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Chapter 6

Selection and Placement

Copyright 2015 McGraw-Hill Education. All rights reserved. No reproduction or distribution without the prior written consent of McGraw-Hill Education.
Learning Objectives
1. Establish basic scientific properties of personnel selection
methods, including reliability, validity and generalizability.
2. Discuss how particular characteristics of job, organization or
applicant affect the utility of any test.
3. Describe governments role in personnel selection decisions,
particularly in areas of constitutional law, federal laws,
executive orders and judicial precedent.
4. List common methods used in selecting HR.
5. Describe the degree to which common methods used in
selecting HR meet the demands of reliability, validity,
generalizability, utility and legality.

5 Evaluation Selection Method Standards

1. Reliability
2. Validity
3. Generalizability
4. Utility
5. Legality

Reliability is the degree to which a measure of
physical or cognitive abilities or traits is free from
random error.
Correlation coefficient is a measure of the
degree to which two sets of numbers are
A perfect positive relationship equals +1.0
A perfect negative relationship equals - 1.0
Test-retest reliability is knowing how scores on
the measure at one time relate to scores on the
same measure at another time.

Validity is the extent to which a performance
measure assesses all and only the relevant aspects
of job performance.
Criterion-related validation is a method of
establishing validity of a personnel selection method
by showing a substantial correlation between test
scores and job-performance scores. The types
Predictive validation
Concurrent validation

Criterion-Related Validity

Predictive Concurrent

Test Measure Test Measure

Applicants Performance Existing Their
of Those Hired Employees Performance


Concurrent Validation

Measure all
current job

Predictive Validation

Measure all
on attribute.

Content Validation

Content validation is a test-validation strategy

performed by demonstrating that the items,
questions, or problems posed by a test are a
representative sample of the kinds of situations
or problems that occur on the job.
Best for small samples
Achieved primarily through expert judgment

Generalizability - degree to which the validity of a
selection method established in one context
extends to other contexts.
3 Contexts:
1. different situations (jobs or organizations)
2. different samples of people
3. different time periods


Utility is the degree to which information

provided by selection methods enhances the
effectiveness of selecting personnel.
Utility is impacted by reliability, validity and


All selection methods must conform to existing

laws and legal precedents.
Three acts form the basis for a majority of suits
filed by job applicants:
Civil Rights Act of 1991 and 1964
Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
Americans with Disabilities Act of 1991

Civil Rights Act of 1991

Protects individuals from discrimination based on

race, color, sex, religion and national origin.
Differs from the 1964 act in three areas:
Establishes employers' explicit obligation to
establish neutral-appearing selection
Allows a jury to decide punitive damages.
Explicitly prohibits granting preferential
treatment to minority groups.

Age Discrimination in
Employment Act of 1967

Covers over age 40 individuals.

No protection for younger workers.
Outlaws almost all mandatory retirement

Americans with Disabilities Act

Protects individuals with physical or mental

disabilities (or with a history of the same).
Reasonable accommodations are required by the
organization to allow the disabled to perform
essential functions of the job.
An employer need not make accommodations
that cause undue hardship.
Restrictions on pre-employment inquiries.

Executive Orders

Executive Order 11246 parallels the Civil Rights Act

of 1964 and goes beyond by:
requiring affirmative action to hire qualified
protected group applicants and
allowing the government to suspend all business
with a contractor during an investigation.
Office of Federal Contract Compliance and
Procedures (OFCCP) issues guidelines and helps
companies comply.

Types of Selection Methods



Selection interviews-a dialogue initiated by one or

more persons to gather information and evaluate the
applicants qualifications for employment.
To increase an interviews utility:
Interviews should be structured, standardized, and focused
on goals oriented to skills and observable behaviors.
Interviewers should be able to quantitatively rate each
Interviewers should have a structured note-taking system
that will aid recall to satisfying ratings.

Situational Interview

A situational interview confronts applicants on

specific issues, questions, or problems likely to arise
on the job.
Situational interviews consist of:
experience-based questions
future-oriented questions
Motivating employees
Resolving conflict
Overcoming resistance to change, etc.

Situational Interview Items
Table 6.2
Experience Based

Motivating employees: Think about an instance when you had to

motivate an employee to perform a task
that he or she disliked but that you needed
to have done. How did you handle that
Resolving conflict: What was the biggest difference of opinion
you ever had with a co-worker? How did
you resolve that situation?
Overcoming resistance What was the hardest change you ever had
to change: to bring about in a past job, and what did
you do to get the people around you to
change their thoughts or behaviors?

Future Oriented
Situational Interview Items
Table 6.2
Future Oriented
Motivating employees: Suppose you were working with an employee
who you knew greatly disliked performing a
particular task. You needed to get this task
completed, however, and this person was the
only one available to do it. What would you
do to motivate that person?
Resolving conflict: Imagine that you and a co-worker disagree
about the best way to handle an absenteeism
problem with another member of your team.
How would you resolve that situation?
Overcoming resistance Suppose you had an idea for change in work
to change: procedures that would enhance quality, but
some members of your work group were
hesitant to make the change. What would
you do in that situation?
Other Selection Methods

Individuals should manage their digital identity the

same way they manage their rsum.
References, biographical data, and applications
gather background information on candidates.
Physical ability tests are relevant for predicting job
performance, occupational injuries and disabilities.
muscular tension, power, and endurance
cardiovascular endurance
Other Selection Methods
A cognitive ability test differentiates individuals based
on mental rather than physical capacities.
Commonly assessed abilities:
verbal comprehension
quantitative ability
reasoning ability
Personality inventories categorize individuals by
personality characteristics.
Work samples simulate a job in miniaturized form.
Cognitive Ability Tests

3 Dimensions Cognitive Ability Tests:

1. Verbal Comprehension - a persons capacity to
understand and use written and spoken
2. Quantitative Ability - speed and accuracy with
which one can solve arithmetic problems.
3. Reasoning Ability - a persons capacity to
invent solutions to diverse problems.

Physical Ability Tests

Two Questions to Ask:

1. Is physical ability essential to perform the job?
2. Is it mentioned prominently enough in the job
Tests Measure:
muscular power and endurance
cardiovascular endurance

Big 5 Dimensions
of Personality Inventories

Emotional Intelligence

Work-Sample Tests

Work-sample tests attempt to simulate the

job in a pre-hiring context to observe how
the applicant performs.
Assessment center-is a process in which
multiple raters evaluate employees
performance on exercises.

Honesty Tests

Polygraph Act of 1988 banned the use of

polygraph tests for private companies except
pharmaceutical and security guard suppliers.
Paper-and-pencil honesty testing attempts to
assess the likelihood that employees will steal.

Drug Tests
Drug-use tests tend to be reliable and valid.
Major controversies about drug tests include:
1. Is it an invasion of privacy?
2. Is it an unreasonable search and seizure?
3. Is it a violation of due process?
Tests should be administered systematically to all
applicants applying for the same job.
Testing is likely to be more defensible with safety hazards
associated with failure to perform.
Test results should be reported to applicants, who should
have an avenue to appeal.
Summary of Selection Methods


Job applicants and an organizations viability are affected by
decisions regarding who is accepted and rejected for positions.

Five standards should conform: reliability, validity,

generalizability, utility and legality.

Managerial assessment centers use many different forms of

tests over a two or three day period to learn as much as
possible about candidates for important executive positions.

Validity associated with judicious use of multiple tests is higher

than for tests used in isolation.