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Understand the concepts of reliability



After reading this chapter, you should be able to

1. Understand the concepts of reliability, validity, and utility.

2. Understand the validity evidence for various selection methods.

3. Discuss approaches to the more effective use for application blanks,

reference checks, biographical data, testing, and various other selection

methods programs in order to increase the validity and legal defensibility

of each.

4. Discuss the approaches available for drug testing.

5. Describe the validity of different approaches to interviewing.

6. Explain how the various types of job candidate information should be

integrated and evaluated.

Personnel Selection Chapter


OVERVIEW It sounds simple: Match employees with jobs. Researchers have made this task easier by

developing selection methods that successfully predict employee effectiveness. Still, there

is a void between what research indicates and how organizations actually do personnel se-

lection. Real-world personnel selection is replete with examples of methods that have been

proven to be ineffective or inferior.

Personnel selection (and retention) is key to organizational effectiveness. The most

successful firms use methods that accurately predict future performance. The use

of validated selection models is another of the High-Performance Work Practices linking this HR process to corporate financial performance. Organizations are, or

should be, interested in selecting employees who not only will be effective but who

will work as long as the organization needs them and, of course, will not engage in

counterproductive behaviors such as violence, substance abuse, avoidable accidents,

and employee theft.

A multiple-hurdle process involving an application, reference and background checks,

various forms of standardized testing, and some form of interview is the typical chronology

of events for selection, particularly for external hiring decisions. Internal decisions, such

as promotions, are typically done with less formality. Personnel selection is the process

Use of validated selection models: A HPWS characteristic

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W I L L I S , K A S S A N D R A 2 1 6 1 T S



2 / Acquiring Human Resource Capability

of gathering and assessing information about job candidates in order to make decisions about personnel. The process applies to entry-level personnel and promotions, transfers, and even job retention in the context of corporate downsizing efforts. This chapter in-

troduces you to personnel selection, describes some of the most popular types of hiring/

screening procedures, reviews the research evidence on each, and discusses the social and

legal implications of the various options.

The chapter begins with an overview of measurement issues related to personnel selec-

tion and staffing. Next the various selection methods are introduced in their usual order

of use. Application blanks, background checks, and reference checks are discussed first.

Then the various forms of standardized tests that purport to assess applicants’ suitability

or KASOCs are reviewed. The use, validity, and possible adverse impact of various types

of selection methods are considered, including general mental ability tests and personality