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Human Resources: Employee Selection Chapter 6

Decision making about organizational membership

Why is this important?
 Think of the costs of poor decisions
What are we trying to predict?
Job performance is…
 Task performance
 Organizational citizenship behaviours – good
 Counterproductive job behaviours – bad
Job performance is…
 What we are trying to predict
 Our criterion

The Logic of Prediction

1. We know which knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics
KSAO’s are necessary for successful job performance.
2. If a person demonstrates the required KSAO’s at the time of selection, then they are likely to
demonstrate them once hired.
3. Thus, accurately measuring the KSAO’s during the selection process enables us to predict
future performance.

Job performance and Predicted Success:

What are the two things we don’t want?
 Not hiring a star performer/employee – top left corner of chart
 Hiring a dud – bottom right corner of chart
How to maximize our hits?
 Measure important KSAO’s during the selection process
How do we know how accurately we measured a person’s KSAO’s?
Two Key Concepts:
 Reliability
 Validity
Reliability – a selection tool is reliable when it gives you consistent results…
 Across testing occasions
o Test-retest reliability
 Across different versions of the same test
o Parallel forms reliability
 Across judges
o Inter rater reliability
 Within a testing occasion (e.g., across questions)
o Internal consistency
Validity – the extent to which a selection tool is measuring what it was intended to measure.
 Content validity
o Ex: midterm 1: were the questions evenly dispersed for each chapter? Were
they based off of the class material?
 Criterion-related validity
o Predictive
o Concurrent
 Your selection tool →does it predict? →job performance

A reliable and valid tool is useful!

Intelligence (required for)→ task performance

 
(measured reliably and validly by)→Wonderlic personnel test – scores predict (are correlated with)

The really simple version

 Unreliable and not valid
 Reliable but invalid
 Reliable and valid
How to avoid legal trouble:
 Do a job analysis (use the results!)
 Use valid and reliable assessments
 Ask written permission for reference checking
 Save records and information
 Reject applicants who make false statements
Steps in job selection: IEPPR
1. initial screening
2. employment interview
3. post-interview screening
4. pre-employment tests
5. reaching a selection decision

Initial Screening
 Cover letters and resumes
 Application forms (may be online)
 Internet checks and phone screening
Employment Tests
 Job knowledge:
o Test asking how the candidate would do part of the job
o Written or verbal
 Work sample:
o Ask candidate to do part of the job
Cognitive Ability Tests:
 Non-verbal (e.g., the Ravens Matrices)
 Literacy test (e.g., grammar, spelling, and punctuation)
 Big Five Personality Model CANOE
o Conscientiousness
o Agreeableness
o Neuroticism/emotional stability
o Openness to experience
o Extraversion
Physical Ability Tests
Assessment Methods to Avoid
 Graphology/handwriting analysis (reflects badly on the organization)
 Polygraphs (illegal in Ontario)
Generally, these don’t provide reliable and valid information


Selection: The process of choosing individuals who have relevant qualifications to fill existing or
projected job openings  the goal of selection is to maximize accurate prediction about employee
success and job performance.

Reliability: The degree to which selection procedures yield comparable data over time
Validity: The degree to which selection procedures measure a person’s attributes

Initial screening: The initial pieces of information for screening candidates include
cover letters, ré sumé s, and applications and often the Internet.

Video ré sumé s: Short video clips that highlight applicants’ qualifications beyond
what they can communicate on their résumé

Online Applications: key advantages of accepting applications online is companies

can recruit candidates and fill their job openings faster. Downside of online
applications it can lead to a large volume submitted—many fail to meet minimum

Nondirective interview: An interview in which the applicant is allowed the

maximum amount of freedom in determining the course of the discussion, while the
interviewer carefully refrains from influencing the applicant’s remarks.
Structured interview: An interview in which a set of standardized questions with
an established set of answers is used
Key features of structured interviews:
 Based exclusively on job duties and requirements critical to job performance.
 Benchmark answers, determined in advance, to each question.
 Interviewed by multiple people who rate the responses.
 Interviewers take notes for future reference and in case of a legal challenge.

Situational interview: An interview in which an applicant is given a hypothetical

incident and asked how he or she would respond to it.  The applicant’s response is
then evaluated relative to pre-established benchmark standards.

Behavioural description interview (BDI): An interview in which an applicant is

asked questions about what he or she did in a given situation  focuses on actual
work incidents in the interviewee’s past.

Panel interview: An interview in which a board of interviewers questions and

observes a single candidate. Interviewers take turns asking questions, the
interviewers pool their observations

Sequential interview: A format in which a candidate is interviewed by multiple

people, one right after another

Interviewer Training: -Understand the job.

-Establish an interview plan.
-Establish and maintain rapport and listen actively.
-Pay attention to nonverbal cues.
-Provide information as freely and honestly as possible.
-Use questions effectively.
-Separate facts from inferences.
-Recognize biases and stereotypes.
-Avoid the “halo error,” or judging an individual favourably or unfavourably overall
on the basis of only one strong point (or weak point) on which you place high value.
-Control the course of the interview.
-Standardize the questions asked.

Pre-employment test: An objective and standardized measure of a sample of

behaviour that is used to gauge a person’s knowledge, skills, abilities, and other
characteristics (KSAOs) relative to other individuals

Assessment centre: A process by which individuals are evaluated as they

participate in a series of situations that resemble what they might need to handle on
the job
- In-basket exercises. This method is used to simulate a problem situation.
- Leaderless group discussions. Trainees gathered in a conference setting to
discuss an assigned topic
- Role-playing. Preparing for and engaging in a customer meeting or a team
leader meeting with one’s subordinates.
- Behavioural interviews. The interviewer asks the participant a series of
questions about what they would do in particular work circumstances.

Cognitive ability tests: measure mental capabilities such as general intelligence,

verbal fluency, numerical ability, and reasoning ability.

Bio-data tests: collect biographical information about candidates that has been
shown to correlate with on-the-job success.  Candidates are questioned about
events and behaviours that reflect attitudes, experiences, interests, skills, and

Personality and Interest Inventories

The “Big Five” factors. *CANOE is the acronym*
1. Extroversion—the degree to which someone is talkative, sociable, active,
aggressive, and excitable
2. Agreeableness—the degree to which someone is trusting, amiable, generous,
tolerant, honest, cooperative, and flexible
3. Conscientiousness—the degree to which someone is dependable and organized
and perseveres in tasks
4. Neuroticism—the degree to which someone is secure, calm, independent, and
5. Openness to experience—the degree to which someone is intellectual,
philosophical, insightful, creative, artistic, and curious2

Honesty and Integrity Tests: use of pencil-and-paper honesty and integrity tests.
Used in settings such as retail stores, where employees have access to cash or

Physical Ability Tests: assess a person’s physical abilities. Particularly for

demanding and potentially dangerous jobs

Medical Examinations: ensure that the health and fitness of applicants are
adequate to meet the job requirements.

Drug Testing: cannot be conducted until a conditional offer of employment is made

in writing, and the examination can determine only the individual’s ability to
perform the essential duties.

Criterion-related validity: The extent to which a selection tool predicts, or

significantly correlates with, important elements of work behaviour

Concurrent validity: The extent to which test scores (or other predictor
information) match criterion data obtained at about the same time from current

Predictive validity: The extent to which applicants’ test scores match criterion data
obtained from those applicants/employees after they have been on the job for an
indefinite period

Cross-validation: Verifying the results obtained from a validation study by

administering a test or test battery to a different sample (drawn from the same

Content validity: The extent to which a selection instrument, such as a test,

adequately samples the knowledge and skills needed to perform a particular job

Construct validity: The extent to which a selection tool measures a theoretical

construct or trait

Clinical Approach: those making the selection decision review the data on the
applicants. Then, on the basis of their understanding of the job and the individuals
who have been successful in that job, they make a decision.
Statistical approach
Compensatory model: A selection decision model in which a high score in one area
can make up for a low score in another area
Multiple cut-off model: A selection decision model that requires an applicant to
achieve a minimum level of proficiency on all selection dimensions

Multiple hurdle model: A sequential strategy in which only the applicants with the
highest scores at an initial test stage go on to subsequent stages

Selection ratio: The number of applicants compared to the number of people to be


maybe a small question from here

Effective Interviewing
Interview: an employer for prospective employment in their company or
organization evaluates potential employees. During this process, the employer
hopes to determine whether or not the applicant is suitable for the role.

Securing the Interview

-Branding: The marketing practice of creating a name or an image that identifies
and differentiates a product from other products.
In this case the product is you!
What benefits do you offer?
What qualities do you want your audience to associate with you?

-Reflect on your personal brand

-You need to be able to identify and eventually articulate how you meet the --
employer’s needs.
-Create a solid marketing package winning resumé and cover letter, Attend
workshops / use online resources, A professional online presence. LinkedIn,
Twitter, website, blogs, etc.

-Use active job search techniques: Join student and professional associations
Attend multiple networking events, Set up information meetings, Use social media

The Preparation Process

Research the company: Mandate / focus / services / clients / news
Understand the job you are applying for: Key responsibilities / qualifications / traits
Know yourself and what you have to offer: Reflect on your skills and experience
Review your resumé and know its content: Be prepared to elaborate / provide
Anticipate questions and practice answers: Family, friends, Career Centre
Prepare documentation you want to bring: Portfolio, letters of reference, projects
Plan your route / map out your day: Directions, leave room for error, traffic
Give yourself a pep talk: Put yourself in a positive frame of mind
Interview Etiquette
-Don’t be late / don’t be too early
-Dress to impress / dress for success
-Bring paper & pens + copies your CV
-Act appropriately and professionally with everyone in the office
-Don’t bring up salary, benefits or holidays at the first interview
-Listen carefully, ask questions and take time to reflect when needed
-Be cool and confident without coming across as being arrogant
-Thank the interviewers for their time
-Offer a firm handshake at the beginning and the end of an interview

Types of Interview Questions

Traditional / General
Getting-to-know-you questions, icebreakers, understanding-your-personality
Success depends on your responses as well as on the rapport you build with the

Based on the premise that past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour
Success depends on the relevance of the example you choose and your ability to
clearly describe the Situation, Task, Action and Result
Provide a STAR answer!

Types of Interviews
Phone Interview
Keep paper and pens, a copy of your resumé, and a list of the jobs you have recently
applied for near the phone. Be conscious of your tone of voice and try to avoid long
pauses (let them know if you need a minute to think – remember they can’t see you

Panel Interview
Focus primarily on the person who asked you the question; also need to make eye
contact with the other interviewers. Try not to be intimidated by number of people.

Skype Interview
Dress professionally and prepare your surroundings. Practice the process with
someone in advance. Use active listening cues in your conversation. Maintain eye
contact with the webcam. Address technical problems immediately

Group Interview
Try to stand out from the crowd without stealing the spotlight and overpowering
the group. Be conscious of how you are interacting with the other members of the
Stress Interview
Try to stay focused and calm they want to see how you react under pressure

Case Interviews
The employer wants to see how you approach a problem and how you break down a
complex situation into logical components.

Making a Good Impression

Your interview actually starts before you meet the employer. Be prepared; practice
out loud beforehand. Be yourself / natural: talking vs. scripting. Stay focused take
your time. Try to use different examples. Be confident and enthusiastic

Final Steps
Ask about “next steps” or “the process” at the end of your interview. Thank the
interviewers and ask for their cards. Send a follow-up thank you letter (24 - 48
hours after your interview). Be patient; however, keep track of where you are in the
process. Reflect on how you did / areas to improve