectives from Gough's Adjective Check List. The subject is to select 30 which are most descriptive of the target group or person in question. This instrument was specifically designed to tap affective reactions and may be used in either assessing attitudes toward others or as a self-concept scale.
  2. Personality Adjective Checklist A comprehensive, objective measure of eight personality styles (which are closely aligned with DSM-III-R Axis II constructs). These eight personality styles are: introversive, inhibited, cooperative, sociable, confident, forceful, respectful, and sensitive. This instrument is designed for use with nonpsychiatric patients and normal adults who read minimally at the eighth grade level. Test reports are computer-generated and are intended for use by qualified professionals only. Interpretive statements are based on empirical data and theoretical inference. They are considered probabilistic in nature and cannot be considered definitive.
  3. Cross-Cultural Adaptability Inventory Self-scoring six-point rating scale is a training instrument designed to provide feedback to individuals about their potential for cross-cultural effectiveness. It is most effective when used as part of a training program. It can also be used as a team-building tool for culturally diverse work groups and as a counseling tool for people in the process of cross-cultural adjustment. The inventory contains 50 items, distributed among 4 subscales: emotional resilience, flexibility/openness, perceptual acuity, personal autonomy.
  4. California Psychological Inventory Multipurpose questionnaire designed to assess normal personality characteristics important in everyday life that individuals make use of to understand, classify, and predict their own behaviors and that of others. In this revision, two new scales, empathy and independence, have been added; semantic changes were made in 29 items; and 18 items were eliminated. The inventory is applicable for use in a variety of settings, including business and industry, schools and colleges, clinics and counseling agencies, and for cross cultural and other research. May be used to advise employees/applicants about their vocational plans.

Biographical Data Selection[edit]

  1. Background Information/Application Blanks Paper-and-pencil questionnaires, interviews, and communications with past employers in order to assess an individual's behavioral reliability, integrity, and personal adjustment. In order to implement this technique a validation study would have to be conducted.
  2. Empirically-keyed Biodata Applicants are presented with a list of questions pertaining to such things as one's economic stability, work ethic orientation, and educational achievement. Applicants' scores are determined by weighting each item according to the item's empirically derived relationship to the criterion of interest. This technique requires a validation study to be carried out in order to obtain the empirically derived weights for the biodata.
  3. Rationally-keyed Biodata Applicants are presented with a list of questions pertaining to such things as one's economic stability, work ethic orientation and educational achievement. Applicants' scores are determined by weighting each item according to the item's rationally derived relationship to the criterion of interest. Research indicates the predictive validity of this technique may be lower than other available techniques with no evidence for reduced adverse impact against minorities.

Ability Tests[edit]

Psychomotor-ability tests are used to measure fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. These skills are important in jobs, like carpentry, that require a lot of hand-eye coordination. Unlike psychomotor ability tests, physical ability tests measure gross motor skills, such as lifting and running. These skills are important in jobs such as construction, where strength is needed.

Cognitive Ability Tests[edit]

  1. Employee Aptitude Survey A battery of employment tests designed to meet the practical requirements of a personnel office. Consists of 10 cognitive, perceptual, and psychomotor ability tests. Nine of the 10 tests have 5-minute time limits. The remaining test requires two to ten minutes of testing time. Is a tool for personnel selection and a useful diagnostic tool for vocational guidance and career counseling. For situations in which it is desirable to retest an individual on an alternate form, special retest norms are provided for interpreting retest scores.
    • Test 1 - Verbal Comprehension. Each item consists of one word in capital letters followed by four words in small letters. The respondent is to choose the word in small letters that means about the same as the word in capital letters. Scoring is the number right minus 1/3 the number wrong.
    • Test 2 - Numerical Ability. A battery of three tests: integers, decimal fractions and common fractions, each is timed separately. Designed to measure skill in the four basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
    • Test 3 - Visual Pursuit. Designed to measure the ability to make rapid scanning movements of the eyes without being distracted by other irrelevant visual stimulation. Involves the visual tracing of lines through an entangled network.
    • Test 4 - Visual Speed And Accuracy. The test consists of two columns of numbers; the respondent decides whether the number in the first column in exactly the same as the number in the second.
    • Test 5 - Space Visualization. Designed to measure the ability to visualize forms in space and to manipulate these forms or objects mentally. The test taker is shown a group of numbered, piled blocks and must determine, for a specifically numbered block, how many other blocks touch it.
    • Test 6 - Numerical Reasoning. Designed to measure the ability to analyze logical relationships and to see the underlying principles of such relationships. This is also known as the process of inductive reasoning—making generalizations from specific instances. The test taker is given a series of numbers and determines what the next number will be. Scoring is the number right minus 1/4 the number wrong.
    • Test 7 - Verbal Reasoning, Revised. Designed to measure the ability to analyze verbally stated facts and to make valid judgments on the basis of the logical implications of such facts; and thus, the ability to analyze available information in order to make practical decisions. Scoring is the number of right answers minus 1/2 the wrong answers.
    • Test 8 - Word Fluency. Designed to measure the ability to express oneself rapidly, easily and with flexibility. Word fluency involves the speed and freedom of word usage as opposed to understanding verbal meanings. People who measure high in this ability are particularly good at expressing themselves and in finding the right word at the right time. The test taker is given a letter of the alphabet and asked to write as many words as possible that begin with that letter.
    • Test 9 - Manual Speed And Accuracy. Designed to measure the ability to make rapid and precise movements with the hands and fingers. Also measures, according to the authors, the temperamental willingness to perform highly repetitive, routine, and monotonous work. The test taker is to put a pencil dot in as many circles as he or she can in five minutes, without letting the dots touch the sides of the small circles.
    • Test 10 - Symbolic Reasoning. : Designed to measure the ability to think and reason abstractly, using symbols rather than words or numbers; to manipulate abstract symbols mentally; and to make judgments and decisions which are logical and valid. Each problem contains a statement and a conclusion and uses certain symbols such as the equal sign and mathematical symbols for greater than and smaller than, etc. The test taker determines whether the conclusion is definitely true, definitely false, or impossible to determine on the basis of the statement. Scoring is the number of right answers minus 1/2 the wrong answers.
  2. Progressive Matrices, Advanced Sets I and II. A nonverbal test designed for use as an aid in assessing mental ability. Requires the examinee to solve problems presented in abstract figures and designs. Scores are said to correlate well with comprehensive intelligence tests. Set II provides a means of assessing all the analytical and integral operations involved in the higher thought processes and differentiates between people of superior intellectual ability.
  3. Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test. Brief individually administered measure of verbal and nonverbal intelligence for people aged 4–90. Developed specifically for screening purposes and for those situations where it would be difficult to do a more in-depth assessment. Norms are provided for all ages. Composed of two subtests, vocabulary and matrices. Vocabulary measures verbal, school-related skills by assessing word knowledge and verbal concept formation. Matrices measures nonverbal skills and ability to solve new problems. Items in matrices subtest involve pictures and designs.
  4. Short-term Memory Tests A form of cognitive ability test that are exemplified by short-term memory tasks such as forward digit span and serial rote learning, which do not require mental manipulation of inputs in order to provide an output. Short-term memory tests lack face validity in predicting job performance.
  5. Information Processing Tests Selection tests that have the same information processing requirements that occur on the job. In other words, the tests are tailored for each particular job. There is some evidence that adverse impact is reduced.

Physical Ability Tests[edit]

Fitness for the job - Rejection of an applicant for failing a physical abilities test must be based on a determination of the individual's fitness for the job not on a general determination on the disabilities of the applicant.

Liability - Although a physician may administer the physical abilities test, it is the employer who decides to hire or not, therefore the liability for violations of Title VII or ADA will rest with the employer.

Work Sample[edit]

Another selection technique is to have the applicant complete a hiring assignment. The applicant is asked to complete a task that simulates the actual job. The goal is to assess how well the applicant can learn and perform the tasks.

Types of Work Sample Tests[edit]

  • Work-Sample Tests of Trainability These are tests through a period of instruction when the applicant is expected to learn tasks involved in a work sample. The work-sample tests of trainability are suitable for untrained applicants with no previous job experience. The predictive validity of this technique is low relative to other techniques and there is evidence the validity of the instrument may attenuate over time.
  1. Simulation of an Event These tests present the candidate with a picture of an incident along with quotations from those involved. The candidates then respond to a series of questions in which they write down the decisions they would make. The test is scored by subject matter experts.
  • Low Fidelity Simulations These tests present applicants with descriptions of work situations and five alternative responses for each situation. Applicants choose the responses they would most likely and least likely make in each situation.
  • Work-samples Applicants perform observable, job-related behaviors as predictors of criterion performance. It is not feasible to adapt certain work behaviors for testing. Work samples often are not conducive to group administration and, therefore, were dropped from consideration because of concerns regarding test security.

Validating Work Sample Tests[edit]

  1. Content Validity The most direct relationship between the test and job would be shown through content validation. The tasks and duties performed on the test would be compared to the tasks and duties performed on the job. The test should encompass significant (in quantity or in importance) tasks/duties of the job.
  2. Criterion Validity To measure this validity, you must first determine what criteria will be used. Two common forms of criteria are:
    • Supervisory ratings of the incumbent's job performance. The disadvantage of using supervisory ratings as criteria is that they typically lack sufficient reliability to be used for statistical analysis. The reliability of these measures is attenuated by rater errors such as 'halo' or 'leniency'. These ratings alto tend to lack the variability necessary to show a correlation between predictor and criterion.
    • Production measures such as quantity or quality of work. Production measures are not available for some jobs.The predictor measures used with work sample tests include:
    • Number of work samples completed (using a time limit)
    • Time to complete work samples (using a limit on the number of work samples to be completed on the test)
    • Number and type of errors

Validity and Reliability[edit]

I–O psychologists must evaluate the validity of these measures in order to determine the extent to which selection tools can predict job performance. Measures have different types of validity that capture different qualities. There are three major types of validity: content validity, construct validity, and criterion validity.

Content Validity[edit]

Content validity refers to how comprehensively the measure assesses the underlying construct that it claims to assess. As an example, let's look at a job interview for a position as a banker. This measure would have low content validity if it assessed whether the candidate was comfortable talking to many different people but not whether they were comfortable with math, because the candidate would not have been thoroughly evaluated on every facet of being a banker. The measure didn't cover the full breadth of what the job requires.

Construct Validity[edit]

Construct validity refers to whether the measure accurately assesses the underlying construct that it claims to assess. This can be evaluated by examining correlations with other measures that purport to assess the same construct. When we ask if a measure has good construct validity, we're asking, "does this test the thing we are interested in testing?" An example of a measure with debatable construct validity is IQ testing. It is intended to measure intelligence, but there is disagreement about whether it measures intelligence, as it claims, or merely one type of skill.

Criterion Validity[edit]

Criterion validity examines how well the construct correlates with one's behavior in the real world across multiple situations and manifestations. For instance, does the measure adequately capture the construct (e.g., work ethic) as it presents in real life.


The reliability of a measure refers to whether the measure gets repeatable results. Will the recruitment and selection processes that a company uses work every time they need to hire someone, or just once? If their processes get good results every time, those measures can be said to be reliable.

Validity of Interviews[edit]

The validity of Interviews describes how useful interviews are in predicting job performance. In one of the most comprehensive meta-analytic summary to date by Weisner and Cronshaw(1988) .The authors investigated interview validity as a function of interview format ( individual vs board) and degree of structure( structure vs unstructured). Results of this study showed that structured interviews yielded much higher mean corrected validities than unstructured interviews( 0.63 vs 0.20), and  structured board interviews using consensus ratings had the highest corrected validity( 0.64).

In McDaniel, Whetzel, Schmidt & Maurer’s  Comprehensive Review and Meta- analysis of the Validity of Interviews (1994) paper, the authors go a step further and  include an examination of the validity of three different types of interview content(situational, job-related, and psychological).Their goal was to explore the possibility that validity is a function of the type of content collected.

They define the three kinds of content as follows -  situational content was described as interview questions that get information on how the interviewee would behave in specific situations presented by the interviewer. For example, a question that asks whether the interviewee would choose to report a coworker for behaving in an unethical way or just let them go. Job related questions, on the other hand, assess the interviewee’s past behavior and job-related information. While psychological interviews include questions intended to assess the interviewee’s personality traits such as their work ethic, dependability, honesty etc.

The authors conducted a meta-analysis of all previous studies on the validity of interviews across the three types of  content mentioned above. Their results show that for job-performance criteria, situational interviews yield higher mean validity(0.50) than do job-related interviews(0.39) which yield a higher mean validity than do psychology interviews(0.29). This means that when the interview is used to predict job performance, it is best to conduct situational interviews rather than job-related or psychological interviews. On the other hand, when interviews are used to predict an applicant’s training performance, the mean validity of job-related interviews(0.36) is somewhat lower than the mean validity of psychological interviews(0.40).

Going beyond the content of the interview, the authors’ analysis of interview validity was extended to include an assessment of how the interview was conducted. Here, two questions emerged - Are structured interviews more valid than unstructured interviews ? and are board interviews( with more than one interviewer) more valid than individual interviews.

Their answer  to the first question - Are structured interviews more valid unstructured interviews was that structured interviews, regardless of content, is more valid(0.44) than unstructured interviews(0.33) in predicting job performance criteria. However, when training performance is the criteria, the validity of structured and unstructured interviews are similar (0.34 and 0.36).

As for the validity of board interviews versus individual interviews, the researchers conducted another meta-analyses comparing the validity of board interviews and individual interviews for job performance criteria. The results show that individual interviews are more valid than board interviews( 0.43 vs 0.32). This is true regardless of whether the individual interview is structured or unstructured.

When exploring the variance in interview validity between job performance, training performance, and tenure criteria, the researchers found that the interviews are similar in predictive accuracy for job-performance and training performance( 0.37 vs 0.36). But less predictive for tenure (0.20).

Validity of Cognitive Ability and Personality Tests[edit]

Based on meta-analysis results, cognitive ability tests appear to be among the most valid of all psychological tests and are valid for most occupations. However, these tests tend to do better at predicting training criteria than long term job performance. Cognitive ability tests in general provide the benefit of being generalizable. Hence they can be used across organizations and jobs and have been shown to produce large economic gains for companies that use them (Gatewood & Feild, 1998; Heneman et al., 2000).

But despite the high validity of cognitive testing, it is less frequently used as selection tools. One main reason is that cognitive ability testing has been demonstrated to produce adverse impact. In general, groups including Hispanics and African-Americans score lower than the general population while other groups including Asian - Americans score higher (Heneman et al, 2000; Lubenski, 1995). The legal issues with cognitive ability testing were amplified by the supreme court’s ruling in the famous 1971 Griggs v. Duke Power case. In this case, the Supreme Court ruled that when a selection test produces adverse impact against protected group members the company must be able to defend it by showing that use of the test is a “business necessity” for the operation of the business. The courts have held narrow interpretations of business necessity that require companies to show that no other acceptable selection alternative exists (Sovereign, 1999). As a result, many companies abandoned cognitive ability testing ( Steven L. Thomas &Wesley A. Scroggins, 2006).

While the utility of cognitive ability testing in selection has been broadly accepted, the utility of personality testing, until relatively recently, has not. Historically, research documenting the low predictive validity and the potential for invasion of privacy based on item content has made it’s application as selection instruments questionable (Hogan, Hogan, & Roberts, 1996).

But due to the legal challenges associated with cognitive ability, interest in personality instruments has recently been revived (Schmidt, Ones, & Hunter, 1992). Some have suggested that pairing personality testing with cognitive ability testing may be one means to enhance validity while reducing adverse impact (Ryan, Ployhart, & Friedel, 1998). Because it is very likely that some aspects of personality enhance individual ability to apply intellectual capacity while other personality traits limit its application (Kaufman & Lichtenberger, 1999). Hence, adding a personality to an ability test should enhance validity while reducing the adverse impact of a selection system.

Recent research studies prove this assumption to be false, by showing that the addition of a predictor producing smaller group differences (i.e., personality test) to a predictor producing higher group differences (i.e., cognitive ability test) does not reduce the potential for adverse impact to the degree that is often expected (Bobko, Roth, & Potosky, 1999; Schmitt, Rogers, Chan, Sheppard, & Jennings, 1997).

Although the use of personality tests with measures of cognitive ability may not have the desired effects on reducing adverse impact, it appears that the addition of personality measures to measures of cognitive ability as a composite predictor results in significant incremental validity (Bobko et. al., 1999; Schmitt et. al.,1997). These studies found that the validity of predictor composites was highest when alternative predictors were used in combination with cognitive ability. Though this combination of predictors resulted in the highest predictive validity, the inclusion of cognitive ability with these alternative predictors increased the potential for adverse impact (Steven L. Thomas & Wesley A. Scroggins, 2006).

In summary, cognitive ability testing by itself has been shown to have high levels of validity, but comes with issues relating to adverse impact. Personality tests, on the other hand, have historically been proven to have low validity due to the lack of a common understanding on what constitutes personality, and the non-standardized measures available. But a growing number of research  studies show that the best way for organizations to achieve close to optimal validity and job performance prediction, is to create a predictor composite that includes a measure of cognitive ability and an additional measure such as a personality test.

Predictor validity and selection ratio[edit]

Two major factors determine the quality of newly hired employees, predictor validity and selection ratio.[1] The predictor cutoff is a test score differentiating those passing a selection measure from those who did not. People above this score are hired or are further considered while those below it are not.

The selection ratio (SR), on the other hand is the number of job openings n divided by the number of job applicants N. This value will range between 0 and 1, reflecting the selectivity of the organization's hiring practices. When the SR is equal to 1 or greater, the use of any selection device has little meaning, but this is not often the case as there are usually more applicants than job openings. Finally, the base rate is defined by the percentage of employees thought to be performing their jobs satisfactorily following measurement.

Selection decisions[edit]

Tests designed to determine an individual's aptitude for a particular position, company or industry may be referred to as personnel assessment tools. Such tests can aid those charged with hiring personnel in both selecting individuals for hire and in placing new hires in the appropriate positions. They vary in the measurements they use and level of standardization they employ, though all are subject to error.[5]

Predictors for selection always have less than perfect validity and scatter plots can help us to find these mistakes.[1] The criterion cutoff is the point separating successful and unsuccessful performers according to a standard set by the hiring organization. True positives are applied those thought to succeed on the job as a result of having passed the selection test and who have, in fact, performed satisfactorily. True negatives describe those who were correctly rejected based on the measure because they would not be successful employees.

False negatives occur when people are rejected as a result of selection test failure, but would have performed well on the job anyway.[1] Finally, false positives are applied to individuals who are selected for having passed the selection measure, but do not make successful employees. These selection errors can be minimized by increasing the validity of the predictor test.

Standards for determination of the cutoff score vary widely, but should be set to be consistent with the expectations of the relevant job.[1] Adjusting the cutoff in either direction will automatically increase the error in the other. Thus, it is important to determine which type of error is more harmful on a case-by-case basis.

Banding is another method for setting cutoff values.[1][6] Some differences in test scores are ignored as applicants whose scores fall with in the same band (or, range) are selected not on the basis of individual scores, but of another factor spas to reduce adverse impact. The width of the band itself is a function of test reliability, the two being negatively correlated. Banding allows employers to ignore test scores altogether by using random selection, and many have criticized the technique for this reason.

Predicting job performance[edit]

A meta-analysis of selection methods in personnel psychology found that general mental ability was the best overall predictor of job performance and training performance.[7]

Regarding interview procedures, there are data which put into question these tools for selecting employees.[8] While the aim of a job interview is ostensibly to choose a candidate who will perform well in the job role, other methods of selection provide greater predictive power and often entail lower costs. Unstructured interviews are commonly used, but structured interviews tend to yield better outcomes and are considered a better practice.[9]

Interview structure is defined as "the reduction in procedural variance across applicants, which can translate into the degree of discretion that an interviewer is allowed in conducting the interview."[10] Structure in an interview can be compared to a typical paper and pencil test: we would not think it was fair if every test taker were given different questions and a different number of questions on an exam, or if their answers were each graded differently. Yet this is exactly what occurs in an unstructured interview; thus, a structured interview attempts to standardize this popular selection tool.

Multiple studies and meta-analyses have also been conducted to look at the relationship between organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and organizational performance and success.[1][11] Job candidates exhibiting higher levels of helping, voice, and loyalty behaviors were generally rated as more confident, received higher salaries, and received higher salary recommendations than job candidates exhibiting these behaviors to a lesser degree.[11] This was found to be true even candidate responses regarding task performance were taken into account. Finally, content analyses of open-ended question responses indicated selection decisions were highly sensitive to candidates with low expression of voice and helping behaviors.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Muchinsky, P. (2012). Psychology Applied to Work, (10th ed.). Summerfield, N klu C: Hypergraphic Press.
  2. ^ Têng, Ssu-yü (1943). "Chinese Influence on The Western Examination System". Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 7 (4): 267–312. ISSN 0073-0548. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  3. ^ Steel, P. (2006). From the work one knows the worker: A systematic review of the challenges, solutions, and steps to creating synthetic validity. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 14(1), 16-36.
  4. ^ Boundless. "The Psychology of Recruiting and Selecting Employees." Boundless Psychology. Boundless, 20 Aug. 2015. Retrieved 03 Nov. 2015 from
  5. ^ U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration. (1999) "Chapter 1: Personnel Assessment." pp. 1-7 [1]
  6. ^ Campion, M. A., Outtz, J. L., Zedeck, S., Schmidt, F. L., Kehoe, J. F., Murphy, K. R., & Guion, R. M. (2001). The controversy over score banding in personnel selection: Answers to 10 key questions. Personnel Psychology, 54(1), 149–185.
  7. ^ Schmidt, F. L. & Hunter, J. E. (1998). The validity and utility of selection methods in personnel psychology: Practical and theoretical implications of 85 years of research findings. Psychological Bulletin, 124(2), 262-274.
  8. ^ McDaniel, M. A., Whetzel, D. L., Schmidt, F. L., & Maurer, S. D. (1994).The validity of employment interview: A comprehensive review and meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 79(4), 599-616.
  9. ^ Huffcut, A. I. (2010). From science to practice: Seven principles for conducting employment interviews. Applied H.R.M. Research, 12, 121-136.
  10. ^ Huffcut, A. I., & Hunter, W. Jr. (1994). Hunter & Hunter revisited: Interview validity for entry-level jobs. Journal of Applied Psychology, 79, 184-190.
  11. ^ a b Podsakoff, N. P., Whiting, S. W., Podsakoff, P. M., & Mishra, P. (2011). Effects of organizational citizenship behaviors on selection decisions in employment interviews. Journal of Applied Psychology, 96(2), 310-326.

External links[edit]

Category:Human resource management