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Chapter 5

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Psychology 2660A/B
Natalie J Allen

Chapter 5: Personnel Decisions The social context for personnel decisions  I/O psychologists and members of the organization contribute the process of making personnel decisions  Organizations operate within the social and cultural context in which they are embedded  Nepotism – an approach to personnel staffing whereby family members receive preferential treatment o In the US, nepotism is viewed negatively because it results in unequal opportunity among job applicants o In non-Western cultures, nepotism is viewed positively  Logic: a family member is a known commodity who can be trusted to be loyal  Personnel decisions do not “stand apart” unrelated to the larger social system  The first documented personnel selection test in history is in the Bible – shibboleth (those who couldn’t pronounce it correctly were executed)  Forces that affect personnel decisions and outcomes (some don’t even reference these) o Organization and organizational needs o Scientific theory o Research and development o Assessment of qualifications o Assessment-based decisions o Cultural values  End product of personnel selection process is to offer employment to some people, and deny it to others  The way some organizations hire people in real life tends to be more intuitive, nonquantitative, not based on validated, empirically derived factors  Some managers decline the use of scientific evidence in place of just a hunch – this will not improve selection decisions  Cross-cultural differences in personnel selection: Preferences in ideal job candidates o Universalist cultures – favor rational argument, follow what they see as universal codes of practice and rules  US, Canada, Australia o Particularist cultures – more emphasis on relationships, willing to bend the rules in making selection decisions, rely more on interviews  France, Greece, Italy o Japanese and Chinese = neutral, reserved approach o South European / South American = more emotional o There may be similarities in cross-cultural selection methods, but there can be strong cultural differences in the desired performance of the candidate Recruitment  Recruitment – process by which individuals are solicited to apply for jobs  The state of the economy will have a strong effect on how many people express interest in becoming employees  Different recruiting approaches are used depending on the job level in question  Search firms – serve clientele at the higher job level – fee might be 50% of the person’s salary  “if recruiting strategies don’t help identify a sizeable and suitable pool of talent even the most accurate selection process will be of little or no use  During high unemployment – organizations sift through candidates looking for the best candidate  During low unemployment – now the candidates sift through organizations, looking for their ideal employer  More often, recruiting is a middling position – organizations and people try to figure out if they are a perfect match – mating approach to meet the needs of both parties  Positive word of mouth channels was associated with perceptions of organizational attractiveness and behavioral outcomes  Onsite visits – shows the candidates that the organization is serious about them – serves to affirm the value each party holds for each other  Success in getting candidates interested in joining an organization is not the same as actually getting new employees to join the organization  Social validity – the quality of a selection process that makes it acceptable to job applicants o The social validity of selection procedures was the strongest correlate with applicant’s favorable reactions to the organization  French college students were more favorably disposed to graphology as a selection method o US college students were more accepting of biographical info  Study: candidate reactions to a full-day multistage personnel selection procedure o The rejected candidates viewed the assessment process as fair and reasonable to the extent they felt the various assessments allowed them the “opportunity to perform” (show the organization their skills)  Perceptions of fairness in personnel selection are enhanced when candidates have sufficient time and resources to be assessed under conditions free of distraction  Explain why they were denied employment in a way that reduces negative feelings and damage to self esteem A model of personnel decisions  Sequence of factors associated with making personnel decisions:  Work and organizational analyses  Criteria and their measurement; Predictors and their measurement  Linkage between predictors and criteria: validity (regression analysis)  Design of recruitment strategies  Selection systems and factors affecting their use  Assessing the utility of selection systems  Set of principles for the validation / use of personnel selection procedures o Specify scientific findings and accepted professional practices o Focuses on the accuracy of the inferences that underlie employment decisions Regression analysis  Regression analysis – statistical procedure used to predict one variable on the basis of another variable  It is used to predict criterion performance on the basis of a predictor score  Although a correlation coefficient is useful for showing the degree of relationship between two variables, it is not useful for predicting one variable from a person’s status on another variable o Regression analysis does permit us to predict a person’s status on one variable (criterion) based on their status on another variable (predictor) – relationship is usually linear  Multiple predictors o Combining two or more predictors may improve the predictability of the criterion o If the two predictors are unrelated to each other, the predict different aspects of the criterion o Multiple correlation – the combined relationship between two or more predictors and the criterion  The degree of predictability (ranging from 0 – 1.00) in forecasting one variable on the basis of two or more other variables o It is rare for two predictors related to one criterion are unrelated to each other – meaning all of the criterion variance accounted for by the second predictor is not new variance (part of it was explained by the first predictor) o It is generally advisable to seek predictors that are related to the criterion but unrelated to each other (can explain more aspects of the criterion)  Multiple regression analysis o Multiple regression analysis – statistical procedure used to predict one variable on the basis of two or more other variables o Usually enhances prediction of the criterion o Regression equations with four or five predictors usually are as accurate as those with more Validity genera
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