(Mt) – OMM 618 Ashford University Amazons Hiring Strategy Paper

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Chapter 6 Selection, Placement, and Job Fit Gary Waters/Ikon Images/Getty Images Learning Objectives After reading this chapter, you should be able to do the following: • Identify a wide range of criteria that employers use to select the right employees. • Recognize the benefits and risks associated with effective or ineffective employee selection. • List, describe, and assess commonly used employee selection tools. • Apply the concepts of validity and reliability to various selection methods. • Identify approaches to increasing the validity and reliability of the selection process. • Identify emerging trends, opportunities, and challenges in selection. © 2020 Zovio Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. 6 Pre-Test Chapter 6 Pre-Test 1. refer(s) to a wide range of personal traits that tend to be stable across situations and over time. a) Attitudes b) Human capital c) Social capital d) Individual differences 2. A computer programmer who enjoyed working alone on autonomous projects has been promoted to a managerial position and finds that she is not as happy being responsible for a team. Her new position is an example of poor: a) person-job fit. b) psychological contract. c) person-organization fit. d) selection criteria. 3. refers to problem-solving ability and the capacity for abstract reasoning; refers to the ability to apply past learning to new situations. a) Fluid intelligence; crystallized intelligence b) Crystallized intelligence; fluid intelligence c) Ability; aptitude d) Aptitude; ability 4. Concurrent validity of a selection tool is established through assessing potential employees using the tool in question and then correlating their scores to their subsequent performance after they are hired. a) True b) False 5. Linking planning, work design, and employee compensation with selection and the entire staffing process ensures that all processes have a unified goal and mesh effectively. a) True b) False 6. Losing competitive advantage and equalizing unique talent are two outcomes for organizations that promote workforce diversity. a) True b) False Answers 1. d) Individual differences. The correct answer can be found in Section 6.1. 2. a) person-job fit. The correct answer can be found in Section 6.2. 3. a) Fluid intelligence; crystallized intelligence. The correct answer can be found in Section 6.3. © 2020 Zovio Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Introduction Chapter 6 4. b) False. The correct answer can be found in Section 6.4. 5. a) True. The correct answer can be found in Section 6.5. 6. b) False. The correct answer can be found in Section 6.6. Introduction Outside of hiring for positions within its own function, the HRM function seldom makes any other hiring decisions within an organization. That is, the final decision regarding whom to hire is made by a manager (or, in some cases, representatives of a work team) who has obtained the necessary hiring requisition that initiates the recruitment process discussed in Chapter 5 and leads to the selection process discussed in this chapter. It is not the role of the HRM function to hire employees, but rather to consult and advise the hiring manager in making a final decision that will ultimately be in the best interest of the firm. In fulfilling that role, the HRM function may at times seem to a hiring manager to be hindering the hiring process. On the one hand, HRM must act as an ambassador to the labor market because disrespectful and unprofessional behavior toward any applicant, qualified or non-qualified, can have detrimental effects on the reputation of the firm (Muller & Baum, 2011). Thus, a hiring manager may at times be “put off” by what might seem to be excessive attention by HRM to the “niceties” accompanying the procedures and protocols necessary to arrive at a hiring decision. Alternatively, ensuring the selection of the right employees is one of the most crucial HRM processes and one of the most challenging decision-making processes in an organization. Whereas the ultimate goal of the recruitment process discussed in the previous chapter is to generate as large a pool as possible of applicants having the requisite knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics associated with the focal job, the goal in the selection process is to assist the hiring manager in selecting for consideration from that pool those who not only fit the focal job but also fit the organizational culture. Much like a crime scene investigator, the HRM function attempts to work closely with the hiring manager in finding evidence about an applicant’s character, credibility, competence, motivation, and cultural fit (Muller & Baum, 2011). At times, a seeming obsession by the HRM function with securing information and following up on details may exasperate a hiring manager who simply wants to get the job filled and get on with the work to be done. However, failing to hire the right people will negatively impact performance, quality, and productivity while increasing the turnover rate. It could also lead to litigation and compromise the organization’s reputation if the selection process were to be challenged as discriminatory. The cost of a wrong hire has been estimated to be 1.5 to 5 times the annual cost of the employee (Muller & Baum, 2011). On the other hand, HR’s success in assisting a hiring manager to choose the right people will enable the organization to compete more effectively and help it to attain its goals and objectives. Selecting the right candidate for the job and the organization is critical to creating a human-based competitive advantage because many organizations may have ready access to the same applicant pool and information, especially now that most recruitment efforts are mediated through technology. Figure 6.1 summarizes the selection process as a component of strategic human resource management and outlines the topics discussed in this chapter. As a common theme throughout this textbook, the top portion of the figure outlines the entire strategic HRM process. The bottom portion focuses on the details of the particular HR function discussed in the chapter. This chapter focuses on selection and job fit. © 2020 Zovio Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Introduction Chapter 6 Figure 6.1: Selection and job fit Benefits and benefits administration Strategic HR planning Compensation Training and development Job analysis and job design Performance/ appraisal management Selection and job fit Attraction and recruitment of talent Determining selection criteria Enhancing employee motivation, productivity, and retention Assessing validity and reliability Achieving organizational and job fit Ensuring legal compliance Choosing selection tools and procedures f06.01_OMM618.ai © 2020 Zovio Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Selection Factors Chapter 6 O P E N I N G C A S E S T U DY Amazon Is Hiring . . . Big Time! Access the following link: http://money.cnn.com/2013/07/29/news/companies/amazon-hiring/index.html Hiring 7,000 new employees is not an easy task. HR professionals and hiring managers need to spend many hours weeding through hundreds, sometimes thousands, of resumes and application forms—verifying qualifications, interviewing applicants, conducting assessments, and negotiating job offers. Selecting the wrong candidate for the job can be detrimental to subsequent performance and morale. If the employee leaves, the hiring cycle has to be repeated to find a replacement, which is often time-consuming and disruptive to operations. That is why it is critical to have the right selection criteria and to follow a systematic approach in finding the right candidate that best fits each job opening. In many respects, selection resembles a marriage. The more diligent both sides are in learning about each other and considering their unique characteristics before they commit, the more likely the relationship is to thrive and the more headaches that can be spared later. Discussion Questions 1. What would cause an organization like Amazon to hire 7,000 new employees within the same time frame? 2. Is it a good idea to hire 7,000 new employees within the same time frame? Why? Why not? What are some of the benefits and risks of hiring “binges”? What are some alternatives? 3. Excluding the new hire’s salary and benefits, how much does it cost to hire one employee? Make a list of all the people involved and how many hours each person will likely spend. Estimate the costs of their pay and benefits per hour. What other tools or resources may be needed, and how much do they cost? 4. If Amazon announces 7,000 openings, how many applicants will likely apply? How many will probably be short-listed for further consideration? How many job offers will be extended but turned down? 5. How long should it take a warehouse worker to get up to speed and become an average performer? Make a list of all the people and resources involved in bringing each new employee up to speed and estimate their costs. 6. Based on your answers, what is a realistic cost figure for hiring 7,000 new employees, excluding their pay and benefits?   6.1 Selection Factors Many employers have the unrealistic expectation that an ideal candidate can be found to fill the job if the organization uses the right recruitment tools and then offers the candidate a package that he or she cannot refuse. However, this is rarely the case. Instead, an organization first needs to determine the specific factors that are critical for success on the job in question and then direct its recruitment and selection efforts accordingly. Applicants can then be evaluated based on those factors, and those who rank highest on these factors should be selected. Also important to choosing and prioritizing employee selection criteria is the distinction between states and traits. Traits are more permanent. They tend to be stable over one’s lifespan, particularly in adults. They cannot be readily learned, trained, or developed. Thus, if particular traits are needed on the job, it is critical that employees are selected for those traits. Examples include intelligence and height. On the other hand, states are more malleable. © 2020 Zovio Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Selection Factors Chapter 6 Hero Images/SuperStock ▲▲The best candidate for a job should be chosen based on a set of factors specific to the job in question. They change over time, and they can show significant improvement even as a result of brief training and development interventions. Examples include moods or attitudes (Luthans & Youssef, 2007). It is important to select for desired states if possible, but because they are likely to change over time a more developmental approach through frequent training initiatives may be more realistic. Some of the most important selection factors include individual differences; knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs); social capital, psychological capital, and attitudes. This section will describe each of these factors and also provide advice for prioritizing the selection criteria. Individual Differences Individual differences refer to a wide range of personal traits that tend to be stable over time and across situations. These traits can be genetically determined. They can also be “hardwired” in the brain at an early age through the influences of cultural background, upbringing, early childhood and adolescence experiences, or a combination thereof. Among the stable characteristics and related assessments considered significant for HR are 1) general mental abilities, 2) the “Big Five” personality traits, 3) core self-evaluations, and 4) emotional intelligence. Ensuing each is discussed in more detail. General mental abilities (GMA) or simply raw intelligence is measured by recognized intelligence quotient (IQ) tests (Schmidt, 2009). GMA is a powerful predictor of job performance in that GMA has been estimated to account for as much as 30% of the variance in job performance across individuals (Schmidt, et al., 2007). As a result, GMA has proven to be one of the most persuasive methods of selecting among job applicants because individuals with greater cognitive ability are likely to learn faster, to have greater absorptive capacity, and to generalize their knowledge more effectively across dissimilar situations (Jensen, 1998). Most importantly, the validity of GMA tests and their predictive validity has been shown to be generalizable across various occupations, with more complex jobs showing a stronger relationship between GMA and performance (Salgado, Anderson, Moscoso, Bertua, de Fruyt, & Rolland, 2003). Finally, in a study that followed participants from early childhood to retirement, GMA was shown to predict career success across the lifespan (Judge, Higgins, Thoresen, & Barrick, 1999). The “Big Five” personality traits have been identified as conscientiousness, extroversion, neuroticism/emotional stability, agreeableness, and openness to experience (Barrick & Mount, 1991). The value of assessing personality traits such as the Big Five appears to stem from a tendency to predict the choice to perform or “will-do” qualities of an applicant, whereas most other common selection methods predict a capacity to perform or “can-do” attributes of the applicant (Richard & Allison, 2009). Specifically, these traits are: • conscientiousness—being dependable as well as hardworking, achievement-oriented, and persevering © 2020 Zovio Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Selection Factors Chapter 6 • extroversion—being sociable, gregarious, assertive, talkative, and active (the opposite of introversion) • neuroticism—being anxious, depressed, angry, embarrassed, worried, and insecure (the opposite of being emotionally stable) • agreeableness—being curious, flexible, trusting, good-natured, forgiving, and tolerant • openness to experience—being imaginative, cultured, curious, original, broad-minded, and artistic Conscientiousness and emotional stability have been found to predict performance in a wide range of jobs, while extroversion, agreeableness, and openness to experience are more specific to the types of jobs where these traits can be leveraged. For example, extroversion is essential in sales jobs, agreeableness in teamwork and negotiation, and openness to experience in jobs with a lot of change requiring continuous learning and adaptation (Barrick & Mount, 2009). Core self-evaluations of self-esteem, generalized confidence, neuroticism (the opposite of emotional stability), and locus of control (Judge & Bono, 2001) can be important predictors of job success. Individuals with high core self-esteem are better at identifying and pursuing opportunities as they emerge, viewing their circumstances and experiences in a positive light and being less sensitive to negative information (Chang et al., 2012). Emotional intelligence is the ability to accurately (a) perceive emotions, (b) integrate emotions to facilitate thought, (c) understand emotions, and (d) manage and regulate emotions to promote personal growth and social relations (Mayer, Salovey, Caruso, & Sitarenious, 2001). Emotional intelligence has been shown to predict job performance (Van Rooy & Viswesvaran, 2004). However, it is debatable whether emotional intelligence is a stable personality trait or a set of skills and competencies that can be learned. For example, Goleman (1998) views emotional intelligence as a set of five competencies that may be based on innate traits but that can also be trained and developed. These competencies are self-awareness, self-regulation, social skill, empathy, and motivation. The validity of emotional intelligence has been heavily criticized, primarily due to its inconsistency with scientific understanding of intelligence in general, lack of measurement rigor (Locke, 2005), and limited contribution beyond GMA and personality to predicting work outcomes (Landy, 2005). More recently, various character strengths and virtues have also been identified in the emerging field of positive psychology (Peterson & Seligman, 2004). Individual differences are important for employee selection because they can contribute to or limit one’s potential for growth and development. Because they are stable in adults, individual differences are extremely difficult, if not impossible, to change through HR initiatives such as training and motivation. Thus, organizations need to determine the traits that are critical for success in various positions and then ensure that they select employees who possess those traits. For example, extroversion is supported as a critical success factor for sales jobs. However, because extroversion is an individual difference, it is difficult to increase someone’s level of extroversion. Therefore, an organization should hire extroverted individuals to fill sales jobs because it cannot effectively turn introverted employees into more extroverted ones through training, rewards, or other approaches. Personality-oriented job analysis (Goffin et al., 2011) and competency-based job analysis (discussed in Chapter 4) can contribute to accurately determining the right traits for each © 2020 Zovio Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Selection Factors Chapter 6 position. To determine the extent to which applicants possess these desired traits, HRM uses various tools to measure individual differences. Most of these tools are based on what is called individual differences psychology or differential psychology, which mainly focuses on analyzing and interpreting the behavioral tendencies that distinguish one individual from another by recognized traits. Personality tests are the most commonly used individual differences assessments. Examples of well-researched personality tests are the Big Five personality test and the Core Self-Evaluations inventory. Unfortunately, these are not the most commonly used tests. Instead, many organizations design their own tests or purchase commercially available assessments, which may or may not be backed up by sufficient research. For example, many organizations use the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory. This assessment tool has its proper uses; however, its effectiveness, and thus the legality of its use for selection purposes, is questionable. This is due to its questionable psychometric support and limited predictive validity. Many assessments are also costly to buy and administer, further highlighting the importance of selecting the most effective selection tools—a topic that will be revisited later in this chapter. Human Capital Job applicants also vary in education, experience, prior training, and physical, mental, and emotional abilities. These factors are not necessarily based on individual differences but can be determined by the applicants’ current achievements. Such knowledge, skills, and abilities are collectively referred to as KSAs. Although KSAs are not stable personality traits, developing them can be costly and time-consuming; many organizations therefore require some level of the necessary KSAs as qualifications for each job. A recent article in the New York Times (Rampell, 2013) stated that an undergraduate college degree is becoming the “new high school diploma” in that it is now constituting a minimal requirement to obtain even the lowest-level job. In a recent survey of 2,600 hiring managers, 66% said they were now hiring college graduates for jobs that previously were filled with high school graduates (Kristof, 2013). There is reason to assume that educational credentials have gone from being, if not irrelevant, certainly supplemental to actual job experience to now constituting a dominant consideration in the hiring process for a majority of jobs in the United States (Baker, 2011). However, there is reason to be cautious about arbitrarily setting a college degree as a screening device for what has traditionally been a low-skilled job requiring only a high school diploma. Perhaps the greatest potential liability for U.S. employers is to run afoul of the 1964 and 1991 Civil Rights Act. Since the landmark decision in Griggs v. Duke Power, if an educational requirement such as a postsecondary degree for employment in a job has a discriminatory impact on minorities or other protected classes and exceeds what is required for the job, it will likely be considered a violation of Title VII of the 1964 and 1991 Civil Rights Act (EEOC, 2006). Moreover, cases that have applied educational criteria to unskilled jobs have experienced increasing serious legal challenges (UCLA, 2013). For a particular job, the organization must first determine the KSAs required to perform the job’s tasks and responsibilities. This determination usually takes place at the stages of job analysis and job design, but recent developments in the application of data-mining techniques suggest that frameworks based on decision trees and associated rules may also generate extremely useful insights regarding the requirements for successful job performance (Chien & Chen, 2008). Then the organization needs to employ valid and reliable assessment techniques to accurately measure the extent to which job applicants possess the desired KSAs. The following are examples of assessments for various fields: © 2020 Zovio Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Selection Factors Chapter 6 • licensure exams assess knowledge for fields such as medicine, engineering, and law • certification exams assess skills such as those often completed by teachers, electricians, plumbers, and others • physical fitness tests assess physical ability, such as the ability to lift a certain amount of weight or stand for a given period of time Social Capital Social capital is the value added through interpersonal relationships, interactions, and networking (Adler & Kwon, 2002; Luthans & Youssef, 2004). In an organizational context, social capital emphasizes building a positive organizational culture in order to achieve the organization’s ultimate goals and objectives. Organizational investment in practices that generate social capital has demonstrated a strong positive relationship with overall employee commitment to the firm, job performance, and organizational citizenship behavior (Ellinger et al., 2013). HR practices that build social capital include the following: • selecting qualified employees and placing them in jobs that fit their qualifications • using motivational tools and reward systems AP Photo/Bob Bird ▲▲Knowledge and skill assessments can include certification exams such as those completed by teachers, medical technicians, and electricians. • promoting a positive work environment and an organizational culture that focuses on such collaborative work practices as team-based organizational design, mentoring, coaching, and employee participation and empowerment Organizations can also select a candidate for the social capital he or she possesses. For example, many contracting jobs favor candidates who have established connections with potential clients. Candidates who possess social capital also find it easier to locate and land job offers than those who lack these connections. Despite its importance, social capital tends to be subjective, vaguely defined, or defined differently from organization to organization. These factors make social capital difficult to measure and therefore difficult to leverage for HR selection purposes. Positive Psychological Capital Employees’ psychological states have a direct impact on shaping the organizational culture and environment. Unlike traits, psychological states are cognitive, affective, and social capabilities that are open to growth, development, and change over time and across situations. One psychological state that is recognized as being particularly relevant for the workplace is positive psychological capital, a multidimensional concept that encompasses four psychological capabilities: • confidence (self-efficacy): the ability to take on challenging tasks and make the efforts necessary to accomplish them successfully © 2020 Zovio Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Selection Factors Chapter 6 • optimism: attributing positive reasons and causes to present events and future success • hope: persevering toward goals and redirecting paths as necessary • resiliency: bouncing back from adversity (Luthans, Youssef, & Avolio, 2007, p. 3) Psychological capital has been shown to positively relate to many desirable employee attitudes, behaviors, and performance (Avey, Reichard, Luthans, & Mhatre, 2011), which in turn can translate into human-based competitive advantages. Similar to KSAs, psychological capital can be trained and developed. However, organizations may also want to select applicants based on their psychological capital if they have limited time or resources to develop employees, or if the organization is seeking to make the culture more positive. For example, Seligman (1998) conducted a fascinating set of studies on the sales force of Metropolitan Life Insurance. At the time, the company was basing selection decisions on the results of an industry-recognized test that measured applicants’ technical knowledge. However, Seligman believed that being a successful salesperson requires high levels of positivity, and he suggested that positivity might be even more important than technical skills. To test this notion, Seligman convinced Metropolitan Life to hire a “special force” of applicants who actually failed the industry test but who scored well on a test that he had designed to measure optimism, a recognized dimension of positivity. Interestingly, optimists who failed the industry test outperformed pessimists who passed it, indicating that positivity may be more important to job performance than skills! Attitudes Employees’ attitudes towards their jobs, their co-workers, and the organization can shape their behavior, performance, and success in their jobs. A positive attitude is often manifested through a high energy level and enthusiasm, passion for learning, curiosity to explore and experiment, motivation to succeed, and desire to do what is good for the organization. Employees with positive attitudes have a more constructive influence on the success and fulfillment of organizational goals and objectives than employees who have more education and experience but also have a negative attitude (Sartain, 2003). Further, employees with positive attitudes are generally rated higher on subjective measures of job performance and organizational citizenship. A negative attitude can often be observed through an employee’s feelings of guilt, fear, anxiety, and nervousness. Measures of negative attitudes have demonstrated an ability to predict, beyond random chance, employee withdrawal behaviors, counterproductive work behaviors, and occupational injury (Kaplan, 2009). Attitudes are difficult to change because they are affected by a myriad of factors that may be beyond the organization’s control, such as satisfaction with other life domains (Judge & Ilies, 2004). Although attitudes are not considered fixed traits or individual differences, many organizations will select an applicant with the “right” attitude that fits the organization’s goals, culture, and job requirements instead of attempting to develop the right attitude in another new hire with other assets. Organizations use many tools to assess such attitudes as job satisfaction, work engagement, and organizational commitment in potential and current employees (Harter, Schmidt, & Hayes, 2002). Surveys are the most commonly used assessments to determine attitudes. However, many of the available attitude assessments must be administered carefully, with special measures, because applicants can fake attitudes to profess socially desirable traits or gain jobs (Mueller-Hanson, Heggestad, & Thornton, 2003). For example, many organizations regularly administer “climate surveys,” asking employees to report on their satisfaction with their jobs, supervisors, and co-workers, and their © 2020 Zovio Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Job Fit Chapter 6 intentions of staying with the organization. However, many employees would be reluctant to respond truthfully (or at all) to those surveys unless anonymity is guaranteed. Examples of well-designed attitude assessments are Allen and Meyer’s (1990) Organizational Commitment scale and Gallup’s Q12 scale for measuring work engagement (Harter et al., 2002). Gallup’s scale has been found to be an effective measure, but its costs should also be considered as it is a proprietary product. Prioritizing Selection Criteria The goal of the selection process is to identify the best candidates who possess the most influential qualities a job requires and who fit the organizational culture well. These qualities include a combination of critical knowledge, skills, and abilities; appropriate experience and education; and personal characteristics, traits, and attitudes. However, assessing too many criteria can be costly and time-consuming. It may also result in too few qualified applicants and thus in unfilled positions. On the other hand, assessing too few criteria can yield too many qualified applicants to sift through, which can also be costly and time-consuming. This sifting can also result in subjective, legally questionable decisions. Thus, it is wise for an organization to prioritize its selection criteria based on the results of its HR planning, job analysis, and job design. A recruiting team is often assembled to contribute to the prioritization, including HR representatives, the hiring manager, successful future co-workers, direct reports, and internal and sometimes even external customers. Employee selection is a balancing act and a process of optimizing across multiple criteria, rather than maximizing one criterion at the expense of others. It is prudent at this point to once again make reference to the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures (1978). Although the Uniform Guidelines are not in and of themselves law, they have been identified by the courts as a source of technical information and over the years have been given deference in litigation involving charges of disparate impact and unfair employment practices. They are designed to provide a framework for determining the proper use of tests and other selection procedures. The Uniform Guidelines pertain to any and all selection procedures used as the basis for employment decisions, including hiring, promotion, demotion, referral retention, licensing and certification, training, and transfer. As discussed in the previous chapter, a prima facie case (i.e., a case accepted as correct until proved otherwise) of disparate impact resulting in discrimination (intended or unintended, it matters not) is recognized by the courts when a hiring practice results in the ratio of applications to actual hires of a legally protected class falls below four-fifths (80%) of the ratio of applicants to actual hires of the majority class of employees. Once the prima facie case has been established, an employer’s defense must demonstrate that the hiring practice in question conforms to the standards defined in the Uniform Guidelines.   6.2 Job Fit Hiring the best candidates is important, yet compatibility between a candidate, the organization, and the position is critical for the candidate to be successful and for the organization to be able to leverage the candidate’s talent and achieve its goals and objectives. Thus, it is necessary but not sufficient to select a candidate on the above criteria. It is also important to focus on the fit between a person and an organization and the fit between a person and a job. Both these focuses optimize the match between the characteristics of candidate, the organization, and the job. Person-organization and person-job fit are discussed next in more © 2020 Zovio Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Job Fit Chapter 6 detail. Other forms of fit that have been explored in the literature, but with less definitive support, include person-supervisor fit, person-person fit, and person-environment fit. Person-Organization Fit It is very important for organizations to recruit qualified individuals with the optimum skill sets matching the organizational goals and objectives (Chuang & Sackett, 2005). To attract and retain these qualified individuals, companies must match an applicant’s personality with the organizational environment or culture and then maintain that match during the term of employment. Person-organization fit (PO) can be defined as the extent of resemblance between the personal core values and beliefs of individuals and the norms, rules, regulations, and values of the organizations where they work. Many theories and studies establish as a fact that employees are mentally and physically more sound when they are comfortable with the organizational environment. A strong employeeorganization fit has been demonstrated to relate to increased performance, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment as well as decreased strain and intention Oli Kellett/Taxi/Getty Images to quit (Kristof-Brown, Zimmerman, & ▲▲The selection process should take into account a candidate’s Johnson, 2005). Person-organization fit is ability to fit in with organizational culture, as well as his or her skills therefore an important selection considand abilities. eration. For example, an individual who is willing to take risks would find an organization that values creativity and innovation to be a good fit, while an individual who prefers stability and structure would find an organizational culture that emphasizes predictability to be a better fit. Similarly, an extroverted individual will be more likely to fit in an organizational culture that emphasizes teamwork and collaboration, while an introvert would be a better fit where there are opportunities for working alone. Person-Job Fit It is also important for companies to establish and promote a robust fit between an employee and a job. According to Edwards (2008), person-job fit (PJ) occurs when the demands of the job are compatible with the capabilities of the job’s incumbent and when the needs and preferences of the incumbent are met by the job. Recruits come to organizations with different combinations of knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs). It is the organization’s responsibility to match those KSAs with the job needs, requirements, and necessary qualifications. This match ensures that all the duties, responsibilities, and tasks associated with the job will be accurately and efficiently accomplished. From an employee’s perspective, a job is deemed satisfactory when it lives up to his or her expectations and seems to fulfill most of his or her professional needs and desires. Employees are believed to pursue and accept job offers much less in accordance with objective evaluations than with subjective evaluations and personal perceptions of whether or not a job fits © 2020 Zovio Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Selection Methods Chapter 6 them well (Caplan, 1987). Person-job fit, like person-organization fit, has also been shown to relate to a number of desirable work attitudes, behaviors, and performance outcomes. Person-job fit is therefore critical for effective selection (Kristof-Brown et al., 2005) Recent research suggests that decision makers are more likely to reject an applicant on the basis of a low-level PJ fit than a low-level PO fit. Because PJ fit has solid legal support under the Uniform Guidelines, rejecting a job applicant on the basis of a low-level PJ fit can be easily justified. On the other hand, decision makers appear likely to be much more tolerant of job applicants who have a high level of PJ fit but a low level of PO fit because making a hiring decision based on PO fit has less legal support under the Uniform Guidelines (Sekiguchi & Huber, 2011).   6.3 Selection Methods Common selection methods that organizations use to gain information about and to narrow down potential candidates are resumes, application forms, testing, interviews, reference checks, honesty tests, medical exams, and drug testing. For the purposes of the Uniform Guidelines, selection procedures include the full range of assessment techniques, including written exams, performance tests, training programs, probationary periods, interviews, reviews of experience or education, work samples, and physical requirements. Given the legal weight associated with the Uniform Guidelines, issues such as reliability and validity discussed later in this chapter are extremely germane to the following review of common selection methods. Resumes and Application Forms Job applications and resumes are the organization’s initial method of collecting information about potential recruits. A major downside of resumes and job applications is the considerable and unmanageable volume of them that HR departments receive; in most cases, it is extremely challenging to control or carefully consider all of these documents. Application forms assist in gathering basic information about applicants that can be categorized into four main categories: contact information, work experience, and educational background, as well as the applicant’s signature validating all the information given in the application form. Resumes, on the other hand, are controlled by the applicants rather than the employers, which introduces a source of bias and inaccuracy not present in application forms. Although sometimes misleading, resumes provide applicants more freedom in expressing themselves and highlighting personal experiences that structured application forms may not permit. A common form of inaccuracy occurs when an applicant “inflates” or “enhances” a resume through inclusion of false information or the use of jargon to describe job-related experience. The most common form of resume inflation is claiming a college or university degree that was never granted (Samuelson, 2012). However, resumes provide an economical method for collecting initial information, identifying potential hires with the basic requirements such as job experience and educational background, and selecting applicants for further consideration. When applicants send print resumes to an organization, it is generally assumed that the applicant is eager and willing to take the advertised job. With digital resumes, this is often not the case because it is easy for applicants to send their resumes to many different employers with little effort or cost. In relying on digital resume pools, HRM professionals are often frustrated when they identify a seemingly perfect candidate but then find that the applicant does © 2020 Zovio Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Selection Methods Chapter 6 not respond to contact attempts because the applicant’s situation has changed (Furtmueller, Wilderom, & Tate, 2011). Testing The next logical step after candidates have been initially screened through resumes and job applications is to test those applicants in order to further screen and narrow down the choice to a few top candidates. Various types of tests are discussed next. Aptitude, Ability, and Achievement Aptitude refers to how quickly or easily one will be able to learn in the future (Carter, 2007). Aptitude tests evaluate the test taker’s level of reception, comprehension, and retention and are designed to measure fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence. Fluid intelligence involves abstract reasoning and capacity for problem solving. It is an indicator of one’s potential to learn new skills and integrate new information. Crystallized intelligence is a capacity to learn from past situations and apply that learning to a new situation. Aptitude assessments take the form of tests of abstract reasoning, verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, and spatial reasoning (Institute of Psychometric Coaching, 2013). Ability refers to what one can demonstrate at present. The cognitive ability test is primarily designed to assess the applicant’s mental abilities, and the magnitude of the total score can be interpreted to indicate greater or lesser amounts of mental ability (Cascio & Aguinis, 2011). Results from cognitive ability tests may be one of the most useful selection measures across jobs in that they are valid for predicting a wide variety of short-term and long-term job performance outcomes (Sackett, Borneman, & Connelly, 2008). Such tests are particularly relevant for complicated jobs demanding considerable mental capabilities (Salagado et al., 2003; Ree, Earles, & Teachout, 1994). Making a distinction between aptitude and cognitive ability has proven difficult in that they both are considered manifestations of general mental abilities (GMA). While measures of GMA have proven to be equally accurate in predicting job performance across various racial and ethnic groups (Arvey & Sackett, 1993), average scores can differ among groups by as much as one standard deviation (Roth et al., 2001), and this means that exclusive use of GMA for selection purposes carries a high risk of disparate impact. Thus, some organizations feverishly avoid considering any measure of GMA and others consider GMA only when selecting for jobs of high complexity. However, it may be possible to make use of the high predictive capacity of GMA and at the same time to reduce the potential for disparate impact by weighting the results of such tests with other predictive indicators of job performance such as structured interviews, biodata, and personality inventories (Cascio & Aquinis, 2011). There certainly are other distinct types of ability that merit consideration in special situations. For example, physical ability tests measure muscular strength, cardiovascular endurance, and movement quality; they are generally conducted only for jobs demanding specific physical job performance requirements for the purpose of mitigating injuries related to certain job activities (Buffardi, Fleishman, Morath, & McCarthy, 2000; Hogan, 1991). Psychomotor tests measure the correlation of thought with body movement and are often administered in conjunction with physical ability tests. For example, the MacQuarrie Test for Mechanical Ability is a 30minute test that measures manual dexterity and requires tracing, tapping, dotting, copying, etc. (Heneman II, & Judge 2009). The link below provides an example of a psychomotor test. © 2020 Zovio Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Selection Methods Chapter 6 Web Links Psychomotor Test http://www.askcaptainlim.com/aptitude-tests-pilot-75/523-a-cadet-pilot-sharing-his-experience-inthe-psychomotor-skills-test.html This website provides an example of a psychomotor ability test that is administered to pilots. Discussion Questions 1. To what extent is this test a realistic reflection of the actual job requirements? 2. What are the benefits of using this type of psychomotor test for selecting pilots? 3. Are there any potential drawbacks or limitations of psychomotor tests in general or this one in particular? Sensory/perceptual abilities refer to the ability to detect and recognize environmental stimuli. For example, the Bennett Mechanical Comprehension test contains 68 items that measure an applicant’s knowledge of the relationship between physical forces and mechanical objects and is one of the better-known tests of sensory/perceptual abilities. While tests of this nature appear to be useful predictors of job performance within their specific areas, the degree to which these tests enable prediction beyond assessments associated with GMA is not known (Heneman, III, & Judge, 2009). Achievement tests focus on abilities, knowledge, and skills an individual has mastered in the past (Carter, 2007). Achievement tests are qualification examinations to ensure that applicants are ready to perform the tasks they are recruited for, and—if job knowledge is an important consideration in filling a position—then it is also necessary to independently verify that information. There is reason to assume a strong predictive ability for results of job knowledge tests (Dye, Reck, & McDaniel, 1993). Recent research by Van Iddekinge, Putka, and Campbell (2011) further demonstrated a strong positive correlation between an employee’s technical knowledge and ratings of task proficiency. Performance and Work Sample A performance test measures what a person actually does on the job, such as keyboarding or high-volume machine operation. Such tests are often associated with internships, job tryouts, and probationary periods. A work sample test is designed to capture parts of a job such as a drill-press test for machine operators or a programming test for computer programmers. Work sample tests are mostly conducted through simulations of the actual work setting (Winkler, 2006). Research indicates that both performance and work sample tests are useful in predicting job performance, and while a performance Medioimages/Photodisc/Thinkstock ▲▲Performance tests, such as keyboarding exams, measure one’s ability to perform job-specific skills. © 2020 Zovio Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Selection Methods Chapter 6 test is more costly to develop than a work sample test it is usually a better predictor of job performance (Heneman, III, & Judge, 2009). Situational Judgment Situational judgment tests (SJTs) present applicants with work-related situations and a list of plausible courses of action. Applicants are asked to evaluate each course of action for either the likelihood that they would perform the action or the effectiveness of the action. The premise of SJTs is that of behavioral consistency (i.e., that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior). By eliciting a sample of current behavior on an SJT, one can predict how an applicant will behave in the future when on a job (Whetzel & McDaniel, 2009; Jansen et al., 2013). SJTs are not truly work sample tests because they assess hypothetical behaviors rather than actual behaviors, but research suggests that SJTs add to HR’s ability to predict job performance above and beyond job knowledge, cognitive ability, and personality traits (Cascio & Aguinis, 2011). An additional fact making SJTs attractive for personnel selection is that they appear to have less race-based adverse impact than tests associated with GMA (Whetzel & McDaniel, 2009). Objective Personality Inventories Numerous studies conducted and published since the mid-1980s indicate strong support for using the Big Five personality measures in making staffing decisions. In general, research has suggested that measures of these five traits predict beyond random chance an applicant’s overall job performance, counterproductive work behaviors, organizational citizenship, interpersonal behavior, and individual teamwork (Ones et al., 2007). Conscientiousness is the most predictive of the Big Five personality traits across all types of jobs. In addition, the predictive validity increases in more autonomous jobs. More recently, there has also been support for Core Self-Evaluations. Thus, there is little argument that choosing valid and reliable workrelated personality measures on the basis of a thorough job and organizational analysis is a fundamental element in an effective selection process (Cascio & Aguinis, 2011). Biodata Biodata pertains to historical events that may have shaped a person’s behavior and identity. Acquiring biodata involves asking people to describe job-relevant behaviors and events that occurred earlier in their lives or that are still occurring. The underlying assumption is that a person’s past behaviors and experiences are a potential predictor of future behaviors and experience (Nickels, 1994). Over time, large data sets or inventories are generated, and from these inventories emerge scales of behaviors, events, and experiences that are common and shared by successful performers in a particular job but are uncommon among less successful performers. These scales then become useful in predicting which applicants are likely to be most successful in the focal job. While there is extensive time and cost involved in developing a biodata scale, such scales have proven fruitful beyond the predictions possible with other employment tests (Cascio & Aguinis, 2011), and biodata scales have been shown to be one of the best predictors of new employee performance and retention (Breaugh, 2009). The following links provide examples of biodata. Interviews Many employers prefer to interact directly with their future employees, usually face to face, for a more accurate evaluation of their communication skills, interpersonal skills, and technical experience and knowledge. That is why the job interview is one of the most commonly used selection tools in employment. There are several types of interviews that organizations use. © 2020 Zovio Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Selection Methods Chapter 6 Web Links Biodata Questions http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/assessment-and-selection/examples/biodata -example.pdf Biodata Form http://semioffice.com/forms/biodata-form-format-for-job-application-free-download/ These websites provide examples of biodata. Discussion Questions 1. How are the above two examples similar/different? 2. How is biodata similar to or different from resumes and application forms? These types of interviews are listed and described below, and as a selection device they are all held to the standards of the Uniform Guidelines. • Unstructured interviews mostly involve open-ended questions—the interviewee’s answer to one question determines the interviewer’s progression to the next question. Most of the questions associated with nondirective interviews are related to personal career objectives and expectations, as well as to points of strength and weakness. A major issue with unstructured interviews is their inability to stand up to scrutiny against the standards of the Uniform Guidelines if challenged in court. A review of federal court cases between 1978 and 1997 involving charges of discriminatory hiring has demonstrated that unstructured interviews were challenged in court more often than any other selection device and that in 41% of cases the unstructured interview was found to be discriminatory in nature (Terpstra, Mohamed, & Kethley, 1999). • Structured interviews follow a set of pre-established questions that mainly focus on the interviewee’s knowledge, work experience, and technical skills. Structured interviews provide organizations with more valid and reliable results under the Uniform Guidelines compared to nondirective interviews because they most often result from job analysis and are designed to assess job knowledge and skills, organizational fit, interpersonal and social skills, and application of cognitive skills (Cascio & Aquinis, 2011). • Situational interviews depict a real work-related scenario that interviewers present to the interviewees to evaluate their problem-solving capabilities (Clavenger, Perreira, Weichmann, Schmitt, & Harvey, 2001; McDaniel, Morgeson, Finnegan, Campion, & Braverman, 2001). Situational interviews have been found to be predictive of future job performance and resistant to claims of racial and gender bias (Maurer, 2002). • Behavior description interviews allow the interviewees to describe how they handled a certain past situation to assess their experiences (Campion, Campion, & Hudson, 1994; Pulakos & Schmitt, 1995). Both situational interviews and behavior description interviews evolve from a job analysis that uses the critical incident method described in Chapter 4, and both are legally supported by the Uniform Guidelines. Research suggests that both are reasonable predictors of job performance regardless of job complexity (Cascio & Aquinis, 2011). © 2020 Zovio Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Selection Methods Chapter 6 • In panel interviews, two or more representatives from the organization meet in a group setting with the interviewee. This type of interview has the advantage of using multiple raters and thus it is considered to be less biased. Web Links Structured, Unstructured, and Semistructured Interviews http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrDONsoVoXE&feature=related Situational Interviews https://na.theiia.org/iiarf/Public%20Documents/Situational%20Interviewing%20-%20Chattanooga. pdf Panel Interviews http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eX4ofZoN6Zw Discussion Questions 1. Which of the above types of interviews have you encountered in the past? Describe the nature of the job, the characteristics of the interviewer(s) and the interviewee, the setting, and the flow of the interview. 2. As an interviewer, which type of interview are you most and least comfortable with? Why? 3. As an interviewee, which type of interview are you most and least comfortable with? Why? 4. Select jobs that may best lend themselves to each type of interview. Explain your opinions. Reference Checks Application forms often ask applicants to provide reliable reference sources, such as former employers, so that organizations can verify applicants’ capabilities and past experiences. In reality, however, references are not a very reliable source for verifying information because applicants are careful to choose only references who are most likely to present them in a favorable light. Providing references for former employees can be risky for employers due to possible lawsuits. For example, positive references can trigger lawsuits when new employers claim they have been misled if an employee’s conduct has not been as expected after a certain period of employment (Long, 1997). On the other hand, negative references can cause former employees to claim defamation and loss of reputation, even with limited evidence (Ryan & Lasek, 1991). However, there is legal protection for an employer under the “qualified privilege doctrine,” which protects the previous employer from liability for defamation if the information is 1) given to a person who has a legitimate business interest in the information, 2) conveyed in an appropriate manner and circumstance, 3) job-related and appropriate in its scope, 4) given without malice or intent to harm, and 5) reasonably investigated or relied upon for its truthfulness (Stokes, 2001). In short, while organizations should be cautious in providing former employees with references, there is legal protection when the information is carefully focused on job-related experience and behavior and does not venture into personal opinions that might be misinterpreted. In firms of more than 100 employees, HRM professionals generally employ strict control over ex-employee reference check information (Fenton Jr., & Lawrimore, 1992). © 2020 Zovio Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Foundational Concepts in Designing and Evaluating Selection Methods Chapter 6 Honesty Tests, Medical Exams, and Drug Testing Some jobs involve physically demanding tasks and responsibilities. Accordingly, many organizations conduct medical and fitness examinations to ensure that employees are capable of successfully performing the assigned job requirements. Another purpose of these tests is to determine applicants’ initial physical status, prior to employment, for future evaluation in case of a work-related injury or disability. Organizations must practice extreme caution in applying for physical examinations for potential recruits in order to avoid any discriminatory claims. Employees are often expected to employ honest and safe behavioral practices inside and outside the organization—for instance, by never using drugs. Although reference checks and interviews can assess honest and safe behavior, some organizations rely on more direct verification methods, such as honesty and drug tests. Honesty tests using the polygraph were banned in 1988 and replaced with paper-and-pencil integrity tests, which are similar in form to personality inventories and aptitude tests. Extensive research has confirmed that such tests are meaningful predictors of counterproductive work behavior (Van Iddekinge et al., 2012), are significant predictors of overall job performance, second only to cognitive ability tests (Ones, Viswesvaran, & Schmidt, 2012), and have not produced evidence of adverse impact by gender, age, or national origin (Fine, 2010). It appears to be a reasonable assumption that a majority of employers require job applicants under serious consideration to take a pre-employment drug test (Leonard, 2011). Drug testing is considered an accurate and reliable method for exposing substance abuse. However, many individuals see drug testing as a controversial invasion of privacy that can lead to false accusations of substance abuse. Some organizations avoid these problems by relying on other types of testing, such as impairment and fitness tests for duty programs, which mainly assess mental abilities in carrying out critical tasks rather than analyzing the root cause of any impairment.   6.4 F oundational Concepts in Designing and Evaluating Selection Methods The goal of the selection process is to accurately and consistently predict future job performance through assessing a predetermined set of factors that are believed to be related to applicants’ ability or motivation to perform the job. For example, organizations often hire applicants with the highest scores on a particular test or those who received the most favorable ratings on an interview. The underlying assumption and rationale for this common approach is that test scores or interview ratings are accurate and consistent predictors of subsequent job performance. However, job performance can never be predicted with 100% accuracy or consistency. The only way to reach perfect accuracy would be for employers to hire all the applicants for a particular job, have them perform the job, and then choose those with the highest performance levels. Of course, this approach is neither practical nor cost effective. Moreover, even if an organization could afford to hire a large number of applicants and retain only those with the highest performance indicators, performance prediction is still not perfectly accurate. For example, many organizations have probationary periods during which the employer and the employee “try each other out” before a more permanent arrangement is established. However, employees may be motivated to perform at a much higher level during the © 2020 Zovio Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Foundational Concepts in Designing and Evaluating Selection Methods Chapter 6 probationary period in order to secure permanent employment. Once the probationary period is over, the employee’s performance level may drop. Moreover, even if overall job performance can be predicted accurately, performance may be influenced over time and across situations by a myriad of factors that cannot be anticipated or managed. This variation renders consistency in performance prediction a serious challenge in candidate selection. It is impossible to make perfect predictions of job performance. However, there are many recognized selection tools and methods that can make reasonably high-quality predictions possible by accurately and consistently measuring or assessing important predictors that are strongly related to specific job performance criteria. Accurate prediction of performance criteria is also referred to as high validity. It indicates that a predictor (e.g., test scores or interview ratings) is significantly related to desirable performance outcomes, so that those who measure favorably on the selection tool or method have a higher chance of being high performers than those who do not. For example, if a valid test is used in the selection process, then those who score higher on the test are also likely to perform better on the job. Consistency, also referred to as high reliability, indicates that a predictor can be replicated over time and across situations. For example, a reliable selection procedure will reflect an applicant’s aptitude, ability, and motivation to do the job. The procedure will not reflect the subjective opinion of the interviewer, the temperature or noise level of the room where an employment test took place, or other factors that are not related to the actual job (factors that, if different, could have yielded a different score or decision as to whether or not the organization should select the applicant). Validity Validity is the extent to which a selection tool or procedure can accurately predict subsequent performance. Validity is an extremely important factor to consider when designing or evaluating selection methods. There are several reasons why this is true: 1. The more accurate the testing process is, the more likely it is that the best candidates will be selected, promoted, or matched with the right jobs. 2. Invalid or unreliable tests can be costly. Many tests need to be purchased or a license of use must be obtained. Moreover, testing is time-consuming for both the candidate and for the organization. Tests must be administered and rated, and the results must be reported—processes that require departmental managers’ and HR professionals’ time and energy. 3. The wrong tests carry such opportunity costs as wasted time and lower productivity of the employees hired or promoted because of their invalid test results. 4. Finally, invalid testing has legal implications. An invalid test may not be related to performance, but it may still be discriminatory by favoring certain protected classes over others. For example, younger job applicants may consistently score higher than older applicants on a test, and these scores may not be related to job performance. In such a case, that test may be found to be discriminatory. While the organization may have had no intent to discriminate, the use of invalid, discriminatory tests can result in what has been discussed in the textbook as disparate impact, which is also illegal. Other legal considerations will be discussed in greater detail later in the chapter. Furthermore, when designing or evaluating selection methods, several dimensions of validity should be taken into account (Robinson, 1981; Schmitt, Gooding, Noe, & Kirsch, 1984). Five © 2020 Zovio Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Foundational Concepts in Designing and Evaluating Selection Methods Chapter 6 validity dimensions are multiple facets of the same concept and should be considered in conjunction, rather than individually: 1. Criterion-related validity 2. Content-related validity 3. Construct validity 4. Face validity 5. External validity First, criterion-related validity is the predictive, empirical (number-based) link between a predictor and an actual measure of job performance. Statistically, it is the correlation between applicants’ scores on the predictor and their subsequent job performance scores. This correlation ranges from 0 to ±1.00. Tests that yield validity coefficients ranging from ±.35 to ±.45 are considered useful for employment decisions, while tests with validity coefficients of less than ±.10 probably have little relationship with job performance. For example, there are numerous valid measures of individual differences—of human, social, and psychological capital, and also of the job attitudes discussed earlier. Organizations should make sure that only valid measures are used for selection purposes. For the reasons listed above, “interesting” personal or interpersonal characteristics should not be considered if they cannot be validly related to job performance. They are costly, time-consuming, and distracting, and if challenged they can be found to be discriminatory. Criterion-related validity is established by building a track record for a selection tool. For example, current employees can be assessed using the selection tool in question, and their current performance can then be correlated to their scores on the selection tool. If the correlations are sufficiently high and statistically significant, then the tool can be used for selection. This correlation is referred to as concurrent validity. Alternatively, a new or experimental selection tool can initially be administered to applicants but not be considered for selection. Selected applicants’ performance can then be measured and correlated to their initial scores on the selection tool. If the correlation is sufficiently high and statistically significant, then the selection tool can become incorporated into the selection process and scores can be taken into consideration for selection decisions. This correlation is referred to as predictive validity. Second, content-related validity is the logical connection between the selection procedure and the actual job. For example, interview or test questions should be directly related to the important requirements and qualifications for a job—the rationale being that if an interview or test includes samples of actual job behaviors, then individuals who perform well on the interview or test will also be able to perform well on the job. Content-related validation studies rely heavily upon information gathered in job analysis. If test questions are directly related to the specific skills needed to perform a job, then the test will have high content-related validity. Third, construct validity is the extent to which a selection tool accurately reflects the abstract personal attributes, or constructs, that a tool intends to measure. For example, while there are valid measures of many personality traits, numerous invalid measures of the same traits can be found in magazines or on the Internet. Sometimes, invalid measures are even sold to organizations by consultants. Creators of those measures claim that they are beneficial, and the measures may seem to make sense on the surface and to ask the right questions, but they © 2020 Zovio Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Foundational Concepts in Designing and Evaluating Selection Methods Chapter 6 should not be used for the purposes of employment selection because their predictive power is questionable. Face validity is related to content and construct validity. Face validity is not a form of validity in a technical sense—it refers to the subjective impressions of applicants, organizations, or observers regarding the relevance of a predictor to a job. For example, a bank teller would find nothing strange about taking an employment test that dealt with numerical ability or money-counting skills because these skills are obviously related to job performance. On the other hand, the teller applicant may not see the job relevance of a personality test. This test would thus have low face validity for this job. While it can be irrelevant in a scientific sense, organizations should still pay close attention to the face validity of their selection procedures because low face validity can result in poor perceptions of the organization. If an organization has a choice between multiple tools that are otherwise equally valid, the tool with higher face validity should be used. AP Photo/Mel Evans ▲▲The more accurate the testing process, the more likely the best candidates will be selected. What kind of validity does a fitness test have in determining police recruit selection? Finally, external validity refers to the degree to which a selection tool or procedure can be generalized across the selection process. For example, an interview protocol or employment test may be more valid for some job positions, departments, organizations, industries, regions, or countries than for others. Thus, predictors of performance need to be “revalidated” if the context in which they will be used is sufficiently different. On the other hand, if there are significant situational similarities, then the predictive capacity of a selection process can be generalized. For example, many industries rely on the fact that applicants have passed recognized licensing exams or obtained certifications in order to deem these applicants qualified for technical jobs within those industries. Reliability Reliability is the extent to which it is possible to replicate the results obtained from a predictor such as a selection tool, method, or procedure. For example, a reliable interview protocol should yield the same conclusion about the same applicant, regardless of such irrelevant factors as these: 1. Which interviewer was the applicant assigned to? If some interviewers are more lenient, or if the interview protocol allows for subjective evaluations, then the interview protocol is unreliable. 2. In which room did the interview take place? If some rooms are known to be more comfortable or conducive to higher-quality interactions than others, then all interviews should be scheduled in the same (or in a comparable) room to increase reliability. 3. What time of the day did the interview take place? If interviewers get more tired toward the end of the day, this time may bias their evaluations of the applicants interviewed at that time. © 2020 Zovio Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Increasing the Validity and Reliability of the Selection Process Chapter 6 4. What was the sequence of applicants? Interviewers may become more lenient or more stringent over time. For example, an average applicant may be at a significant advantage if interviewed after a number of mediocre applicants, but the same applicant may be at a significant disadvantage if interviewed immediately after an exceptionally good applicant. 5. Was the applicant in his or her normal state of being? If an applicant is interviewed while he or she is ill, exhausted, agitated, anxious, or frightened, the results are likely to be unreliable. In other words, reliability is a reflection of the degree of error in a measurement, which also conWeb Links veys the stability of that measurement’s outcomes (Nunnally, 1994). Typically, assessing reliability Valid and Reliable Psychological involves gathering scores for a particular predictor Assessments www.mindgarden.com twice, then calculating the correlation between the two sets of scores. This correlation is referred to as This website provides validity and reliability inforthe reliability coefficient, and it ranges from 0 to mation on a number of assessments suited for +1.00. The closer the score sets approach a perfect evaluating various personality traits and devel+1.00 correlation, the more reliable the predictor opmental characteristics, many of which are well is said to be. For selection purposes, the two sets suited to the workplace. The site also provides contact information to obtain permission to use of scores can come from scoring the same group various tools and measures, many of which are of applicants or current employees twice on the free of charge. same procedure while varying certain factors. For example, a test can be administered at two different times, or an interview can be conducted twice using different interviewers, and the scores can then be correlated to assess reliability. These approaches are respectively referred to as test-retest reliability and inter-rater reliability.    6.5 Increasing the Validity and Reliability of the Selection Process Selecting candidates for employment entails the use of valid and reliable methodologies for the selection process, ensuring that selected applicants fit the jobs they have been selected for and fit the general organizational culture. Many organizations continually look for ways to improve their methodologies, including creating and using more valid and reliable methods, instituting better training, and linking selection to the HRM process. Creating and Using More Valid and Reliable Methods Selection tools vary in their validity and reliability. For example, resumes may be more valid than application forms because resumes allow applicants to expand on their job-relevant qualifications, which may be more predictive of job performance than the many unrelated pieces of information on generic job applications. On the other hand, application forms may be more reliable because their structured format makes it harder for applicants or employers to overlook or intentionally omit relevant information. This reliability is one reason many organizations require applicants to submit a resume and also complete an application form. Similarly, unstructured interviews may be valid since they allow interviewees to elaborate on their unique capabilities and experiences. However, unstructured interviews are less reliable © 2020 Zovio Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Increasing the Validity and Reliability of the Selection Process Chapter 6 than structured interviews, especially in inter-rater reliability, because each interview may vary in the topics covered or the questions addressed, and thus in the conclusions that interviewers may reach about each applicant. It is crucial to investigate the validity and reliability of various selection tools and procedures before using them. Using a variety of selection tools and procedures is also one of the best ways to increase the overall validity and reliability of the selection process. Training Those Who Select and Overcoming Personal Biases Selecting the right candidates usually involves some subjectivity, which may compromise the validity and reliability of the selection process. Since unstructured interviews are commonly used in selection, it is logical for organizations to prepare a well-equipped team of interviewers. It is also essential that interviewers are trained to determine the most relevant questions to ask based on their evaluation of the background and experience of the applicant in question. Interviewers must exercise extreme caution in selecting questions. Each question must have a clear and insightful job-related, rather than personal, purpose. Although extensive training of interviewers might be costly, it can also help organizations avoid the substantial costs associated with the inadequate selection of employees as well as any potential litigation due to discriminatory selection. The same consideration applies to all those involved in screening resumes initially, calling the applicants’ references, preparing job offers, or conducting other stages of the selection process. Interviewers are less likely to operate on personal biases when they have a clear understanding of the job and are adequately trained to assess applicants for their fit with the job and the AP Photo/Mark Lennihan organization. Sensitivity training familiar▲▲Applicant pools may be diverse, and hiring managers must be izes managers and employees with issues able to look past any personal biases to hire the right person for the job. of diversity, discrimination, and harassment. This training has become common in many organizations, which helps their staff members become more aware of their possible prejudices. Linking Selection to the HRM Process As emphasized in every chapter, the purpose of the HRM process is to help an organization achieve its goals through enhancing the effectiveness of its people. This purpose is realized by aligning the HRM objectives with those of corporate objectives and strategic plans. Linking the staffing process—which includes selection—with planning, employee compensation, and work design will ensure that all processes mesh effectively and have a unified goal. Careful planning, job analysis, job design, and recruitment can yield a smoother and more effective selection process because they provide a high-quality applicant pool to choose from. © 2020 Zovio Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Increasing the Validity and Reliability of the Selection Process Chapter 6 Well-designed compensation and benefits, training and development opportunities, and performance feedback can also facilitate selection by making the organization attractive to qualified applicants. In turn, enhancing the selection process can facilitate other HR functions. Employees are more predictable when they are selected using valid and reliable procedures. Their performance level is more likely to be adequate and consistent. When organizational and job fit are carefully considered in the selection process, the process is likely to yield employees who stay longer, have better attitudes, and are more satisfied with their jobs (Kristof-Brown et al., 2005). Planning for, training, and assessing this type of workforce is significantly easier than would be the case in an organization with high turnover and dissatisfied, low-performing employees. A MOMENT IN THE LIFE OF AN HR MANAGER You Can’t Really Trust Your Gut Feeling About an Applicant Most managers believe that they know a good applicant when they see one. Based on the evidence cited throughout this chapter, here are some realistic examples that challenge this notion: 1. Sam hires a sales representative because she has a 4.0 GPA, extremely high scores on her GRE, and strong recommendation letters from her former professors. He believes that if she has done so well on academics, she can accomplish anything she sets her mind to do. As soon as she is hired, it becomes obvious that she is highly introverted, which makes her miserable on the job and alienates her clients and team alike. 2. John believes that everyone deserves a second chance. He hires ex-convicts as repairmen and resident managers for his rental properties, using these jobs as opportunities to mentor and rehabilitate those men. His efforts positively change many lives, and he is even publicly recognized by several philanthropic organizations in his community. One day, one of his resident managers uses his master key to gain access to, rape, and kill one of the residents. 3. Sarah is sitting in the interview room, waiting to interview Andy for a sales job. Andy is late and comes in with a big coffee stain on his shirt. Sarah concludes that Andy would make a terrible salesperson because he is disorganized and poorly groomed; she cuts the interview short and does not recommend Andy for the job. A month later, Andy graduates with a GPA of 4.0 from a reputable school and accepts a more attractive job offer with a competitor. A year later, Andy is promoted to sales manager at the competing company for achieving $5 million in sales, which is unheard of in that industry. Each of these managers made a critical selection mistake. Sam used invalid selection criteria. His selection criteria may have been valid for admission to graduate school, but they do not necessarily predict success in a sales position. If he had read the abundant research on valid predictors of sales success, he would have known that extroversion is a key success factor. John had noble intentions, but knowing the background of his protégés he should have been more careful with their access privileges. His actions compromised the safety of his residents and are considered negligent in the eyes of the law. As for Sarah, she would have probably hired Andy had she gone through the entire interview protocol and heard his amazing answers to the interview questions—answers that none of the other applicants would have been able to give. But because she was too busy staring at the coffee stain and supposing him to be disrespectful, rude, and undisciplined for being late to the interview, she did not really listen to anything he said. © 2020 Zovio Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Opportunities, Challenges, and Recent Developments Chapter 6   6.6 O pportunities, Challenges, and Recent Developments Finding the right applicant for the job is a challenging task that requires a great deal of effort and dedication. Some of the opportunities, challenges, and recent developments that organizations face regarding selection have to do with legal and regulatory issues; sociocultural developments; global and competitive factors; employee motivation; morale, productivity, and retention; and unions and labor relations. Legal and Regulatory Opportunities and Challenges in Employee Selection In addition to the strategic and administrative responsibilities associated with selecting and hiring a candidate, HR managers are bombarded with legal aspects of employment such as new legislation, managerial and executive orders, and court decisions. Maintaining nondiscriminatory practices while determining employee eligibility and predicting performance is a serious challenge that HR managers face on a daily basis. HR managers must exercise extreme caution to ensure that selection procedures are appropriately and purposefully designed to address only information that pertains to a job. On the other hand, organizations that successfully promote diversity in their workforces have the tremendous opportunity to leverage unique talent and build a competitive advantage. For example, diversity is one of the criteria behind Fortune magazine’s “Best Companies to Work For” lists. Many successful organizations such as Google pride themselves in having cultures that embrace and celebrate diversity, an attribute which attracts many talented employees from a wide range of backgrounds. Since enactment of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, many employers have failed to acknowledge the importance of the law in terms of I-9 Form compliance. Under the law, one of a firm’s first responsibilities upon hiring a new employee is to secure an I-9 form to verify the individual’s identity and eligibility to work in the United States. Follow the link below for a copy of the I-9 Form. Web Links I-9 Form http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/form/i-9.pdf As shown in the above link, the I-9 is made up of three sections. The first section must be completed no later than the first day of employment by the employee and requires a legal name, address, date of birth, and Social Security number and testimony regarding the citizenship status of the employee and eligibility to work in the United States. The second section of the I-9 Form requires the employer to examine with three days of the employee’s first employment evidence of his or her identity and eligibility to work. Documents generally accepted as evidence of identity or employment eligibility include a U.S. passport, driver’s license or ID card issued by the federal, state, or local government, U.S military card, and Social Security card. The employer does not have to keep copies of such evidence but must examine them and determine whether they appear on their face to be genuine and to relate to the person presenting them. The third section of the I-9 Form is used when employers rehire an employee within three years of the completion of the original I-9 (continued) © 2020 Zovio Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Opportunities, Challenges, and Recent Developments Chapter 6 Form. The I-9 Forms themselves must be retained for at least three years or for one year after the end of the employment relationship. While many small employers still rely on paper I-9 Forms, larger employers are increasingly adopting paperless I-9 software for managing the process and interfacing with the federal government’s e-verify system (Zielinski, 2011). Officials with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and its agency Immigration and Customs Enforce (ICE) know that most U.S. employers are not fully compliant, and as part of the agency’s strategic plan through 2014 and beyond it will continue targeting employers by pursuing civil and criminal enforcement of the law (Chichoni, 2011). While fines can range from $100 to $1,100 for each I-9 violation, it is prudent to consider that the owner of a wholesale bakery in California pleaded guilty to hiring 10 or more illegal aliens during a 12-month period and was fined $800,000 and given a prison sentence. Further, a donut shop operator in Maine knowingly employed 18 unauthorized workers over an eight-year period and is faced with five years in prison on false attestation charges and up to six months for hiring illegal aliens (Bell, 2011). Discussion Questions 1. What are some of the challenges in completing I-9 Forms for all employees within the organization? Is it reasonable to burden employers with such a responsibility? 2. Why might employers willingly hire workers who are ineligible for employment? Do the benefits outweigh the legal risks? Finally, employers seeking to employ foreign nationals in highly specialized fields through an H-1B visa should keep in mind the following points. First, the desired foreign national must be a member of a specialty occupation, hold at least a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent, and be working in a field that requires that type of degree. Second, the employer must obtain an approved Labor Condition Application (LCA) from the U.S. Department of Labor. The LCA requires the employer to certify that the H-1B employee will be paid the greater of the prevailing wage or the employer’s actual wage for the position. Third, the H-1B is a temporary working visa generally approved for an initial three-year period, and an H-1B employee must complete the I-9 Form using the H1-B approval notice as documentation for eligibility to work in the United States. Sociocultural Developments It is a very challenging process for organizations to attract qualified candidates for jobs in a highly competitive and skill-demanding market. Moreover, it is an even bigger challenge to retain these talents, skills, and experiences within the organization. A considerable portion of employees’ attraction to a certain job and their satisfaction with it is their personal perception of how well they fit in that job and in the general organizational culture. Many factors govern these perceptions, such as challenging tasks, good prospects for growth and career advancement, job stability and security, assignments that carry interesting and meaningful responsibilities, the training and development of skills and talents, reasonable working hours, favorable working environment with well-matched peers, recognition, respect, appreciation and self-actualization, fair treatment, company loyalty, and recognition and assistance with employees’ personal needs. However, resources are necessary to keep this host of factors in place, and these resources are drying up quickly in light of today’s cut-throat competition and economic recession. Moreover, significant shifts and challenges are expected to occur as organizations attempt to attract and retain the Millennial Generation born from the mid-1970s to the early 2000s. In © 2020 Zovio Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Opportunities, Challenges, and Recent Developments Chapter 6 addition to the above expectations, Millennials tend to expect a lot of flexibility. They tend to take the norm as being self-directed careers that constitute a long series of short-term jobs, multiple income streams, and entrepreneurship. They are as unlikely to rely on organizational initiatives for their learning and development as they are to rely on Social Security to fund their retirement. In other words, Millennials tend to take matters into their own hands and work at their own terms, making it difficult for any one organization to attract them, let alone retain them over time without constantly negotiating most of the terms of employment (Yost, 2011). Global and Competitive Factors Global staffing involves making recruiting and selection decisions for the purpose of hiring individuals for assignments in other countries. Global recruiting is extremely challenging, and the associated costs are usually very high. Accordingly, accurate selection decisions have to be carefully considered and validated. Global recruiting also involves a variety of factors that HR managers have to adapt and prepare for, such as different tax laws for different countries as well as various customs, cultures, and traditions. For instance, for a successful global employee selection process to occur, HR managers must exert themselves to depict the lifestyle, work environment, culture, and habits to selected employees. Only then will employees be able to deal with such issues as acceptable codes of ethics and moral and religious values (Clegg & Gray, 2002). An example of an organization that has been successful in global staffing is LivingSocial, a company based in Washington, DC, that provides its subscribers worldwide with daily deals. LivingSocial expanded from 600 to 4,500 employees in 2011, including 700 global positions to support services for the company’s 46 million members outside the United States in 25 countries. To select the right candidate for a global assignment, HR managers must carefully examine aspects such as cultural adjustment abilities, personality traits and characteristics, knowledge of global organizational requirements, communication skills, and other personal and family requirements and considerations. Fortunately, despite the perceived high failure rates of expatriate assignments in the past, recent studies show that these perceived trends are in fact inaccurate (Harzing, 2002). Instead, research has demonstrated that self-efficacy, frequency of interaction with host nationals, interpersonal skills, family support, and discretion can facilitate expatriate adjustment. On the other hand, cultural novelty, role conflict, and ambiguity are shown to hinder adjustment. Expatriate adjustment is critical. Well-adjusted expatriates have higher performance, are more satisfied, experience less job strain, engage in more organizational citizenship, and are less likely to quit (Hechanova, Beehr, & Christiansen, 2003). Impact of Selection and Job Fit on Employee Motivation, Morale, Productivity, and Retention The last decade has witnessed a movement toward emphasizing employee talents and strengths in selection, organizational fit, and job fit. Organizational and job fit can be influential factors for employees’ initial acceptance or rejection of job offers. However, what’s even more critical is that these factors can also exert significant influence on work quality, motivation, morale, productivity, and retention after employees have been hired. For example, as discussed in Chapter 3, Gallup’s employee engagement methodology considers two factors—the daily ability to do what one does best at work and having a best friend in the workplace—as being critical for having engaged employees. In turn, this engagement yields numerous desirable outcomes for employees and organizations (Harter et al., 2002). These © 2020 Zovio Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Opportunities, Challenges, and Recent Developments Chapter 6 outcomes are particularly evident after true and unbiased job expectations are clearly and precisely communicated to applicants during the recruiting process. Individuals approach organizations with many needs, desires, and expectations. Those individuals also come from a variety of backgrounds with different skills, experiences, capabilities, and personal perceptions. When these individuals are ultimately hired by organizations, they expect to find a job environment that will not only fulfill and satisfy their basic needs but also utilize, enhance, and promote their abilities and talents. In addition, significant job involvement and the utilization of maximum talent potential in prominent activities allow individuals to be recognized within the organization, which enhances their sense of self-actualization. Favorable HR practices can promote a concrete culture of trust and create a long-term sense of commitment within the organization for qualified and skilled human assets (Whitener, 2001). Selection, Unions, and Labor Relations Union activities directly affect HR practices. For example, unions can impose pressure on management to give priority in job selection to union members rather than outside applicants when a position opens. Unions also influence the job selection process through negotiating shorter probationary periods and a quicker determination of employees’ suitability for positions. These activities can sometimes result in premature and poor AP Photo/Elaine Thompson judgment of individuals, which may ulti- ▲▲Organizations often seek favorable relationships with unions, as mately lead to inaccurate selection deci- union activities can influence human resources practices in a numsions and unsatisfactory job performance. ber of ways. Here, members of the United Food and Commercial Other areas where unions influence HR Worker Union prepare to strike over holiday pay. decisions include testing, promotions, layoffs, and merit-based systems. Organizations often seek favorable relations with unions, but such relations can be challenging, as they can compromise the validity and reliability of the selection process. EYE ON THE GOAL Beyond Validity and Reliability— Utility Analysis and Return on Investment in Selection While effective selection can be expensive, the costs of selection mistakes can be even worse. One of the recognized scientific approaches to quantifying the return on investment in effective selection is utility analysis, which uses statistical formulas to calculate these returns over time. Utility analysis takes into consideration several aspects of the selection process; for example, it accounts for the predictive capacity (validity) of one selection tool or process versus another. Utility analysis can also account for the joint predictive capacities of multiple selection devices, such as combining structured (continued) © 2020 Zovio Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Opportunities, Challenges, and Recent Developments Chapter 6 interviews and personality tests. Furthermore, utility analysis accounts for the importance of the job for the organization in terms of the financial impact of more effective selection in that particular job. Some jobs may exhibit higher variability in performance, warranting more accurate selection, while others may not have as much variation across incumbents, limiting the scope of improvement in selection. Utility analysis also accounts for factors such as labor demand and supply, which the organization may not be able to control. When the desired talent is in abundant supply, organizations can afford to be more selective, which can increase the return on investment in more effective selection procedures. On the other hand, the cost may outweigh the benefits when the organization intends to select the majority of applicants due to talent shortages. As you probably know if you are familiar with accounting standards, the primary difference between an investment and an expense is that returns on investments accrue over more than one year. If effective selection is indeed an investment, its benefits should accrue beyond the current year. Statistical methods such as utility analysis go beyond the costs of using various selection devices and even beyond the opportunity costs of effective selection (e.g., the redirection of managers’ time and energy away from other activities). These methods also take into consideration time-sensitive factors such as employee flows, which in turn are affected by the number of employees hired using one or more selection procedure, as well as these employees’ retention and turnover rates (Cascio & Boudreau, 2011). Although calculating returns on investment is a complicated task, being able to quantify them in effective selection and other HR practices is an important skill set for HR professionals. This quantification can help them learn to speak the same language as the organization’s “C-suite” (senior management and decision makers at the strategic level) and its shareholders, whose ultimate goal is to see the impact on the organizational bottom line. For example, when HR professionals are able to show the dollar-value added of adopting more valid and reliable selection procedures, these investments can be more readily compared with other more tangible investments such as those in buildings, machinery, equipment, or technology. This calculation increases the likelihood that valuable HR initiatives can get the resource allocations, funding, and support they need to truly make a difference in achieving strategic organizational goals. Web Links The Added Value of HR Initiatives www.hrcosting.com This free website allows HR professionals to quantify the benefits and costs of numerous HR initiatives, including enhanced selection tools and procedures. Decision makers can also use this website to conduct what-if analyses and compare alternative HR practices. SPOTLIGHT ON EVIDENCE-BASED HRM The Validity Of Interviews Studies have shown that structured interviews have significantly higher validity than unstructured interviews. Recall that validity is the extent to which a selection tool or procedure can accurately predict subsequent performance. In other words, structured interviews are more strongly correlated (continued) © 2020 Zovio Inc. All rights reserved. Not for resale or redistribution. Summary and Resources Chapter 6 with subsequent performance on the job. More specifically, meta-analyses demonstrated the validity of structured interviews to be about .39 for structured interviews, which means that about 15% (.392) of the variance in job performance can be accounted for by structured interviews. In comparison, the validity of unstructured interviews is only about .14 for structured interviews, which means that they only account for about 2% (.142) of the variance in job performance (Wright, Lichtenfels, & Pursell, 1989). Another meta-analysis compared different types of interviews across hundreds of studies and found that situational interviews were the most valid, followed by behavioral interviews and then psychologically based interviews, and also found again that structured interviews are more valid than unstructured ones in predicting performance (McDaniel, Whetzel, Schmidt, & Maurer, 1994). In light of this evidence, which has been around for more than two decades, it is puzzling that many hiring managers continue to believe that they can make valid selections using unstructured interviews and that their organizations continue to allow them to do so. Discussion Questions 1. Why do many managers continue to favor unstructured interviews despite their lack of validity and reliability? 2. If you are currently in a decision-making capacity where you work, how can you improve the validity and reliability of your organization’s interview process? References McDaniel, M. A., Whetzel, D. L., Schmidt, F. L., & Maurer, S. D. (1994). The validity of employment interviews: A comprehensive review and…



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