The strategic importance of employee selection
Selection: the process of choosing among individuals who have been recruited to fill existing or
projected job openings.
****selection begins when a pool of applicants has submitted their resumes or completed application
forms as a result of the recruiting process.****
**** The selection process has important strategic significance. More and more managers have
realized that the quality of the company’s human resources is often the single most important factor
in determining whether the firm is going to survive and be successful in reaching the objectives
specified in its strategic plan. For example, if the organization is planning to expand internationally,
language skills and international experience will become important selection criteria.****
****when a poor selection decision is made and the individual selected for the job is not capable of
acceptable performance in the job, strategic objectives will not be met. In addition, when a
unsuccessful employee must be terminated, the recruitment and selection process must begin all over
again, and the successor must be properly oriented and trained. The hidden costs are frequently even
Guidelines for avoiding legal problems
- Ensuring that all selection criteria and strategies are based on the job description and the job
- Adequately assessing the applicant’s ability to meet performance standards or expectations
- Carefully scrutinizing all information supplied on application forms and resumes
- Obtaining written authorization for reference checking from prospective employees, and checking
references very carefully
- Saving all records and information obtained about the applicant during each stage of the selection
- Rejecting applicants who make false statement on their application forms or resumes
The selection process
Multiple-hurdle strategy: an approach to selection involving a series of successive steps or hurdles,
only candidates clearing the hurdle are permitted to move on to the next step.
****the types of selection instruments and screening devices used are also not standardized across
organizations. Even within a firm, the number and sequence of steps often vary with the type and
level of the job as well as the source and method of recruitment.****
Step 1: preliminary applicant screening
Initial applicant screening is generally performed by members of the HR department. Application
forms and resumes are reviewed, and those candidates not meeting the essential selection criteria are
eliminated first. Then, the remaining applications are examined and those candidates who most
closely match the remaining job specifications are identified and given further consideration.
Step2: selection testing
****selection testing is a common screening device used by approximately two thirds of Canadian
organizations to assess specific job-related skills, as well as general intelligence, personality
characteristics, mental abilities, interests, and preferences.****
The importance of reliability and validity
****tests and other selection techniques are only useful if they provide reliable and valid
Reliability: the degree to which interviews, tests, and other selection procedures yield
comparable data over time; in other words, the degree of dependability, consistency, or
stability of the measures used. Validity
Validity: the accuracy with which a predictor measures what it is intended to measure.
Differential validity: confirmation that the selection tool accurately predicts the
performance of all possible employee subgroups, including white males, women, visible
minorities, persons with disabilities, and aboriginal people.
****three types of validity are particularly relevant to selection: criterion-related, content, and
Criterion-related validity: the extent to which a selection tool predicts or significantly
correlates with important elements of work behavior.
****demonstrating criterion-related validity requires proving that those who exhibit strong sales
ability on a test or in an interview, for example, also have high sales on the job, and that those
individuals who do poorly on the test or in the interview have poor sales results.****
Content validity: the extent to which a selection instrument, such as a test, adequately
samples the knowledge and skills needed to perform the job.
****asking a candidate for a secretarial position to demonstrate work processing skills, as required on
the job has high content validity.****
Construct validity: the extent to which a selection tool measures a theoretical
construct or trait deemed necessary to perform the job successfully.
****as an example of poor construct validity, an accounting firm was selecting applicants for auditor
positions based on a test for high extroversion when the job in fact required working alone with data.
a test to select applicants with high introversion would have had higher construct validity and would
have helped to avoid the high turnover rate the firm was experiencing.****
Tests of cognitive abilities
Intelligence (IQ) tests
Intelligence (IQ) tests: tests that measure general intellectual abilities, such as verbal
comprehension, inductive reasoning, memory, numerical ability, speed of perception,
spatial visualization, and word fluency.
Emotional intelligence tests
Emotional intelligence (EI) tests: tests that measure ability to monitor one’s own emotions
and the emotions of others and to use that knowledge to guide thoughts and actions.
****many people believe that EQ, which can be modified through conscious effort and practice, is
actually a more important determinant of success than a high IQ.****
Specific cognitive abilities
Aptitude tests: tests that measure an individual’s aptitude or potential to perform a job,
provided he or she is given proper training.
Tests of motor and physical abilities
****there are many motor abilities that a firm might want to measure. These include finger dexterity,
manual dexterity, speed of arm movement, and reaction time.****
****tests of physical abilities may also be required. An FAE, which measures a whole series of physical
abilities----ranging from lifting, to pulling and pushing, sitting, squatting, climbing, and carrying—is
particularly useful for positions with a multitude of physical demands, such as firefighter and police
****ensuring that physical abilities tests do not violate human rights legislation requires basing such
test on job duties identified through job analysis and a physical demands analysis, ensuring that the
tests duplicate the actual physical requirements for the job developing and imposing such tests honestly and in good faith, ensuring that those administering the tests are properly trained and
administer the tests in a consistent manner, and ensuring that testing standards are objectively
related to job performance.****
Measuring personality and interest
****a person’s mental and physical abilities are seldom sufficient to explain his or her job
performance, other factors such as the person’s motivation and interpersonal skills are important too.
Personality and interest inventories are sometimes used as predictors of such intangibles.****
Personality tests: instruments used to measure basic aspects of personality, such as introversion,
stability, motivation, neurotic tendency, self-confidence, self sufficiency, and sociability.
****research studies confirm that personality tests can help companies to hire more effective
Interest inventories: tests that compare a candidate’s interests with those of people in various
****interest inventories have many uses. One is career planning, since people generally do better in
jobs involving activities in which they have an interest. Another is selection, if the firm can select
people whose interests are roughly the same as those of high-performing incumbents in the jobs for
which it is hiring, the new employees are more likely to be successful.****
Achievement tests: tests used to measure knowledge and/or proficiency acquired through
education, training, or experience.
****an achievement test is basically a measure of what a person has learned. Most of the tests taken
in school are achievement tests.****
****work samples focus on measuring job performance directly and thus are among the best
predictors of job performance.****
Management assessment centers
Management assessment centre: a strategy used to assess candidates’ management potential that
uses a combination of realistic exercises, management games, objective testing, presentations, and
Situational testing: tests in which candidates are presented with hypothetical situations
representative of the job for which they are applying and are evaluated on their responses.
Micro-assessment: a series of verbal, paper-based, or computer-based questions and exercises that
a candidate is required to complete, covering the range of activities required on the job for which
he or she is applying.
****exercises are simple to de