Chapter_009

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Part 4
Staffing Activities: Selection
Chapter 09:
External Selection II
McGraw-Hill/Irwin
Copyright © 2012 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
Staffing Organizations Model
Organization
Mission
Goals and Objectives
Organization Strategy
HR and Staffing Strategy
Staffing Policies and Programs
Support Activities
Core Staffing Activities
Legal compliance
Planning
Recruitment:
Selection:
External, internal
Measurement, external, internal
Job analysis
Employment:
Decision making, final match
Staffing System and Retention Management
9-2
External Selection II Outline

Substantive Assessment
Methods
 Personality Tests
 Ability Tests
 Emotional Intelligence
Tests
 Performance Tests and
Work Samples
 Situational Judgment
Tests
 Integrity Tests
 Interest, Values, and
Preference Inventories
 Structured Interview
 Choice of Substantive
Assessment Methods



Discretionary Assessment
Methods
Contingent Assessment
Methods
 Drug testing
 Medical exams
Legal Issues
 Uniform Guidelines on
Employee Selection
Procedures
 Selection Under the
Americans With
Disabilities Act (ADA)
 Drug Testing
9-3
Learning Objectives for This Chapter






Distinguish among initial, substantive, and contingent
selection
Review the advantages and disadvantages of
personality and cognitive ability tests
Compare and contrast work sample and situational
judgment tests
Understand the advantages of structured interviews
and how interviews can be structured
Review the logic behind contingent assessment
methods and how they are administrated
Understand the ways in which substantive and
contingent assessment methods are subject to various
legal rules and restrictions
9-4
Discussion Questions for This Chapter





Describe the similarities and differences between personality
tests and integrity tests. When is each warranted in the selection
process?
How would you advise an organization considering adopting a
cognitive ability test for selection?
Describe the structured interview. What are the characteristics of
structured interviews that improve on the shortcomings of
unstructured interviews?
What are the most common discretionary and contingent
assessment methods? What are the similarities and differences
between the use of these two methods?
How should organizations apply the general principles of the
UGESP to practical selection decisions?
9-5
Ex. 8.3 Assessment
Methods by Applicant
Flow Stage
•Substantive
assessment methods
•Determining who
among the minimally
qualified will likely be
the best performers
on the job
9-6
Overview of Personality Tests

Current role of personality tests e.g., role of Big Five



Describe behavioral, not emotional or cognitive traits
May capture up to 75% of an individual’s personality
Big Five factors (Personality Characteristics Inventory etc.)






Emotional stability-calm, optimistic, and well adjusted
Extraversion-sociable, assertive, active, upbeat, and talkative
Openness to experience-imaginative, attentive to inner feelings,
have intellectual curiosity and independence of judgment
Agreeableness-altruistic, trusting, sympathetic, and cooperative
Conscientiousness-purposeful, determined, dependable, and
attentive to detail
Roughly 50% of the variance in the Big Five traits
appears to be inherited
9-7
Measures of Personality Tests


Surveys

Personal Characteristics Inventory (PCI)

NEO Personality Inventory

Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI)
Administration options

Paper-and-pencil

Interviews

Online forms
9-8
Ex. 9.1 Sample Items from the
Personal Characteristics Inventory

Conscientiousness




I can always be counted on to get the job done.
I am a very persistent worker.
I almost always plan things in advance of work.
Extraversion



Meeting new people is enjoyable to me.
I like to stir up excitement if things get boring.
I am a “take-charge” type of person.
9-9
Ex. 9.1 Sample Items from the
Personal Characteristics Inventory

Agreeableness




Emotional Stability




I like to help others who are down on their luck.
I usually see the good side of people.
I forgive others easily.
I can become annoyed at people quite easily (reversescored).
At times I don’t care about much of anything (reverse-scored).
My feelings tend to be easily hurt (reverse-scored).
Openness to Experience



I like to work with difficult concepts and ideas.
I enjoy trying new and different things.
I tend to enjoy art, music, or literature.
9-10
Ex. 9.2 Implications of Big Five
Personality Traits at Work
9-11
Criticisms of Personality Tests

Trivial validities



Faking



Correlations for any individual trait with job performance are
typically low (around r=.23)
However, when all traits are used simultaneously, correlations
are higher
Individuals answer in a dishonest way
However, tests still have some validity, and it may be that
being able to “act” conscientiously may be related to real job
performance
Negative applicant reactions

Applicants, in general, believe personality tests are less valid
predictors of job performance
9-12
Exhibit 9.3 The Core SelfEvaluations Scale
9-13
Overview of Ability Tests
Definition -- Measures that assess an
individual’s capacity to function in a
certain way
 15 to 20% of organizations use ability
tests in selection
 Two types

Aptitude - Assess innate capacity to function
 Achievement - Assess learned capacity to
function

9-14
Overview of Ability Tests

Four classes of ability tests
Cognitive: perception, memory, reasoning,
verbal, math, expression
 Psychomotor: thought/body movement
coordination
 Physical: strength, endurance, movement
quality
 Sensory/perceptual: detection & recognition
of stimuli

9-15
Exhibit 9.4 Sample Cognitive Ability
Test Items
9-16
Evaluation of Cognitive Ability Tests


Validity approaches .50
Research findings





Among the most valid methods of selection
Often generalizes across organizations, job types,
and types of applicants
Can produce large economic gains for
organizations and provide major competitive
advantage
Validity is particularly high for jobs of medium and
high complexity but also exists for simple jobs
A simple explanation for validity: those with higher
cognitive ability acquire and use greater knowledge
9-17
Limitations of Cognitive Ability Tests

Concern over adverse impact and fairness of
tests





Equally accurate predictors of job performance for
various racial & ethnic groups
Blacks and Hispanics score lower than whites
This gap is narrowing somewhat over time
Alternative presentation formats (e.g., verbal tests)
decrease differences in scores dramatically while
producing nearly equivalent scores
Applicants’ perceptions

Reactions to concrete vs. abstract test items
9-18
Other Types of Ability Tests

Psychomotor ability tests


Physical abilities tests


Muscular strength, cardiovascular endurance, and
movement quality
Sensory/perceptual abilities tests


Reaction time, arm-hand steadiness, control
precision, and manual and digit dexterity
Ability to detect and recognize environmental
stimuli
Note: Increasingly, ability tests are being
computer administered
9-19
Emotional Intelligence

The ability to monitor one’s own and others’
feelings, to discriminate among them, and to
use this information to guide one’s thinking
and action



Self-awareness: Good at recognizing and
understanding one’s own emotions
Other awareness: Good at recognizing and
understanding others’ emotions
Emotion regulation: Good at making use of or
managing this awareness
9-20
Emotional Intelligence
A review of 59 studies indicated that,
overall, EI correlated moderately with job
performance
 Some critics argue that because EI is so
closely related to intelligence and
personality, once you control for these
factors, EI has nothing unique to offer
 Still not clear whether these tests are
useful

9-21
Performance Tests and Work Samples

Definition -- Assess actual performance (e.g.,
fix a car, teach a class, type a document)
 Types of tests (should focus on relevant
KSAOs)





Performance test vs. work sample (all or some)
Motor vs verbal work samples (action or thought)
High- vs. low-fidelity tests (level of realism)
Computer interaction performance tests vs. paperand-pencil tests including simulations (e.g., The
Manager’s Workshop)
All the above can have good validity (.50+) &
acceptance
9-22
Situational Judgment Tests
Place applicants in hypothetical, jobrelated situations.
 Applicants are then asked to choose a
course of action from several alternatives
 Capture the validity of work samples and
cognitive ability tests in a way that is
cheaper than work samples and that has
less adverse impact than cognitive ability
tests

9-23
Ex. 9.7: Example of Situational
Judgment Test Item
9-24
Integrity Tests

Two types (Exhibit 9.9)

Clear purpose / overt



Personality-based/veiled purpose



Do you think most people would cheat if they thought they
could get away with it?
Do you believe a person has a right to steal from an
employer if he or she is unfairly treated?
Would you rather go to a party than read a newspaper?
How often do you blush?
Scores appear to reflect conscientiousness,
agreeableness, and emotional stability
9-25
Integrity Tests

Validity can be useful
Clear purpose as high as .55 predicting bad
behaviors
 General purpose as high as .32 predicting
bad behaviors
 Can predict performance as well (as high as
.30)
 Why would these predict general
performance?

9-26
Interest, Values, and Preference
Inventories




Assess activities individuals prefer to do on & off the
job; do not attempt to assess ability to do these
Not often used in selection
Can be useful for self-selection into job types
Types of tests



Strong Vocational Interest Blank (SVIB)
Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI)
Evaluation


Unlikely to predict job performance directly
May help assess person-organization fit & subsequent job
satisfaction, commitment & turnover
9-27
Discussion questions
Describe the similarities and differences
between personality tests and integrity
tests. When is each warranted in the
selection process?
 How would you advise an organization
considering adopting a cognitive ability
test for selection?

9-28
Typical Unstructured Interviews








Relatively unplanned and “quick and dirty”
Questions based on interviewer “hunches” or
“pet questions” to assess applicants
Casual, open-ended, or subjective questions
Often contains obtuse questions
Often contains highly speculative questions
Interviewer often unprepared
More potential for discrimination and bias
Validity typically r=.20
9-29
Structured Interviews







Questions based on job analysis
Same questions asked of each candidate
Response to each question numerically
evaluated
Detailed anchored rating scales used to score
each response
Detailed notes taken, focusing on
interviewees’ behaviors
Validity may be r=.30 or better
Surprisingly uncommon in organizations
9-30
Structured Interviews (continued)

Situational - Assess
applicant’s ability to
project his / her
behaviors to future
situations. Assumes the
person’s goals/intentions
will predict future
behavior

Experience-based Assess past behaviors
that are linked to
prospective job.
Assumes past
performance will predict
future performance
Research
is inconclusive regarding which type is best
Individual interviews usually more valid than panel
interviews
9-31
Constructing a Structured Interview

Consult job requirements matrix
 Develop the selection plan


Exh. 9.10: Partial Selection Plan for Job of Retail
Store Sales Associate
Develop structured interview plan

Exh. 9.11: Structured Interview Questions,
Benchmark Responses, Rating Scale, and
Question Weights

Select and train interviewers
 Evaluate effectiveness
9-32
Discussion questions

Describe the structured interview. What
are the characteristics of structured
interviews that improve on the
shortcomings of unstructured interviews?
9-33
Selection for Team Environments

Types of teams




Problem-solving teams
Self-managed work teams
Cross-functional teams
Virtual teams

Establish steps for selection in team-based
environments
 Who should make the hiring decision?
 Critical to ensure proper context is in place
9-34
Selection for Team Environments


Interpersonal KSAs

Conflict-Resolution KSAs

Collaborative Problem-Solving KSAs

Communication KSAs
Self-management KSAs

Goal-Setting and Performance Management
KSAs

Planning and Task-Coordination KSAs
9-35
Exhibit 9.14 Evaluation of
Substantive Assessment Methods
9-36
Discretionary Assessment
Methods



Used to separate people who receive job offers
from list of finalists (assumes each finalist is
considered fully qualified for position)
Often very subjective, relying heavily on intuition
of decision maker
Factors other than KSAOs are evaluated




Assess person/organization match
Assess motivation level
Assess people on relevant organizational
citizenship behaviors
Should involve organization’s staffing philosophy
regarding EEO/AA commitments
9-37
Contingent Assessment Methods
“We offer you this job contingent upon
….”
 Contingent methods not always used



Depends on nature of job and legal
mandates
Might involve confirmation of
Drug test results
 Medical exam results

9-38
Drug Testing

The average drug user






was 3.6 times more likely to be involved in an
accident
received 3 times the average level of sick benefits
was 5 times more likely to file a workers’
compensation claim
missed 10 times as many work days as nonusers
31% of all fatal truck accidents were due to alcohol
or drugs
Drug testing has decreased in recent years
because so few people test positive
9-39
Ex. 9.16
Example of a Drug Testing Program
9-40
Features of an effective drug testing
program

Emphasize drug testing in safety-sensitive jobs
 Use only reputable testing laboratories, and ensure
that strict chain of custody is maintained.
 Ask applicants for their consent, and inform them of
test results
 Use retesting to validate positive samples from the
initial screening test
 Ensure that proper procedures are followed to
maintain the applicant’s right to privacy
 Review the program and validate the results against
relevant criteria (accidents, absenteeism, turnover, job
performance); conduct a cost-benefit analysis
9-41
Medical Exams


Identify potential health risks in job candidates
Must ensure medical exams are required only when a
compelling reason exists






Ensures people with disabilities unrelated to job performance
are not screened out
Use is strictly regulated by ADA to ensure disabilities
not job related are not screened out
Usually lack validity as procedures vary by doctor
Not always job related
Often emphasize short- rather than long-term health
New job-related medical standards are specific, job
related, and valid
9-42
Discussion questions

What are the most common discretionary
and contingent assessment methods?
What are the similarities and differences
between the use of these two methods?
9-43
Legal Issues: Uniform Guidelines on
Employee Selection Procedures (UGESP)



General principles
Technical standards
Documentation of impact and
validity evidence
 Definitions
 Makes substantial demands of a staffing
system


Ensures awareness of possibility of adverse impact
in employment decisions
If adverse impact is found, mechanisms provided
to cope with it
9-44
Legal Issues: ADA and Drug Testing

Selection under the Americans with Disabilities
Act (ADA)







General principles
Access to job application process
Reasonable accommodation
to testing
Medical examinations
Drug testing
UGESP
Drug testing is permitted to detect illegal drug
use and discipline/termination if found is OK
9-45
Medical Exams


Identifies potential health risks in job candidates
Important to ensure medical exams are required
only when a compelling reason exists

Ensures people with disabilities unrelated to job performance
are not screened out

Use is strictly regulated by ADA
 Lack validity as procedures vary by doctor
 Not always job related
 Often emphasizes short- rather than long-term health
 New approach -- Job-related medical standards
9-46
Discussion questions

How should organizations apply the
general principles of the UGESP to
practical selection decisions?
9-47
Ethical Issues

Issue 1


Do you think it’s ethical for employers to select
applicants on the basis of questions such as,
“Dislike loud music” and “Enjoy wild flights of
fantasy,” even if the scales that such items
measure have been shown to predict job
performance? Explain.
Issue 2

Cognitive ability tests are one of the best predictors
of job performance, yet they have substantial
adverse impact against minorities. Do you think it’s
fair to use such tests? Why or why not?
9-48
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