Human Resource Management

Gaining a Competitive Advantage

Chapter 6
Selection and Placement

McGraw-Hill/Irwin Copyright © 2008 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, All Rights Reserved. 1-1

Learning Objectives
After reading this chapter, you should be able to:
• Establish the basic scientific properties of personnel
selection methods, including reliability, validity, and
• 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
• Describe the degree to which each of the common
methods used in selecting human resources meets the
demands of reliability, validity, generalizability, utility, and


Selection Method Standards for Evaluation Purposes Reliability Validity Generalizability Utility Legality 6-3 .

6-4 . • The correlation coefficient is a measure of the degree to which two sets of numbers are related.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. or traits. – A perfect positive relationship equals +1. is free from random error.0 – A perfect negative relationship equals .Reliability • Reliability is the degree to which a measure of physical or cognitive abilities.

The types include: – Predictive validation – Concurrent validation 6-5 .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.

Criterion-Related Validity Predictive Concurrent Test Measure Test Measure Applicants Performance Existing their of those Hired Employees Performance TIME TIME 6-6 .

– Best for small samples – Content validity is achieved primarily through a process of expert judgment 6-7 .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.

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 6-8 .

and generalizability. • It is impacted by reliability. validity. 6-9 .Utility • Utility is the degree to which the information provided by selection methods enhances the effectiveness of selecting personnel in organizations.

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 6-10 .

– Allows a jury to decide punitive damages. 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. 6-11 .Civil Rights Act of 1991 • This act protects individuals from discrimination based on race. – It explicitly prohibits the granting of preferential treatment to minority groups. color. sex.

• This act outlaws almost all “mandatory retirement” programs. 6-12 . • There is no protection for younger workers.Age Discrimination in Employment Act • Covers individuals who are over the age of 40.

• Restrictions on preemployment inquiries. 6-13 . • 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.Americans with Disabilities Act • Protects individuals with physical or mental disabilities (or with a history of the same).

• The Office of Federal Contract Compliance and Procedures (OFCCP) issues guidelines and helps companies comply. 6-14 .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.

Types of Selection Methods Interviews Honesty Tests and Drug Tests References and Biographical Data Work Samples HR JOBS Physical Ability Tests Personality Inventories Cognitive Ability Tests 6-15 .

• The utility of an interview can be increased by the following suggestions: – Interviews should be structured.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. 6-16 . standardized. – Interviewers should plan to come out of each interview with a quantitative rating. and focused on goals oriented to skills and behaviors that are observable. – Interviewers should also have a structured note-taking system that will aid recall when it comes to satisfying the ratings.

questions.Situational Interview • A situational interview confronts applicants on specific issues. or problems that are likely to arise on the job. • These interviews consist of: – experience-based questions – future-oriented questions 6-17 .

and Application Blanks gather background information on candidates. Types of physical ability tests include: – muscular tension. power. Biographical data. and endurance – cardiovascular endurance – flexibility – balance – coordination 6-18 . • Physical ability tests are relevant for predicting not only job performance but occupational injuries and disabilities.Other Selection Methods • References.

Abilities most commonly assessed are: – verbal comprehension – quantitative ability – reasoning ability • Personality inventories categorize individuals by their personality characteristics. 6-19 . • Work samples simulate the job in miniaturized form.Other Selection Methods • A cognitive ability test differentiates individuals based on their mental rather than physical capacities.

– Since these tests are new. there is little evidence on their effectiveness. 6-20 . • Paper-and-pencil honesty testing attempts to assess the likelihood that employees will steal.Honesty Tests • The Polygraph Act of 1988 banned the use of polygraph tests for private companies except pharmaceutical and security guard suppliers.

• Testing is likely to be more defensible when there are safety hazards associated with the failure to perform.Drug Tests • Drug-use tests tend to be reliable and valid. 6-21 . who should have an avenue to appeal. • Test results should be reported to the applicant. • 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.