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Selection and Placement

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Chapter 6 of Human Resource Management: Gaining a Competitive Advantage

Chapter 6 of Human Resource Management: Gaining a Competitive Advantage

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  • The chapter will familiarize you with ways to minimize errors in employee selection and placement, and doing so improve the organization's competitive position. Five selection method standards will be discussed: reliability, validity, generalizability, utility and legality.
  • True Scores and the Reliability of Measurements—The concept of reliability is demonstrated by measuring height at different times. Even though height is supposedly a stable characteristic, slightly different results are generated every time height is measured. Standards for Reliability—Clearly, the more reliable the measure, the more likely decisions can be made on score differ­ences
  • Validity is the extent to which a performance measure assesses all the relevant –and only the relevant- aspects of job performance. Criterion‑related validation is a method of establishing the validity of a personal selection method by showing a substantial correlation between test scores and job-performance scores. There are two types of criterion‑related validity: Predictive validation is a criterion-related validity study that seeks to establish an empirical relationship between applicants’ test scores and their eventual performance on the job. And, Concurrent validation is a criterion-related validity study in which a test is administered to all the people currently in a job.
  • Predictive validation is superior to concurrent validation for three reasons a) job applicants are typically motivated to perform well on the tests than are current employees, b) current employees have learned many things on the job that applicants have not yet learned, c) current employees tend to be homogeneous.
  • 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. There are two limitations to content validation a) the person who is hired must have the knowledge, skills, or abilities at the time he or she is hired and b) subjective judgment plays such a large role in content validation.
  • Generalizability is the degree to which the validity of a selection method established in one context extends to other contexts. It was once believed that validity coefficients were situationally specific—that is, the level of correlation between test and performance would vary as one went from one organization to another. It was also believed that tests showed differential subgroup validity, which meant that the validity coefficients for any test-job performance pair was different for people of different races or genders. Validity generalization stands as an alternative for validating selection methods for companies that cannot employ criterion-related or content validation.
  • Utility is the degree to which the information provided by selection methods enhances the effectiveness of selecting personnel in organizations. Utility is impacted by reliability, validity, and generalizability. Other factors will influence utility even when the latter is constant. For example, the selection ratio, which is the percentage of people tested versus the total number of applicants, will impact utility as well as the number of people selected, race of employee turnover, and level of perfor­mance among chose who leave.
  • Legality—All selection methods must conform to existing laws and legal precedents.
  • The Civil Rights Act of 1991 protects individuals from discrimination with respect to hiring as well as compensation and working conditions. The Civil Rights Act of 1991 is an extension of the Civil Rights Act 1964. The 1991 act differs from the 1964 act in three different areas: It establishes employers' explicit obligation to establish neutral-appearing selection method. Allows a jury to decide punitive damages. It explicitly prohibits the granting of preferential treatment to minority groups.
  • Predictions are estimating that as the baby boomers reach their retirement age, there will be a crippling labor shortage that will disrupt the economy. This scare can be traced back to the data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggesting that there will be a shortage in labor in the future. Companies will have to adjust their human resource policies to retain older employees in various capacitates while hiring younger employees to enter into roles previously held by baby boomers.
  • Examples of reasonable accommodations include restructuring jobs, modifying work schedules, making facilities accessible, providing readers, or modifying equipment. An employer need not make accommodations that cause undue hardship such as undue cost or danger to the safety of other employees.
  • Executive Order 11246 parallels the Civil Rights Act of 1964 but goes beyond it by: requiring affirmative action to hire qualified protected group applicants, and allowing the government to suspend all business with a contractor while an investigation is going on. The executive branch of the government also regulates hiring decisions through the use of executive orders.
  • These are types of selection methods used to assess a person for employment.
  • Interviews are the most widely used selection method, although research suggests it can be unreliable, low in validity, and biased against a number of groups. Selection interviews are defined as a dialogue initiated by one or more persons to gather information and evaluate the qualifications of an applicant for employment. The utility of an interview can be increased by the following suggestions: Interviews should be structured, standardized, and focused on goals oriented to skills and behaviors that are observable. Interviewers should plan to come out of each interview with a quantitative rating. Interviewers should also have a structured note-taking system that will aid recall when it comes to satisfying the ratings.
  • A situational interview is an interview procedure where applicants are confronted with specific issues, questions, or problems that are likely to arise on the job. They consist of: Experience-based questions and future-oriented questions.
  • These techniques are, at best, weak predictors of future job success. Typically, references are very positive since only those who the applicants know will give a good reference are asked to do so. Many suites have been filed against past employers’ revealing too much information beyond job title and years of service. The biggest concern with the use of biographical data is that applicants who supply the information may be motivated to misrepresent themselves. Criterion‑related validities tend to be quite strong, although adverse impact on the disabled and women is highly possible.
  • One of the major drawbacks to these tests is that they typically have adverse impacts on some minority groups. Indeed, the size of the differences is so large that some have advocated abandoning these types of tests for making decisions regarding who will be accepted for certain schools or jobs. Verbal comprehension refers to a person’s capacity to understand and use written and spoken language. Quantitative ability concerns the speed and accuracy at which one can solve arithmetic problems. Reasoning ability refers to a person’s capacity to invent solutions to many diverse problems. Common dimensions assessed in a personality inventory are extroversion, adjustment, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and inquisitiveness. Work samples are job‑specific and tend to be high in criterion‑related and content validity and low in adverse impact.
  • In 1990, the Office of Technology and Assessment released a report on the validity of paper‑and‑pencil honesty tests. The conclusion of the report was that existing research was incon­clusive to determine the effectiveness of the tests. Tests commonly gauge attitudes and perceptions about professional behavior. The tests predict the level of risk of theft for employees.
  • Drug‑use tests tend to be reliable and valid, particularly when the screening tests" are followed up with more expensive “confirmation” test. The major controversies of drug tests includes: Is it an invasion of privacy Is it an unreasonable search and seizure 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 when there are safety hazards associated with the failure to perform. Test results should be reported to the applicant, who should have an avenue to appeal.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Human Resource Management Gaining a Competitive Advantage
      • Chapter 6
        • Selection and Placement
    • 2. Learning Objectives
      • After reading this chapter, you should be able to:
      • Establish the basic scientific properties of personnel selection methods, including reliability, validity, and generalizability.
      • Discuss how the particular characteristics of a job, organization, or applicant affect the utility of any test.
      • Describe the government’s role in personnel selection decisions, particularly in the areas of constitutional law, federal laws, executive orders, and judicial precedent.
      • List the common methods used in selecting human resources.
      • Describe the degree to which each of the common methods used in selecting human resources meets the demands of reliability, validity, generalizability, utility, and legality.
    • 3. Selection Method Standards for Evaluation Purposes Reliability Validity Generalizability Utility Legality
    • 4. Reliability
      • Reliability is the degree to which a measure of physical or cognitive abilities, or traits, is free from random error.
      • The correlation coefficient is a measure of the degree to which two sets of numbers are related.
        • A perfect positive relationship equals +1.0
        • A perfect negative relationship equals - 1.0
      • Knowing how scores on the measure at one time relate to scores on the same measure at another time refers to test-retest reliability.
    • 5. Validity
      • Validity is the extent to which a performance measure assesses all the relevant—and only the relevant—aspects of job performance.
      • Criterion-related validation is a method of establishing the validity of a personnel selection method by showing a substantial correlation between test scores and job-performance scores. The types include:
        • Predictive validation
        • Concurrent validation
    • 6. Criterion-Related Validity Predictive Concurrent TIME TIME Test Applicants Measure Performance of those Hired Measure their Performance Test Existing Employees
    • 7. 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
        • Content validity is achieved primarily through a process of expert judgment
    • 8. Generalizability
      • Generalizability is the degree to which the validity of a selection method established in one context extends to other contexts.
      • Three contexts include:
        • different situations
        • different samples of people
        • different time periods
    • 9. Utility
      • Utility is the degree to which the information provided by selection methods enhances the effectiveness of selecting personnel in organizations.
      • It is impacted by reliability, validity, and generalizability.
    • 10. Legality
      • All selection methods must conform to existing laws and legal precedents.
      • Three acts have formed the basis for a majority of the suits filed by job applicants:
        • Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 1991
        • Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967
        • Americans with Disabilities Act of 1991
    • 11. Civil Rights Act of 1991
      • This act protects individuals from discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, and national origin.
      • The 1991 act differs from the 1964 act in three different areas:
        • It establishes employers' explicit obligation to establish neutral-appearing selection method.
        • Allows a jury to decide punitive damages.
        • It explicitly prohibits the granting of preferential treatment to minority groups.
    • 12. Age Discrimination in Employment Act
      • Covers individuals who are over the age of 40.
      • There is no protection for
      • younger workers.
      • This act outlaws almost all “mandatory retirement” programs.
    • 13. 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 preemployment inquiries.
    • 14. Executive Orders
      • Executive Order 11246 parallels the Civil Rights Act of 1964 but goes beyond it by:
        • requiring affirmative action to hire qualified protected group applicants, and
        • allowing the government to suspend all business with a contractor while an investigation is going on.
      • The Office of Federal Contract Compliance and Procedures (OFCCP) issues guidelines and helps companies comply.
    • 15. Types of Selection Methods Honesty Tests and Drug Tests Work Samples Personality Inventories Cognitive Ability Tests Physical Ability Tests References and Biographical Data Interviews JOBS HR
    • 16. Interviews
      • Selection interviews are defined as a dialogue initiated by one or more persons to gather information and evaluate the qualifications of an applicant for employment.
      • The utility of an interview can be increased by the following suggestions:
        • Interviews should be structured, standardized, and focused on goals oriented to skills and behaviors that are observable.
        • Interviewers should plan to come out of each interview with a quantitative rating.
        • Interviewers should also have a structured note-taking system that will aid recall when it comes to satisfying the ratings.
    • 17. Situational Interview
      • A situational interview confronts applicants on specific issues, questions, or problems that are likely to arise on the job.
      • These interviews consist of:
        • experience-based questions
        • future-oriented questions
    • 18. Other Selection Methods
      • References, Biographical data, and Application Blanks gather background information on candidates.
      • Physical ability tests are relevant for predicting not only job performance but occupational injuries and disabilities. Types of physical ability tests include:
        • muscular tension, power, and endurance
        • cardiovascular endurance
        • flexibility
        • balance
        • coordination
    • 19. Other Selection Methods
      • A cognitive ability test differentiates individuals based on their mental rather than physical capacities. Abilities most commonly assessed are:
        • verbal comprehension
        • quantitative ability
        • reasoning ability
      • Personality inventories categorize individuals by their personality characteristics.
      • Work samples simulate the job in miniaturized form.
    • 20. Honesty Tests
      • The 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.
        • Since these tests are new, there is little evidence on their effectiveness.
    • 21. Drug Tests
      • Drug-use tests tend to be reliable and valid.
      • The major controversies of drug tests includes:
        • Is it an invasion of privacy
        • Is it an unreasonable search and seizure
        • 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 when there are safety hazards associated with the failure to perform.
      • Test results should be reported to the applicant, who should have an avenue to appeal.

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